By Randy Hnatko
I get quite a few calls from individuals who ask if I am hiring sales or business coaches. Their comments are always the same: “I am a nice person who loves to train others and give presentations. I used to do a lot of that when I was in the corporate world, so I believe I would be a good coach.”
While this may be true, it is not in itself a solid indication you would make a good coach or could build a successful coaching practice.
First, you must understand the primary role of a business coach is to keep your clients working toward their individual, departmental or corporate goals. The emphasis must be on persuasion, planning and encouragement, rather than on authority over your clients.
After looking at each client and deciding which behaviours that individual needs to change, the coach must help him/her see that change is needed and then help establish a specific growth plan to enhance his/her attitudes and skills going forward.
Also, to be a good sales or business coach requires the proper credentials. These are not just related to the length of time you have worked in the corporate world. The following factors are much more important:
- Education and knowledge in the field.
- Frequency of continual personal learning.
- Successful implementation of skills learned through formal education, such as recruiting, interviewing, psychology, behavioural profiling, business practices, leadership, personality profiling and change management.
- An ability and burning desire to help others become self-motivated in implementing the same skills.
- The success rate of those who have been helped in this way.
The goal of business coaching is to transfer knowledge to help your clients improve their leadership skills, employee accountability, sales, operational management and strategic planning. Essentially, your clients are buying your skills from you.
If you do your job properly, you will help your client become self-accountable, reducing the requirement for further coaching in the future.
A lot of people do not spend enough time in personal reflection, asking themselves what is probably one of the hardest questions: “Would I pay me for my help?” If, after deep reflection, the answer is no, then coaching is not for you.
Here are some other questions to ask while in self-reflection:
- How would I describe myself?
- Why do I really want to become a coach?
- What is my business philosophy?
- What is my area of expertise?
- What am I passionate about?
- Am I willing and able to put in the time required to help others?
- Am I credible?
- Do I practise what I preach?
This is not an exhaustive list, but these are some of the key questions I asked myself before I decided this profession was for me.