Business Coaching is every winner's mandatory secret weapon.
It is a requirement for any high performance team and an essential element in helping entrepreneurs get out of their own way in order to succeed in life and succeed in business. If you want to reach the top and expect to do it without a coach….think again.
Every good entrepreneurial consultant is also a business coach. But not every business coach is a good business consultant. In the arena of entrepreneurship, work and life have no separation and individuals need as much support as their organizations. This support can range from life coaching, to comprehensive executive coaching, to consulting. Teams need coaching as well. Smart leaders recognize this coaching must be holistic. When there is a problem, the presenting symptom is rarely the cause of the underlying issue.
The process of entrepreneurial management mandates innovation, growth, transformation and the development of effective work-life balance in order to survive and to succeed. It is simply not an option any more. The rigors and demands of our emerging accelerated economy require a new caliber of holistic development of the entrepreneur as well as their teams.
Program coach or entrepreneurial management coach?
There is a difference between a program coach and an entrepreneurial management coach. Both are important and vital resources to the entrepreneur.
A program coach is someone who follows a programmatic approach to the delivery of information, process or practices, and who facilitates, empowers, guides and provides accountability in the context of this program, helping the client attain the maximum potential of the program and assisting in problem solving relative to the information in the program.
An entrepreneuriship coach can be a program coach, but also is a versatile business advisor and strategic advisor, a business mentor, a consultant as well as a coach, able to ask "what is your problem today?" or "What keeps you up a night" or to handle the emergency phone call from a client with an emergency Oh Shit™. The entrepreneurial business coach must often shift from life coaching to strategic planning to crisis manager in one meeting.
What To Look For
An entrepeurial management coach must have several key characteristics in order to be an effective entrepreneurial management coach. These include:
- Experience: Competencies should include comprehensive high level experience in entrepreneurship and in life. This experience should include c-level executive experience and c-level coaching, as well as incubation level coaching. It must also include startup and failure experience. There are no substitutes for having walked in the footsteps of the entrepreneurs.
- Education: Advanced degrees in business, psychology, leadership, law and philosophy are what we look for in assessing the competency of our coaches. Many of our coaches have PhD's. This requirement highlights several important characteristics. First, the coach has the intellect, drive, and capability to get an advanced degree, and has a life interest in the areas pertinent to coaching. Second, the coach has the self-motivation and commitment to complete advance learning. Third, the coach has appropriate knowledge. Fourth, the coach has credentials worthy of clients' respect.
- Skills: Coaching involves a host of interventions, complex situations, dynamic environments and diverse personality types and situations. Coaching is a learned and practiced skill often with years of skils training and decades of real-life practice.
- Empathy: The position of empathy is when one person puts themselves in the other person's shoes, to attempt to see their problem, their perspective, their issues as they see it. This is a critical component to any therapeutic intervention, as well as respect, relationship building and to accurate and timely appraisal of a situation. Furthermore, it is essential in trust building and essential in building an understanding and context for enabling perspective shifts. One of the key attributes of an effective coach is to be able to get a client "unstuck". This requires being able to see a problem for what it is, not what the entrepreneur thinks it is, to build rapport and trust, and to be able tor reframe or recast the client's perspective with a new enabling perspective in order to get that client "unstuck" from disabling beliefs, old patterns or the grip of crisis.
- Discernment: Knowing how to listen to the mouth and then watch where the feet really go is an essential coaching skill. People who are out of integrity are often unaware and unaccountable to their own behaviors. A coach must have deep discernment skills in order to both evaluate a client's situation accurately, and to then design an appropriate coaching plan. Furthermore, a coach must be able to confront the client with their own challenges, being able to discern the challenges and being able to discern the appropriate client-specific solutions.
- Integrity: "Practice what you preach" is an age-old saying that is core to effective coaching. Personal and organizational integrity is the foundation of trust and respect in a coaching relationship, If the coach is out-of-balance, how can the client expect to be any different?
- Passions and purpose: One either is passionate about coaching others or not. There is no in between. Those who excel at coaching are servant leaders. They thrive on helping others and bring innate teaching motivation to every engagement. There is deep emotional satisfaction in helping others develop, transform and learn. Without this spark, a coaching relationship will eventually fizzle.
