Business coaching has become more and more accepted as a development opportunity for Australian organisations but how do you choose the one business coach that will be the most compatible and give you the best results?
At the moment Australian organizations are being flooded by many people that claim to be a business coach. They are promising to be the one that will make all the companies problems disappear if only we would just listen to them and use their services.
Many are fantastic sales people that spin a great story about their business coaching and mentoring skills and have well versed lines of influence to the unguarded employer. While many are worth their salt there are equally as many that have little experience and know how to guide an organization or leader to their preferred results.
So how do we know how to discern the good from the bad and could there be some guidelines or values that can help an employer make the right decision when choosing their business coach?
The first point for consideration is what I call the “values fit”. Does this business coach share the same or similar values to that of the organization in their business coaching approach? Are their business coaching methodologies aligned and congruent to the expected behavioural norms of the company?
The second aspect is the degree of understanding of the issues at hand and the experience of the professional coach in working with that type of challenge. It is all very well to have a logical appreciation and grasp of the issues but that is very different from knowing the right path that will lead to a successful outcome. The professional coach can see a clear path forward and knows experientially what will and won’t work.
The third component is the personal dynamic or connection between the business coach and the participant. This is particularly important when it comes to one on one professional coaching. A good rapport is vital in facilitating open and honest discussion. Professional coaching is not prescriptive and therefore communication flow is mainly from participant to business coach and not the other way around. For this to occur, a safe comfortable environment needs to be present. This will not be possible without the right dynamic and connection between the parties.
The fourth factor in evaluating a business coach is in their business coaching structure and process. Take a look at the process. How many sessions are there per stage and do they differ from one stage of the business coaching process to the other. A well structured business coaching program divides the sessions into logical stages incorporating all aspects of the challenge at hand. For example; skills and capability requirements, behavioural components and sustainability factors. Each of these stages requires different time lines and hence a variation in the number of sessions.
It is also recommended that a reporting agreement be included to provide a full update of how the business coaching program is progressing.
These four qualities of the business coaching expert is certainly non exhaustive however they can be a good indicator of the success factors that can enable your business coaching requirements to be met or even exceeded.