Selecting the best coach for your business is one of the most important decisions you may make as a business owner. Choosing a perfect match will often lead to exponential gains in your professional and personal life, increased efficiency and effectiveness in your business, and improved morale and motivation throughout the organization. On the other hand, selecting an inappropriate match will often lead to frustration, wasted time and resources, and an utter feeling of disappointment.
Here are 3 specific strategies to help you select the right business coach the first time.
1. Do your homework.
Selecting the best coach for you and your business will often take time and definitely will require some outside input. Begin by speaking to other members of your network and industry and find out who they have used and what the actual results were. A direct referral is the most effective way to ensure you will receive the desired result. If you are unable to find a good referral begin by doing a local search for consultants in your market and industry. Research their track record on the internet and ask for references from past engagements–specifically ask for the 2 best engagements and the 2 worst engagements the company has performed. By speaking to individuals with varying opinions you will be able to gain a better understanding of how the engagement went and what contributed to the positive and negative results. Any reputable and honest coach will be able to provide you with clients that will sing their praises as well as clients who experienced mediocre results. Oftentimes you will be surprised to find the mediocre clients may be the ones to convince you to move forward with the engagement.
2. Be clear on your desired outcome.
Without a clear vision of the desired results it will be difficult for anyone to help get you there. When planning a journey we all know the only way to reach the destination in the most efficient way is to clearly identify the destination and chart the course prior to embarking on the trip. A successful coaching engagement is similar as a clear destination or desired outcome needs to be clearly communicated prior to beginning the relationship.
The more concise you are about where you want to end up, even though you may have no idea how to get there, the more likely the coaching engagement will result in success. Ultimately even the best coach will not be able to motivate you to end up in a place you don’t want to be. By clearly defining your desire prior to selecting the appropriate coach you are already tipping the scales in your favor.
3. Commit fully to the process.
Working with a coach is not a quick fix and definitely isn’t always easy. The best coaches will force you into situations that cause you to look at the choices you make and the habits you have developed. Oftentimes these processes will cause some pain and or discomfort and will force you to move outside your comfort zone. The quicker you can identify your resistance to change and discomfort the faster the results will come. Openly embrace the challenge of facing your short-comings and look forward to the growth the process will provide. The longer and harder you resist the more likely you are to jeopardize any positive results you may receive from the engagement. Be open to suggestion and make every effort to implement positive change in your business and life.
A good coach will often make it seem like you already know everything you need to and are honestly doing all the work. In truth you often are…you most likely already have some idea of what needs to be done and how it needs to happen, but something is stopping you from moving forward. A business coach will call you out and force you to face the excuses and reasons for procrastination and hesitation head on. The most effective coaches are able to draw from the wisdom and experience you possess and assist you in moving forward decisively and with conviction. Taking action is more than half the battle and a great coach will not only offer insight, but will be able to assist you in discovering your own internal motivation.