An Example – ProCoach
I went to a seminar put on by Andrew Barber-Starkey of ProCoach Success Systems a number of years ago here in Calgary. The information presented in the seminar was decent, and of course it ended with limited time options to enter their program for a special price.
A few years later, I am still receiving newsletters from them. Sometimes there is a good pearl of wisdom in them. Recently, Andrew has started interviewing well-known authors and posting those interviews on his site.
Superficially, he appears to share a number of common business success principles with me. Now I haven’t used his services, so I can’t comment on whether or not his system and coaching team are worth pursuing.
A year and a half ago, we hired a sales and marketing consultant to help us jump start our sales process with mixed results.
This got me to thinking, “what makes a good business coach”.
What Makes a Good Business Coach?
The first impression that comes to mind is that a business coach should be a highly successful entrepreneur; but is it really true?
In sports a coach is not the best player on the team. They don’t even have to have competed in that field at a high level.
A good coach is someone who brings out the peak performance of the individuals and teams.
So a good business coach is someone who can help you and your business perform to their peak potential.
A good business coach doesn’t even have to be an expert in all types or aspects of business.
Some things that are essential in a coaching relationship:
The coach must genuinely care about you and the success of your business. They will succeed when you succeed. You can easily tell if this is not true by the effort they make to understand you and your business and conversely how much they spend focused on their revenue from you first and foremost. Remember, you are the client… the one paying the bills and that you deserve great service in trade for fair payment.
They must know the subject in enough detail and have enough experience to provide guidance in the areas where they are coaching. However, they should recommend and help connect you with experts when they are out of their element.
They must understand you, human nature and know what you want and how to help motivate and keep you on target. The service must be customized for you and your business.
They must want you to win, almost as much as you want to win.
You must respect and value them at start, during and after the coaching process.
Both parties must give 100% to the process. Don’t blame your coach if you don’t do your part.
You must know what you are trying to accomplish by having a coach and know when you have outgrown your current coach. You don’t normally hire a football coach for a speed skating team.
Check the references and ask tough questions about some of the above and how the coach made a real concrete difference. Some coaches could be riding the coattails of people who have been successful in spite of the coach. What is the return on investment?
Ease Into the Relationship
Have a reasonable trial period. It needs to be long enough to accomplish something of importance, something measurable. It takes a while for a new coach to make a difference.
But you do need a way of disengaging without losing your shirt.
If it works for you and you genuinely feel you are gaining value, then you have a winner commit a little longer.