1805 James St. Syracuse NY 13206 | jeff@JeffreyARogersExecutiveBusinesscoaching.com
Business coaches help business owners (or business leaders) in business effectiveness and personal effectiveness.
Business coaches work with business owners and business executives in two distinct areas. First, they help business owners who don’t know what to do in a particular area of his or her business. We call this “business effectiveness.” All areas of business effectiveness fall into the broader categories of Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Human Resources, Leadership Development, Systems Implementation, Strategic Planning, Financial Management, and Exit Planning / Succession Planning.
Business coaches work with successful people who are “stuck” in certain areas of their business. These areas can be related to weak profits, sluggish sales, cash flow challenges, people problems, or working too many hours, which can result in an unhealthy work-life balance. Other common challenges include quality issues, service failures, lack of leadership depth, a poor company culture, and limited company value.
Some of these problems make a business owner feel paralyzed. They are filled with stress, grief, concern, anger, frustration, and doubt. These negative emotions compound the challenges business owners face and can create new problems of their own; some at work, others at home.
A professional business coach helps get the client out of the proverbial trees so the owner can work strategically on business development and systematically solve these problems. This results in higher profits, better cash flow, and a happier workplace, which in turn leads to a healthy, productive, and joyful life.
The second distinct area where a business coach comes in is when the client knows what he or she should be doing, but isn’t doing it - or – when the client is knowingly doing something he or she should not be doing but continues to do it anyway. This is what we call “personal effectiveness.”
Many personal effectiveness issues stem from bad habits and addictions. Others actually stem from personal strengths that are overused so much they actually become weaknesses. For example, think of how strong a powerful a bull is… Now put him in a china shop!
Personal effectiveness starts with knowing yourself and knowing your own personal vision and goals. Then it moves to how you interact with other people of all personality and behavioral types. Ultimately, personal effectiveness is about behavior that is congruent with values. It is about being physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy.
With all the pressures in our world, it is very difficult to maintain personal effectiveness without paying ongoing, deliberate attention to it. A business coach provides the structure and knowledge necessary to help people maximize on their own personal effectiveness.
The ultimate responsibility of a business coach is to provide a “safe place” to guide and support his or her clients in reaching the clients’ stated objectives. The term “safe place” is critically important to this definition and should be clarified in more detail since the meaning of this term is not necessarily self-evident.
The term “safe place” refers to a positive, supportive environment free from judgment or hidden agendas. There are also no self-imposed (or “coach imposed”) limitations on what is possible. In this safe place, the client is free to speak openly and honestly knowing that anything discussed will be held in complete confidence. If “providing a safe place” doesn’t seem significant, just think of this:
Business owners (and leaders) are people. They are husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters. Many business owners have employees, who also have families. They have several vendors. They have many clients. They may have shareholders or partners. They have bankers, accountants, and lawyers. And these are the people that business owners usually talk to and get advice from (solicited and unsolicited). The problem is, due to the nature of those relationships, there are often times “hidden agendas” that are represented in the advice that comes from these different constituencies. This is not unfair; it’s just the way it is. Everyone has needs and wants and our opinions or advice may be tainted by having our own ends in mind. To be sure, people don’t do this to be insensitive or manipulative. It’s just human nature.
However, when a person hires a business coach, the coach represents the self-interests of just one person: The client. There are absolutely no hidden agendas – ever.
Another thing our loved ones tend to do is to “protect us” by imposing limitations on what we can and cannot do. People don’t want to see their loved ones get hurt, and “failure” can certainly hurt. So it is natural to minimize this risk of failing by imposing limiting beliefs on the person you care about in an effort to prevent that person from “going for it.” Imagine how many people lived and died without ever going after their dreams due to a loved one projecting self-limiting beliefs.
The fact is people constantly project their own agendas, ideas, opinions, thoughts, and even fears onto other people. In fact, it’s normal. And that is why it is so special to have a place that is “safe” from all that noise. That safe place is with a business coach.
Unlike traditional business consulting, business coaches don’t fix the problems for their clients and then go away. Instead, a business coach helps guide business owners into determining their own solutions to their problems. The coach guides the client in putting strategic plans in place which will solve the problems (or capitalize on new opportunities). The coach facilitates creative and strategic brainstorming. The coach then helps to facilitate the creation of tactical “action steps” that the client or client company will take to implement the strategy. Once the action steps are committed to, a good coach provides a structured environment where the client is accountable to him or herself for executing the plans.
A business coach is very much like a coach you may have had in sports, music, or the arts. If you’ve had a coach before, you know what a coach does. Coaches teach, encourage, challenge, and provide structure and accountability to the people they coach. Coaches reinforce positive advancement and also bring people back to the fundamentals when needed. They push the people they coach to meet their full potential. Coaches can give a hug or give a kick and they know when to do which! A good coach leads by example and is inspiring to those around him/her. Yes, a coach is a role model.
Business coaching is absolutely an art and a science. Professional business coaches have to know themselves, know other people, and they must know business! Much of what a business coach does comes naturally, but there are also many important techniques and skills they need to master in order to provide excellence to their clients.
Business coaching is a booming industry for one simple reason: Professional business coaching works.
We finally have our "official" definition of the term "Business Coaching." Unlike most of our counterparts in the coaching profession, we don't limit coaching to simply facilitating "self-directed action." Instead, we recognize that that is just one arrow in the quiver of what business coaches need to master.
In addition to helping our clients make their own best decisions and realize their own self-directed action, we all agreed that business coaches also do the following:
When we are able to professionally discern which tactic is most appropriate during our sessions, and when we have the ability to use all of those tactics effectively, we're able to provide the highest return on the investment that our client make in our coaching. Even during our role plays, it was evident that all are necessary at certain points in our meetings. It's true that we are the "mavericks" of the coaching world, but it's also true that by not restraining ourselves to what is called "purest coaching fundamentals," we're much more effective in helping business owners meet their own potential.