- Spirit: Spirituality is part of the fabric of everyone's' lives. It is part of a complete package, whether one is an atheist or an ascetic. Before the turn of the last century, spirit was a part of every major discipline and practice whether it was management, science, leadership or philosophy. But with the advent of the science of management and doctrines of logic in science, spirit was separated, relegate as an "outside" pursuit, best left to religion, leaving a politically incorrect or awkward "outside" positioning of spirit as a factor in business, in life and in our world in general. Competing worldviews and emerging new age beliefs make the realm of spirit a confusing and delicate area for examination and alignment in the process of coaching for the holism of a clients well-being and personal integrity. A coach must be centered in his or her own spiritual center in order to be in integrity when assisting clients with theirs, without false doctrine or dogma. The Discipline of Inquiry™ is a core value of Inquiry International. It is an holistic approach to spirit, providing a platform for addressing the diverse spiritual needs of our clients.
- Decision making and simplifying complexity: Entrepreneurship is like being a deer in headlights. The levels and depths of complexity one must encounter are significant. Even a simple web page is no longer simple. But perhaps more importantly, no one teaches entrepreneurs how to make decisions, and how to simplify the Pigpiles of information and conflicting priorities that are part of this path. A coach's role is to step in and help with these decisions and to teach methods to make decisions and to simplify complexity. The coach must be skilled and practiced in these arts, before they can teach it. Furthermore, the coach must have been in the place of making the hard decisions personally in order to know the perspective of the client and to have the real life experience to advise the client.
- Mastery Practices: Our coaching involves further mastery skills that we believe are critical to practice and to teach. These include but are not limited to: the mastery of the Discipline of Inquiry™, integrity based leadership™, Transformative practices™ and The Martial Art of decision making™
- Positivism and encouragement: Entrepreneurship is a bumpy ride. It is important to seek out and get support. We know "the sun will rise tomorrow", and learning how to build positivism and to provide encouragement are essential to the coaching. When the "sky is falling" for the entrepreneur, it is important to have an "anchor amidst the storm" of someone who has "been there and done that", and can walk the path with you.
- Knowledge: Entrepreneurship is a steep learning curve. There is an internet full of information. Entrepreneurs often need now the knowledge that took someone else a lifetime to accumulate. A good coach has learned a lot in their life, is senior in the learning curve and can easily impart knowledge to others who don't have time to wait a lifetime to get it.
- Wisdom: "Walk before you run". "recognizing the forest for the trees", or "overnight success takes 15 years" are all small pieces of timeless wisdom, the integration of experience with applied use of knowledge. A good coach is wise, and can pass on this wisdom to others.
Bringing in The Pros From Dover
Once a coach dives into the arena of an entrepreneur's business, life inevitably surfaces as well. Entrepreneurs' lives are generally fully enmeshed with their business. A good coach knows when they are in a situation that calls for other experience and expertise, such as when an executive is involved in a divorce, or has a substance abuse issue or is suffering sever depression or signs of mental instability. A good coach knows when to bring in other "Pros from Dover" to assist in a specialty situation and to not overstep bounds trying to act outsdie the capcity of a coach. as a psychologist (unless licensed to do so)or a lawyer or an accountant or a marriage counselor.
The Secret to Outstanding Coaching
Coaching is only as good as its ability to be "owned" by the cient. The coach’s goal is to transform the client with permanent knowledge quickly and easily. There are two key elements:
Two Key Elements
The Discipline of Inquiry™. Excellent questions and the mastery of inquiry allows a coach to listen acutely for “Enabling Moments™” unique opportunities to provide a perspective shift, and to ask transformational questions. Good questions asked at the proper time, allow the clients to answer any question for themselves, thus making the answer and knowledge their own. It becomes permanent transformation.
Back Pocket Strategies™. Entrepreneurship is not about textbooks. It is about real life, and there is no reference manual. Every strategy taught by a coach should be simple yet powerful enough to be carried around in the entrepreneur’s “back pocket”, available on demand at any time.
We provide both program and entrepenreurial coaching. We are very good at what we do, with a partcular passion for advising entrepeneurs.