Questions To Ask


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A simple guide about how to select your business coach

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Questions To Ask

  1. 1. 5 Questions to Ask Any Business Coach Before Hiring One … (Including an ActionCOACH!)
  2. 2. Introduction A s the business coaching industry grows, so do the number of people in the market who call themselves “Business Coaches.” Many times, the hardest choice faced by business owners who are interested in coaching is whether to hire an ActionCOACH, or to hire an “independent” coach operating without the backing and support of a large international brand. How can a business owner make sure the decision to hire a Business Coach is sound? What can an owner look for in a prospective Business Coach to make sure he or she will get the tools and systems needed to successfully build a business? What factors make a good Business Coach? Here’s a series of five important questions that you can ask a prospective Business Coach to make sure you will get an excellent return on your coaching investment. 1
  3. 3. 1. How will you work with my company and my team? One of the most important keys for coaching success is how you see your coach working with you and your team – meaning that personality and personality fit is very important. Asking this question (and hearing how your prospective coach responds) will give you insight into the prospective coach’s personality, how he or she works, the process and systems he or she uses to get results, and if you think you could work with the coach on a long-term basis. 2. What is your background? How does your background apply to my business? This is another key question you need to ask – especially in terms of how a coach’s background applies to your business. One caveat in this, however. The advantage of business coaching over specialised business consulting means that your prospective coach is likely to be a business generalist, who may have limited knowledge of your particular company, category or industry. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. In fact, the strength of coaching lies in the general base of business knowledge coaches possess – and the fact that all businesses (despite what individual owners may think) are all driven by the same revenue, cost and team factors, and all face the same types of challenges (ranging from sales issues and numbers mastery to team recruitment or marketing). At ActionCOACH, the selection process for our coaches is better termed a “de-selection” process of prospective coaching candidates. Simply put, not everyone has the skills, abilities or more importantly, personality and communication skills to be a coach. 2
  4. 4. In addition, a coach’s success or failure ultimately reflects back on our company and our brand – so it is in our best interests to find the “best of the best” in business to join our team. In terms of background for our current coaches, the “average” ActionCOACH is 42 years old when he or she joins the company. More than 40% have an advanced degree (Masters, MBA or Doctorate), and 59% live in a major metropolitan area. In addition, our coaches average more than 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, management or ownership, and many have worked for Fortune 100 Companies. In terms of industries, top previous occupations include operations (19%); sales (19%), or owned a business (14%). Most of our coaches have achieved a level of success in their careers or their businesses before they ventured into coaching. They see the coaching profession as a way to “give back” and share their knowledge with others who are looking to achieve and succeed – and they see ActionCOACH as the perfect vehicle to help re-educate business owners in the fundamentals of business and success. What’s more important than specific industry experience? Your comfort level with your prospective coach, and the system he or she will be using to help you in your business. 3
  5. 5. 3. Do you have or work from a proven system of business development? This is another key question for your prospective coach, and will separate those coaches who work from a proven methodology for building businesses from those “independent” coaches who take a less rigorous or systematic approach to business help and development. In terms of systems, ActionCOACH Business Coaches rely on a proven system of tactics and strategies that have been developed and implemented in thousands of businesses globally since 1993. No other branded business coaching company, and few (if any) independent coaches can draw from the vast resource and intellectual capital and property ActionCOACH has used to grow its clients’ companies (as well as its own operations) as the number one business coaching company in the world. 4. What kind of support do you have from your coaching company? How big is your network? This question will give you an indication of the depth and breadth of knowledge, products and services your coach will be able to provide you and your company during you coaching relationship. With more than 1,000 offices in 26 countries, the ActionCOACH network rivals that of some the largest and best-known business services companies in the world – with hundreds of products and strategies designed specifically for the small-to- medium sized business owner, his or her company, and the owner’s team. No matter the size of the business or your budget, the ActionCOACH mission of business re-education means there is a book, CD, DVD, brochure, group coaching session or one-on-one coaching program to fit the needs of you and your business – an advantage you’ll have over your competition when you decide to engage one of our coaches. 4
  6. 6. 5. What is your company’s track record of business experience and proven results? Finally, you’ll want to know what kind of results your prospective coach has produced in his or her career, for what types of companies, and the types of metrics and benchmarks they were able to set and exceed. For ActionCOACH, two decades of clients from around the world and thousands of testimonials from every conceivable business and industry are proof that the system you’ll work for your business is a system that works. 5
  7. 7. After Your First Meeting … What Now? W hen you complete your initial meeting with a coach, you can ask yourself the following five questions – the answers to which will help you gain clarity in your own decision making process. 1. Has the coach clearly outlined the differences between coaching and consulting? 2. Does the coach ask good questions? 3. Will the coach hold you accountable? 4. Is the coach honest about how you will work together? 5. Does the coach put you and your company first, or is the coach only interested in selling coaching products and/or services? In any coaching relationship, the first key to your success is being willing to answer the tough and challenging questions about your business and current operations. The second key is being willing to be held accountable for your efforts and results – something that may be missing from your current way of doing business. That said, your investment in business coaching should be one of the best, most effective and most profitable you will ever make. So take some time to review a coach’s experience, credentials and resources – and know that at least one global coaching company – ActionCOACH – has the training, products, resources and network to help you in your business, no matter what type of business you currently own. 6
  8. 8. So, Are You Ready for Business Coaching? As an owner, you have to ask yourself if you’re coachable – or at least willing to be coached. That means admitting you don’t know everything. It also means being willing to implement new and sometimes uncomfortable ideas for you and your company. You also need to be willing to do the work necessary to grow the company. Why? Because unlike a consultant who may do a project and leave, your Business Coach will educate you on strategy and process – and leave it to you to implement. Your coach won’t do the work, but will expect the work to get done. For the coaching process, that’s where accountability comes in and is key to your achievement and your company’s ultimate success. 7
  9. 9. Your Next Step If you are interested in improving your company at every level, business coaching may be the right fit for you. Just as world-class athletes strive to get better by working with the top performers and coaches in their respective fields, more business owners than ever are looking to improve their “game” through coaching. Just contact me for more information about how to hire a coach, or about group coaching events in your area. Like a good athletic coach, a good business coach will push you to perform. If you are ready to take your business to the next level, ActionCOACH is too – and will help you achieve the success you want for you and your company. 8