Are you thinking about becoming a business coach?
Do you have the skills it takes to become a successful business coach?
One of the most common questions we get asked is "What Skills Do I Need to become a Business Coach?".
Being in the industry since 2001, I have seen many business coaches in my time and I can tell you that there are some very obvious skills that you need and then there are some that are not so obvious.
It's important that when you're dealing with business owners or business people – you are empathetic. You need to be able to walk a mile in their shoes. If you don't have empathy or the ability to be understanding of someone’s situation, business or personal, it is going to be difficult for you to relate to them and ultimately coach them. This doesn't mean that you've been through it yourself – it just means that you have to be understanding and then help them through it. Do not mistake empathy for sympathy. Sympathy is not good in this case. You need to empathise, listen to them and understand what they are going through – BUT – you should not let it stand in their way of achieving their goals.
#2 Business Acumen
Business Acumen is not necessarily a skill you need, but it is the ability and the knack to be able to understand the intricacies of business. It's one thing to be good at a particular task but understanding every aspect of business to some degree is something that a lot of people don't have. You need to have a basic understanding of pretty much every area of business (marketing, sales, operations, systems, recruitment, finance and the list goes on… )
If you've run your own business before, you will have the necessary knowledge, however if you've worked for somebody else, it is likely that you didn't have access to every single area of the business and you may need to brush up on some of those areas.
Being organised is critical. You are going to be dealing with appointments throughout your entire week. These will include coaching, marketing meetings, sales calls and team meetings. You also need to make time for learning. One of the biggest challenges, particularly in the business coaching industry, is that it is likely that you will be working alone most of the time. If you are not going to be organised or disciplined, you will end up working a lot more than you initially thought. You are going to end up being late for meetings, you're going to end up not sending through information that you promised. This is why it is important that you are organised.
If you aren’t born with organisational skills, you need to quickly work out what tasks you can delegate, what you can prioritise and possibly create a default diary. If you know that you're not the greatest at being amazingly organised, then get yourself an assistant, whether it's a virtual assistant or a personal assistant, you are going to need the help.
It's important that you have confidence to be able to talk to people you meet. You need to be able to present yourself and talk about your services with confidence when approaching people and you need to be comfortable and confident in what it is that you do.
If you are not confident, people can smell that a mile away and ultimately, this will mean less clients for you. Stand by what you do and do it with integrity.
If someone approaches you asking for help, and you blow the conversation by not showing confidence, you will lose a potential client as they are going to doubt you, your service and your processes.
#5 Ability to Ask the Right Questions
A skill that is frequently overlooked in many industries is the ability to ask the right questions. It is particularly important in the coaching industry. Be a great listener.
Many business coaches are able to talk to the talk. And that’s all they do… talk!
They want to make sure the customer knows that they know their stuff and that you can tell them what to do to get sales and grow their business. Business Coaching is not about telling people what to do. Coaching is about taking them on a journey, asking the right questions, helping them discover what their challenges are, and then helping them work out the best way to navigate through that.
If you are thinking of starting a Business Coaching Business, this skill is important. It is likely that you will be working on your own a lot of the time. And for this reason, you need to be a self-starter. You are going to have to be disciplined and drive your own diary and drive your own motivation.
If you are starting your own business coaching business, it is important to take advice from your own coach as well. Your coach will hold you accountable and help you grow your own business.
The best coaches are the ones that are self-starters because they are motivated and confident.
#7 Be a Great Learner
As a business coach, you're going to be coaching your clients through many different challenges that they have in their business, and you'll need knowledge from many different areas in order to do that.
It's also makes it powerful when you can make recommendations to your clients about a book they should read, a course they should do, whether it's online or a workshop. And because you've already done it, you'll know what content they're going to see and you'll know what or how it's likely to help them.
There are many different ways to learn and some may suit you, some may not. You can read books, listen to podcasts, attend seminars or webinars.
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About the Author
Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and “Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed”. He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.