Effective coaching can be hugely valuable for entrepreneurs and small business owners looking to grow their business to the next level.
The decision to hire a business coach, however, must be seen as an investment to achieving a desired future, rather than a simple transaction.
Making that investment in a business coach is not an easy decision for many entrepreneurs.
There is a time investment and financial investment.
It is therefore essential to work with a business coach who will provide effective coaching based on the future vision the client has for themselves.
The client comes first, always. The coach helps them client get clarity on their future vision and gives them the confidence to build a simple game plan to achieve their desired result.
What is Effective Coaching?
For coaching to be effective, the client must clearly be able to articulate the future desired result they are looking for.
They must have clarity on the growth, in all areas of life, that will make them happy.
The coach acts as their guide on their path to this desired future growth.
Business coaching focuses on helping another person see things differently, and then act differently.
Effective coaching helps another person learn in ways that are new to them, and to use that wisdom and knowledge to always be moving forward.
It is based on asking open ended questions, rather than telling someone what to do.
Effective coaching is based on using thinking tools and techniques to provoke internal thought, rather than giving specific directions.
Coaching is about helping people become intentional about their actions.
Setting goals, support and accountability are other key components of effective coaching.
The purpose of coaching for many entrepreneurs is to transform their current complexity into clarity and to transform their confusion and overwhelm into simplicity.
This build more and more confidence.
Here are 6 keys for effective coaching in chronological order, rather than order of importance:
1. Build an Effective Relationship
The most effective coaches are focused solely on their clients, and their personal success.
The coach plays a guiding, supporting role in helping the people he works with get clear on their future, and build an effective path for achieving it.
An effective coach checks his ego at the door, so the client knows it is all about them.
Trust is created when the client knows the focus is solely on them, with no secondary agenda.
A coach should never assume that their title commands trust, the trust needs to be earned through intentional action.
This requires a committed focus on really getting to understand what will make the client happy with their progress, what they really want and the success criteria they have for themselves.
2. Get Them Clear on What They Want
In a world of complexity and confusion, giving someone clarity on where they are and where they want to go is a hugely effective coaching technique.
By helping someone become clear on what they want their future to look like, set goals, and giving them a simple path and plan to get there, takes away a huge amount of complexity.
A simple question to ask a client is to imagine their future in 3 years’ time, and ask them what needs to happen for them to be happy with their progress.
3. Provide Effective Thinking Tools
Effective coaching requires the coach to provide thinking tools that help the client start thinking about their thinking.
All major breakthrough and transformations that come about in coaching are through internal changes that the client makes.
Providing the thinking tools and frameworks are the starting point for this transformation.
How each individual client thinks about their own situation is unique to them, but it is the thinking tools that are the ‘door openers’ to the breakthroughs.
4. Ask Great Questions
In addition to effective thinking tools, open ended questions can be the catalyst for breakthroughs in creativity, productivity and transformations.
When the client feels important and heard, has clarity on their thinking and feels supported they will become far more engaged, energised and responsive.
This environment becomes the catalyst for breakthrough thinking.
Asking open ended questions that get the person to really think and reflect is the best way to create this environment.
The client’s answer to an open ended question is far more powerful that simple advice giving.
People always come up with their own answers, which is 10x more powerful to them because they came up with it on their own.
They become more energised, happier and more confident.
5. Give Less Advice
A key component of effective coaching is to stop giving advice, unless specifically asked for.
Our natural instinct is often to jump in and offer advice. This is something an effective coach should stop doing.
Jumping in with advice creates a problem for the client.
They become too dependent on us for answers. It stymies their development and it frustrates us as more and more requests for help mount.
The key is to train the client, through open ended questions, not to rely on the coach and to think things through themselves.
6. Be a Great Listener
To create an effective coaching environment, the coach must be a great listener.
Once questions have been, it becomes a priority for the coach to just sit back and listen in silence.
When silence stretches for a few minutes, there is a natural urge to jump in.
This is the wrong action step.
Just stay with the silence and let the client fully think things through in their own mind.
This process becomes ever more powerful the more the coach simply sits there and listens.
There are many factors that can creative an effective coaching relationships and environment.
The 6 insights laid out above are a great way to start building effective client relationships that help the clients achieve the breakthroughs and transformations they’re looking for.
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