The Business Coach

Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Thoughts are things! And powerful things at that, when mixed with definiteness of purpose, and burning desire, can be translated into riches.

Napoleon Hill

Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you’re not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were.

David Rockefeller

The Business Coach

The business coach has a unique way of working with the client. First and foremost, the coach assumes that you, the client, are the expert in your life and in your business and, therefore, does not try to teach you how you should do things.

The coach believes that you already know your problems and challenges and that you also know what the solutions are. But because of the day-to-day demands of running your own business, you have not taken the necessary time to focus on what you need to do to turn things around.

The coach, therefore, acts more like a shepherd than a general. The coach delegates but does not dictate.

The duty of the coach is not to solve your problems, but rather to facilitate a process that enables you to solve problems on your own.

To be an effective coach requires that the coach must be an effective listener. The coach must not only listen to your words, but must know how to read between the lines and be able to understand your body language.

A quality coach must be able to ask you effective questions that require you to answer them thoroughly. These questions are considered open-ended because they cannot be answered with a simple yes or no, but require deep consideration and thought. These questions are asked to help you find your own solutions or to change your perspective.

An effective coach of a small business owner must be well trained and experienced in the “art of coaching” itself. This is actually more important than hands-on experience in a particular field. This is certainly not to downplay the significance of the coach demonstrating solid understanding of what it takes to run a profitable business, but coaching has more to do with the techniques for enabling you to discover solutions to your problems.

There are a few other key qualities of an effective business coach. Some of these also apply to mentors and consultants.

The coach must:

  • Be honest and open with the client at all times
  • Have passion for wanting the client to succeed
  • Show empathy
  • Be interested in the client’s personal development
  • Not be judgmental or critical
  • Set an appropriate example
  • Be a great motivator and inspiration
  • Be able to help you stay focused
  • Keep confidentiality
  • Have the client’s respect and trust
  • Be a sounding board
  • Act as a guide and catalyst