Who do you think is most likely to use the services of a business coach? Would you?
Watching London 2012, from the comfort of my sofa, it’s crystal clear how integral coaching is to the success of our athletes. Tribute after tribute is paid to the coaching team by our medallists, saying how they were inspired by them to stay focused and reach their goal.
But out here in Sofa Land, where the rest of the world earns its living, I strongly suspect that the potential for coaching is still not fully understood by much of the business world. There persists a sneaking suspicion among many professional people that coaching provides a sort of ‘remedial class’ for people who are under-performing, stuck for ideas or who have lost their edge.
There. I’ve said it. And hands up if you’ve ever suspected that yourself?
So I’d like to return to the Olympic model and shout out loud and clear that coaching is definitely a strategy for WINNERS. And here’s why.
When busy professionals are faced with a new idea or a problem that needs solving, they will commonly do one of four things:
- Call a meeting
- Hand over the problem to someone else to deal with (colleague, consultant)
- Make a quick decision to follow a well trodden path
- Put the idea or issue to one side ‘for another time’
Maybe that leads to a satisfactory result, maybe not. Maybe ‘satisfactory’ is good enough for you. Whatever your view, I suggest that your first action should always be this:
- Invest in some top quality thinking time before committing to a strategy.
What this does is give you confidence in your way forward. You may decide to take one of the above four ‘default’ choices after all, but often quality thinking turns up another alternative – a less trodden path that moves you and your organisation on to somewhere new, exciting and profitable.
As a coach, my job is to stand apart from your ideas. I don’t analyse them, I don’t offer an opinion on them and I certainly don’t tell you what you should do next. What I will do is listen closely, and ask questions. In the process of thinking through your answer, you will become your own best problem solver, expert consultant, creative thinker, strategist, trail-blazer. Your Inner Expert is just itching to come out and show what he or she can do.
And THAT’S why coaching is for Winners.