Business coaches or advisors work with business owners who are “stuck” in certain areas of their business. These areas can be related to weak profits, sluggish sales, cash flow challenges and people problems. 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 anxious for sure. 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.
It’s very difficult to help/advise others if you don’t have the correct diagnosis and lack a proper set of information surrounding the circumstances.
Your quality drops further when there is a substantial rise in the number of cases you are handling, even if you get it right once or twice.
One of the things that turn me off is when people make judgements quickly and seem able to assess what’s the problem in a case in less than 2 minutes – without even looking at the facts or circumstances or listening to the other party.
This is very common amongst consultants, mentors, advisors and coaches (yes, I group them together but there are common themes amongst them despite the different roles they play).
Think about it:
- would auditors make a qualified/unqualified views on a company without scrutinising its financial statements, controls and procedures over a 3 month period?
- would a lawyer represent a client in court without preparing rigorously the facts of case, case precedence, intel about the presiding judge and contingency tactics?
- would a property agent, when given an exclusive listing of a premium property, not do any background checks on it, amenities analysis, valuation (historical and potential), etc?
You need details to piece up a compelling storyboard to help anyone, wouldn’t you?
The ultimate responsibility of a business coach or any advisor is to provide a positive, supportive environment free from judgment or hidden agendas. There are also no self-imposed (or “coach imposed”) limitations on what is possible. The client is free to speak openly and honestly knowing that anything discussed will be held in complete confidence.
The fact is sometimes, people constantly project their own agendas, ideas, opinions, thoughts, and even fears onto other people – making them feel vulnerable or paralysed, in the name of projecting hard realities to others.
Good business coaches or advisors don’t fix the problems for their clients and then go away. Instead, they help guide business owners into finding their own solutions to their problems with a holistic approach that cuts across business models, business structures, funding sources, operational issues and more. This step requires listening, listening and more listening while structuring a plan to overcome issues/hurdles and garner opportunities.
The coach or advisor guides the client in putting strategic plans in place which will solve the problems (or capitalise on new opportunities). He/She facilitates creative and strategic brainstorming. He/she 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 or advisor provides a structured environment where the client is accountable to him or herself for executing the plans.