Monday, 12 September 2016 12:10

Hesitant about Business Coaching? Practical Answers to Concerns

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If you've seen all the social media posts for executive or business coaching, you may have been interested but have hesitated - how do you know if you will find the right coach? If you are hesitant about getting started don't be. There are ways to be sure that you are doing the right thing.

First Consultation
Very few genuine coaches will not offer a free initial consultation to get started. Even if it's not offered, you should ask for one. You should use the initial consultation to find out three things:
  • can I work with this coach and will he/she respect me?
  • does this coach offer me the support that I need?
  • do I have enough of a burning ambition to benefit from coaching?
You can see from these questions that the initial consultation is as much for the coach as it is for you. Coaching requires a productive relationship to form and this does not happen over a single telephone call or meeting. During the first consulation, you can establish the type of coaching you need - executive, SME business, strategy, projects, work-life balance, burnout, personal development, career, etc. If you find the coach does offer what you need, then determine if you feel you can get on with them on a personal level. Rememebr the coach will challenge you to make change and do better. Those discussions are not always easy. Will this coach challenge you but with empathy, an intent to build, an intent to inspire or will they not treat you with respect?

Once you believe you have a match with this coach, now work out the logistics to facilitate a prodcutive working relationship. This is where you need to ask:
  • do you need in-person or telephone/virtual coaching?
  • does the coach have the time required to deliver to your needs?
  • can the coach accomodate your schedule?
  • does the coach have backup to cover absences?
  • are there any supporting materials or web based facilities you can use?
  • can the coach provide references?
  • does the coach guarantee privacy and confidentiality?
When getting the answers to these questions, here are some things to consider.
  • You may feel that in-person coaching is essential for you. Many coaches will offer both in-person and virtual coaching but it depends upon what you need to get out of the sessions. In-person coaching is more expensive, but you may feel it is worthwhile for you.
  • If you have a 60 minute coaching session, you can assume your coach will need 30 minutes to prepare. If it sounds like they would find it tough to fit you in, that might be a marker of trouble. Superficial coaching is the last thing you need.
  • Some of the people most in need and most committed to coaching are people who are unable to meet (in-person or phone) during the day, or they work at night and need to rest during the day. A coach who is genuinely interested in helping people from all walks of life will offer hours outside the normal Mo-Fr 9-5.
  • A personal relationship develops between you and your coach, but what happens if your coach is away for holiday or due to sickness? You may be able to wait, or the coach may be able to give you some self-reflection exercises. However if they are backed by a team that can stand in quite admirably, then that should give you some comfort.
  • The coach is there to challenge you, to listen to your ideas and to inspire, motivate and guide you. However the coach does not give you answers. They may teach you a few techniques or tools to use, but only you can make the decisions necessary for your own future. Does the coach provide any tools, assessments or other materials that you can use in your own time to continue your development journey? If they do, this may be the coach for you.
  • Coaching is confidential, so it can be difficult for coaches to provide references. Usually, prior clients have left endorsements or have written comments that the coach can use. Coaching lasts from two to twelve months so with frequent new clients, past clients might get annoyed if bombarded with reference requests. See if the coach has published enorsements and ask for others if you are not sure.
  • Coaches are not required to guarantee confidentiality, as might a psychologist or doctor for example. However, professional coaches will never divulge any of your conversations with others. Make sure they have this written in the coaching agreement. There is one caveat to this - if the coach believes you might be at risk of self-harm or of harming others, they will report that to the appropriate authorities.
First Full Consultation
Now you are where the business starts. In this consultation, you need to be absolutely sure you can work with this coach. The basics were covered in the initial consultation, but you were not really challenged at this point. Be ready to ask at least one tough question of your coach and see how they respond. Are they encouraging, inspiring, glad you asked or do they treat you with disdain, indifference or gloss over the issue superficially. If you are not sure by the end of the first full session, you would be perfectly justified to stop and find another coach. You might not want to go through another initial consultation, but it would be worth it to get the right coach.

Subsequent Consultations
The consultations will continue as long as you feel there is a need. Coaching relationships, when effective, come to natural conclusions. You're back on your own to accomplish more. In the future, a new challenge may bring you back for more, or different coaching. It's an iterative process.

Don't be shy to end the coaching. It needs to last as long as you feel it is necessary and no longer. Of course a coach can always develop you more, but if your original objectives are satisfied, then stop. A good coach will accept and suport your decision.

We are offering a limited time reduction in our first full consulatations to encourage those who are hesitant to give coaching a real try. To obtain this offer, follow this link.

Read 2854 times Last modified on Wednesday, 21 September 2016 06:44

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