Over the last few decades, Business Consulting has gained immense respectability. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about Business Coaching despite the fact the majority of Fortune 500 companies hire business coaches! One of the reasons for this is that Business Coaching is often seen more as an on off-shoot of Life Coaching, which it is, rather than the independent, successful niche it has turned out to be.
Of course, the many myths that people propagate about Business Coaching doesn't help. It’s time to bust some of them and also encourage small businesses, managers and executives to try business coaching. Hundreds of successful small businesses around the world are doing it right now and reaping great benefits. So are companies like Google, Apple, Goldman Sachs, IBM and more.
Now for some business coaching myth-busting:
Myth 1: Business coaches do the work for you
If anything, business coaches make you do the work. They make you work harder, smarter and faster to achieve the results that you want to achieve. The work that a business coach does can be compared to that of a sports coach. A sports coach critiques, motivates and strategies to help a player perform better. Have you ever seen a sports coach play on the field on behalf of a player? Business coaches help teams, executives and business leaders do their work better. The work of the business coach revolves around identifying weaknesses, closing gaps, strengthening strategy etc.
Myth 2: Business coaching is overpriced
There’s a reason why good, established business coaches charge as much as business consultants and sometimes even more. Recent research by Price Water House Coopers shows that companies that have invested in business coaching get 7 times the return on investment. While over 25% said that their ROI ranged from 10 to 49 times the coaching costs. In addition to the returns it generates for businesses, coaching is priced based on other factors as well. Good business coaches are highly-educated experts. They are experienced professionals, who are business leaders in their own right or were CEOs, Presidents etc. As ROI becomes a yardstick to judge the benefits of Business Coaching, the quality of business coaches remains crucial. The better qualified, experienced and educated the coaches are, the higher the price they command.
Myth 3: Business Coaching is regulated
Unfortunately, this myth is not a myth! It is true that the Business Coaching industry is not regulated. However, the lack of regulation has also helped the industry, giving Coaching firms more room to innovate, evolve and grow. Despite the lack of regulation, established Business Coaching firms distinguish themselves with their client lists and testimonials. Further, International Business Coaching associations offer accreditation and regular training programs to coaching firms and independent business coaches. This includes the International Coach Federation, the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches, The Professional Business Coach Alliance and more.
Myth 4: Business Coaching is new
Business Coaching has been around for several decades now. The idea of coaching in fields such as sports and music were applied to the business world way back in the early 70s. American author Timothy Galleway wrote a series of books focusing on developing the ‘inner’ voice for success. He based his model for sports people and musicians but found himself speaking to hundreds of business people across America. In the early 90s, IBM was one of the first multinational corporations to embrace Business Coaching. Over the last few decades, Business Coaching has only grown from strength to strength. It’s a billion dollar industry in the United States and multi-million dollar field in many other countries, including Australia and the U.K.
Here is an article we wrote earlier on the History of Business Coaching for those of you who might be interested.
Myth 5: Business Coaches have ‘Secret’ Methods
Well, no secret is well-kept in the corporate world. A successful strategy that truly works spreads like wildfire. Employees jump from company to company, CEO's writes books about their strategies & methods and business news is increasingly invasive. Business Coaches use coaching methodology rooted in improving efficiency, skills and performance. Some of their program titles may sound catchy and unique but they’re not ‘magic’ formulas.
Myth 6: Business Coaching will transform your business overnight
If you've read the myth-busters above, you'll know this is not true. It’s all about getting help to sharpen strategy, work better, focus harder and succeed with effort. So success will not come overnight but with each meeting with your business coach and each item and strategy that you implement that little bit closer you will get to reaching your business dreams.