Business Coaching Basics

What is a Business Coach?
Business coaching and the associated role of the business coach is not easy to define as by its very nature it is nowhere near as generic as the role of, say, a finance director. Each coaching assignment is tailored specifically to the precise needs of the client and can vary greatly in terms of the scope of the work to be done, what is to be achieved as a consequence of the intervention, how regularly the coach and the client meet and how long the assignment lasts.

There are some things that can be said however.

Coaching is Results Based
Business coaching is resolutely focussed on outcomes. From our very first meeting, I will work with you to establish what your objectives are from the coaching program. We will work together to ensure that these objectives, or goals, are specified precisely so that we are both clear from the outset exactly what success looks like. In this way, neither of us will be under any illusion as to the success of the program.

Coaching is Business Focussed
Business coaching is focussed entirely on your business goals. It is quite distinct from both Life Coaching which is focussed on you, the individual, and your personal objectives, and executive coaching where the emphasis is on your role as a leader within an organisation. Of course there are overlaps. As a business owner or managing director you will have personal goals associated with your professional life. And by definition you are a leader within your organisation. But much of the value in any coaching relationship lies in the focus you give to the issues at hand. So if it’s your life you need to get in order then by all means get yourself a life coach. Likewise if you are grappling with some specific leadership type issues then an executive coach might suit you better. Both of these coaching types are incredibly powerful in the appropriate context. But if your primary concerns lie with your business, with the development of that business to realise its full potential and with your role in that process, then a business coaching relationship is what you need.

Coaching is Process Driven
A popular, though ill-informed, perception of coaching methods generally is that they are rather wishy washy; cosy chats over coffee that never really go anywhere or achieve anything. Nothing could be further from the truth. All coaching methods follow a process. A typical coaching session will start with a review of the actions agreed at the end of the previous session, and will then determine what the next steps should be and hence the objective for the current coaching session. The ‘meat’ of the session will indeed be a discussion but this will be a facilitated discussion in which I will challenge you, through a series of questions, to set yourself some goals to be achieved before our next session. My role in this process is to lead you to a better understanding of yourself and of the issues that are holding you and your business back from achieving your potential. And having agreed a set of actions I will further hold you absolutely to account for delivering on the commitments you have made.

Coaching is Action Oriented
As I have already intimated above, the success or otherwise of the coaching process lies in its ability to get you to take action. By carefully and precisely identifying your business goals, defining the steps required to get you from your present position to the achievement of those goals and then holding you to account for taking those steps, the coaching relationship is unsurpassed in its ability to get you to achieve massive results incredibly quickly. Of course, sometimes that achievement will take some time and it may require a few attempts to find the right steps for you to take to get from where you are today to where you want to be. If this is the case, if you find yourself constantly unable to complete the actions we have identified as essential then I will work with you to uncover the subconscious blocks and self-sabotaging mechanisms that are holding you back. Together we will expose these to the cold light of day and develop strategies that you can use to overcome these hurdles and so continue your path to success.

Coaching is both Supportive AND Challenging
As the above comments have hopefully made clear, the coaching relationship is one that will provide you with incredible levels of support without becoming sycophantic. At the same time it will provide you with a lot of challenge without becoming critical or excessively confrontational. An element of confrontation may be unavoidable as an essential part of the process involves confronting those issues within you that are holding you and your business back from achieving the success you desire. The extent of that confrontation will depend entirely on you willingness to open your mind to learning things about yourself that may be quite uncomfortable at first hearing. But at its heart, the coaching relationship is focussed entirely on your success and the achievement of the goals that you have set yourself and any confrontation that may arise will only be within this context and with your success in mind.

Next Steps
For a free, no obligation chat to find out how I could add value to you and your business as your business coach, working with you to regain control, and your passion for your business, please give me, Chris Fry, a call on 07740 800986, or email me at with your contact details and I will get straight back to you.