There are many misconceptions about what an executive coach is and can do for your business: I am convinced that this is mainly because coaching is still an unregulated profession and literally any cowboy can call himself coach and start trading.
Business owners that have been exposed to these lesser professional coaches often report very different experiences to the basic underlying concept that coaching (business or otherwise) should be about. Coaching is a self reflecting learning experience where the coach brings a structure and helps you to think better and facilitate your decision process while, at the same time, keeping you accountable for the actions you are committing to.
I was recently having a conversation with a business owner in the Cambridge area: in the past he worked with a business coach that belongs to an international franchise and he was trying to understand how I work, compared to them. The best analogy I could use in explaining my totally different coaching technique was to define it as a blank page approach to coaching.
So I first listed what I don’t do:
- Supply reading material;
- Use predefined strategies for sales, marketing, customer services and other business management activities;
- Suggest the client what to do;
- Consult in any way about he should run his business;
Then I listed what I can do for you as a business owner or director of an organisation:
- Ask questions like: “how can I help you” and “what would you like to achieve”;
- Helping you to define and refine important goals for your business;
- Bring a well proven structure to help your thinking and decision process;
- Being an objective sounding board that at the same time understands how to run a business and helps you with questions that are allowing you to get to your own solutions;
- Keep you accountable toward your goals and the actions that you define from time to time.
The blank page approach to executive coaching is about arriving in front of you with nothing more than a notepad and a pen, asking questions, taking notes and helping you to move from a current situation of uncertainty, dilemma, lack or clarity or direction into a constructive process that culminates with a concise, specific and clear list of actions that tackle essential activities for you to move toward your business goals and achieving them.