I think a big part of the problem when people take on a coach is they expect that the business coach is going to do all the work, or that something magical’s going to happen. I'm not really sure what people expect. But the reality is you have to think of it like this: you’re going into a relationship with somebody whose professionally going to help you grow your business. It doesn't mean they’re going to do the work for you. What it does mean, though, is that you've got to take some ownership of what’s going on in your business now and also in the future.
The beautiful thing about having a coach is that yeah, sure, they can help you drive the sales. They can help you put a marketing plan together. They can help you recruit the right people, answer all of your tough questions. But if you’re not in the game the right way, if you’re not in the right mindset, then you’re not going to get the results.
Here’s my top few tips on how to get the most out of your business coach.
1. Be open and honest with your Business Coach
Make sure that you’re not hiding anything... If you’ve got a challenge of any sort, if you’re not happy with something, let them know. I find a big problem is that customers of a coach, one of our coaching customers of clients, quite often won’t let their coach know they’re not happy with what’s going on until it’s too late. The reality is that it gets to a certain point where it gets very difficult for us or you to be able to fix the problem, especially if it’s a relationship problem or something like that. So if you’re not happy with something, what they’ve done or what they’re doing, you need to be open and honest and communicate that to your business coach.
Now the other part of open and honest communication is about telling the truth about where you’re at. We’re not there to audit your business. We’re not there to see if you’re doing things legally or not. Of course we want you to be ethical and that’s very important about our relationship, but it’s no good hiding stuff. Straightway it becomes unethical, and nobody can help you if you can’t be honest with them. So not only is it being open and honest about what your feelings are or whether or not you’re happy about your coaching relationship, it’s also about being open and honest in regards to what’s going on in your life, in your business. If you’ve got something holding you back, you’ve got a challenge with a family member, it could be a relationship that’s not going well for you, it could be that you’re doing something that you don't think’s helping the cause, but you’re hiding that from your business coach, it’s very difficult for them to really, truly be able to help you. So it’s in your own best interest just to be honest with them.
2. Take action!
My second tip about getting the most from your business coach is making sure that you don’t just nod. I find quite often people will just say yes, even if they don’t understand something... I think that’s dangerous, really, really dangerous. If you’re not sure about something, if you’re not comfortable with something, don’t say yes just to please the coach. Don’t say yes just to try to please the person that’s trying to help you. Challenge them. Ask the question. Say, ‘I don’t understand, can you explain that more clearly?’ If you need direction, ask for direction. The whole business coaching as a non-directive thing is just rubbish. At the end of the day, there are times when you need direct advise, people telling you here’s how to get it done. There are times for questions. And you need to work out what the balance of that is for you, what you prefer, and make sure that you drive your coach in the direction that you want.
3. It's up to you
Remember, if you’ve got a business coach, it’s up to you to mold that program so that it works for you. It’s no good if it’s not working for you, because that’s going to be a lose-lose. You’re not going to stick with your coach, you’re not going to get coached. That means your business is not going to be as successful. If you’re honest with the coach and you make sure the coaching program suits you, then of course, both of you are going to benefit, and you’re going to go a lot further.
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.