Knowing when its time to bring in a professional coach?

If you’re a top athlete, you have a coach. In fact, it is expected in order to be successful. Your coach helps you improve performance, provides honest feedback when you’re doing something wrong, and keeps you focused (and sane) when the going gets tough. Coaching also throws in a healthy dose of working on personal excellence and “going for the goal,” within a team environment.

So it’s no surprise that many business leaders hire professional coaches. Often compared to a sports coach, a business coach supports the individual, and in turn, the ROI (Return On Investment) of coaching benefits the entire organization. In fact, according to the international human-resources consultancy, the Hay Group, the ROI of business coaching is extremely high —about 7 times the initial investment.

So when do you bring in a professional coach?

When things around you are shifting: Facing change is one of the most common reasons for coaching. Professional coaches are trained and experienced in how to support individual and organizations going through any kind of transition, e.g. growth, downsizing, change in strategic direction, etc. For leaders and their teams, coaches provide invaluable support to enable transformation as well as career transitions.

When you need a reality check: It is difficult for leaders to be on the inside and stay critical, which is why it can be advantageous to bring in a coach who provides a new perspective. This is particularly important when things aren’t going so well. Coaches make the blind spots less obvious by providing neutral third party assessment.

When you’re creating future leaders: When your business is growing, you need to have leaders in place who are able to energize and motivate within the workplace. A professional coach supports the development of such leaders, focusing on such aspects as strategic thinking, direction, vision, and intellectual honesty.

When you’re struggling: If there is an area where you cannot make improvements on your own, or your business is struggling as a result of your inability to make changes, its time to bring in a professional coach. A coach not only helps you design a strategy and put a plan in place—coaches hold you to it!

Traits to look for in a business coach

Once you’ve made the decision to hire a professional coach, you need to hire the best coach for you and your situation. After all, this is your new partner in crime helping you get things under control.

Ask yourself:

Is this someone I feel comfortable with and trust? A good coach creates a safe environment where you can be yourself and talk honestly about what’s going on. Your coach should be attentive, motivational and above all, ethical.

Is the coach an effective communicator? You want a coach who can communicate directly with you, and yes, even be blunt. This means they need to be able to speak their mind without placing blame or passing judgment.

Ready, set, go. Finally, your coach is going to help you set a plan of action in place and move forward. How well does this person understand your specific business environment? Are they organized, do they have enough industry knowledge to make important observations, and above all, are you going to respect their advice?

Benefits speak for themselves

The benefits of professional coaching are well documented. As reported in the Hay survey, “The vast majority (86%) of those able to provide figures to calculate company ROI indicated that their company had at least made their investment back.” This kind of hard ROI includes greater productivity, and for individuals, faster promotions. Leaders gain support and confidence in order to make bolder moves, which leads to greater profits as well as the ability to take faster action within the organization.

There’s also a side of coaching more difficult to measure, but equally important. Coaching unveils a lot about you, and how you relate to those around you. This makes for better team building. Coaching also provides encouragement, emotional support, and perspective. And it makes being at the top a lot less lonely. You finally have the third-party moderation you need for strategic planning, reviews, and conflict resolution. Coaching truly is a tool for improving your already high performance.

Find out more about the benefits of a professional business coach by contacting Black Tulip today.

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