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Business Coaching - Does it Really Work?

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Over the last six months a range of organizations offering business and life coaching have swamped our local environment. Is this the latest trend? What is its real value and is it for you?

Coaching and mentoring is not new. It has been part of human existence for thousands of years. Over the last century our business and personal lives have become very competitive, more pressured and, most importantly, we have been forced to become totally independent. This independence has resulted in most business owners and managers becoming isolated and unsupported.

Being a business owner or manager is now a lonely job. You have problems and ideas you can't share with business associates or subordinates.

This is where a mentor/coach comes in - a person who can objectively look at issues at arm's length. Someone with whom you can address important issues that you wouldn't otherwise discuss. When the mentoring relationship works, it is a unique connection that can give the mentoree insights into management and intuition into the ways of business.

Good mentoring and coaching is not a matter of touchy-feely workshops and short-term camaraderie. It should encourage you to address real issues and find realistic solutions that will make a tangible difference to your business, and work with you through the implementation process and beyond.

How to make mentoring work?
The mentor must have:

  • A commitment to mentoring.

  • A good record for, and interest in, developing other people.

  • Strong interpersonal skills.

  • An ability to assist the mentoree recognize their achievements and then share credit with their team.

  • A wide range of current skills and coaching tools.

  • An ability to facilitate and train the mentoree where required

  • Technical competence and continuous training and personal development.

  • Patience and a willingness to take risks.

  • A willingness to take responsibility for another person's growth.

  • A network of contacts and influence.

  • Experience at management, management training, or both.


It would be wise to check out any coach's credentials and experience before you sign up. There's nothing stopping anyone at all from calling himself or herself a business or life coach.

A recent survey of executives in who were asked for a conservative estimate of the payoff from their mentoring indicated the following:

  • An average return of about six times what the coaching had cost.

  • Almost 28% claimed they had boosted job performance either in sales, productivity, or

  • They also reported better relationships with staff (77%), bosses (71%), peers (63%), and clients (37%).

  • They cited a marked increase in job satisfaction (61%).


Coaching should not be seen as a panacea for all the challenges in your business, but the results we have seen from working with our own clients suggest the right coach, with the right approach in the right business, can make a significant contribution to future success.

Will Abbott
Partner and Head of Business Advisory
Randall & Payne LLP

 

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