Coaching has been very fashionable for a while now. You’ve probably heard lots of different stories and opinions about it. If you’ve never experienced business coaching, it’s hard to know what’s true and what should be taken with a pinch of salt. Business Coach Samantha Bridger reveals 5 common coaching myths and what business coaching is really about.
Myth #1 – Consulting a business coach means you or your business is a failure
A 6ft tall strapping business man once told me he felt he was the one who people should come to for help. Approaching me was really hard for him to do. Let’s face it, it’s often hard to ask for help. The truth is that successful companies use all the tools they have (which includes consulting and coaching), to see where they might improve and take their company from good to great.
As Andy Murray has been more successful, he’s changed his coach to match that level of success. His first coach was his mum, and although a great coach when he was a teenager, she can’t quite match Ivan Lendl as a coach when the stakes are winning Wimbledon!
Myth #2 Coaching is pink and fluffy
I think you know what I mean by pink and fluffy – lots of talk and no substance. The truth is coaching isn’t for the faint hearted. It’s tough work and guess who has to do it? It’s not the coach.
A good coach will first help you set an overall goal and priorities, followed by a series of outcomes and achievable steps to follow. They’ll keep you accountable, work with you to establish what you want to achieve, and keep you on track to get there. Sessions can be mentally tiring as you’ll do a lot of thinking and have plenty of tasks to accomplish and follow up afterwards.
I had a client who constantly worried about cash flow, but didn’t actually have a cash flow forecast. Together we set him a goal of developing a forecast for our next session. He rang me the very next day to tell me he’d completed it! We used future sessions to discuss how he could achieve cost savings.
Myth #3 Coaching takes too long
Let’s take this one in two parts:
- Length of session – Most coaches have a preferred session length, usually between 1 and 3 hours. I find the first session is always the longest and they tend to get shorter as issues are tackled and coaching outcomes are implemented. Most people find it beneficial to have regular sessions to keep them on track. The time between sessions can be varied to maintain momentum but allow time to implement outcomes.
- How long does it take to see results? The honest answer is it depends. Coaching can achieve quick results but is designed to be more of an ongoing process. I once had a client who saw a result in the first session because I asked a question beginning with ‘Why?’ The answer was he just hadn’t thought about it and the result was his company made a cost saving.
The speed of results depends on the client. A motivated client, who engages with the process wholeheartedly, will do the follow up tasks and implement changes in a timely manner.
Myth #4 Coaching is expensive
Coaches don’t come free of charge, however weigh up the cost of a coach compared to the cost of executive training, related travel expenses, hours spent out of the office and catching up on work, and being left to implement anything you learnt on your own. Coaching is almost “on-the-job”. Implementing a solution, improvement or cost saving immediately, with a coach on hand to support you through this process, can be a better use of resource. As demonstrated by myth#3, often coaching can help you and your company make cost savings, often paying for itself.
Myth #5 A business coach will tell me how to run my business
Business coaches aren’t there to tell you how to run your business. The coach is there to help you achieve goals, overcome obstacles and provide an objective point of view, not by giving you an opinion but by providing the tools to challenge current thinking. Coaches are a sounding board, not just for ideas but also for emotions and feelings. We often forget that what’s going on in our personal lives affects our thinking, actions and reactions, and impacts on our business.
I hope I’ve made you a little curious about coaching and put to rest a few mistruths about my profession. What value do you think a coach might bring to your business?
Sam is an export consultant & business coach. Sam started her coaching business in 2013 to help make that journey of starting a new business easier and less daunting. With expert export knowledge, Sam helps also companies start exporting, discover new markets and ensure that exporting is pain free. Prior to becoming a coach, Sam spent over 5 years as an Export Sales manager selling a range of goods from wallpaper to toys and almost 10 years in automotive working for Mazda Motors, in roles such as Training & Launch, Sales Operations and Brand.
As a coach Sam offers a wide range of coaching solutions, from individual coaching programmes to group workshops. To contact her please visit her coaching website www.samanthabridgercoaching.co.uk or call 07850 252635