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Ask Not What a Business Coach Can Do for Your Business, but What Business Coaching Can Do for You?

27 January 2022

In our experience, most people in leadership positions understand the concept of coaching and what it can do for their business but increasingly leaders are recognising the benefit of focusing on their own personal development. They understand that this will enable them to better understand their key drivers and become even more effective in their role. 

Coaching, not mentoring

By definition, business coaching is about business performance. Most people by now are clear on the differences between business mentoring - typically a relationship in which a more experienced person shares their greater knowledge to support the development of someone with less experience - and business coaching, where the aim is to enable the setting of realistic and achievable goals in terms of productivity, sales, staff retention to ensure your business functions more efficiently and reaches its full potential. Business coaching is defined by CIPD as:

“aim(ing) to produce optimal performance and improvement at work. It focuses on specific skills and goals, although it may also have an impact on an individual’s personal attributes such as social interaction or confidence.”

And increasingly it’s the latter part of this; personal growth and improvement, professional and career path development that is driving growth in the business coaching space. 

There are many possible reasons for this. 

For instance many companies and their leaders are now required to manage, motivate and collaborate across age cohorts from Boomers, to GenX, Millennials and GenZ with different values and priorities. As a result there’s a growing body of interest, research and thought challenging the idea that ‘strong’ leadership = good leadership. (See Brene Brown’s Ted Talk on The Power of Vulnerability for example, listen to her Dare to Lead podcast, or check out Dr Donna Hicks’ book on Leading with Dignity.

But inevitably the biggest impact has been caused by The Pandemic and the new challenges it has placed on leaders, and effective leadership, for instance managing and motivating remote teams - some of whom may never have met in real life. 

Or dealing with the stress caused by the professional and personal disruption of the past two years and the impact on motivation. According to the New York Times there’s even a word for this; Languishing, the opposite of flourishing

Effective leaders need to be motivated so that they and their business can flourish. And for some, business coaching can enable them to perform at their best. 

Choosing the right coach

So we’ve put together a short list of key considerations to make sure you choose the right coach for you.

  1. Seek personal recommendations. People who really know you are well placed to recommend a coach they think will suit your needs and style. 
  2. You define the brief; tell them what you need to ensure the business, and you, perform at your best - and be crystal clear on what you want them to actually do.
  3. Treat the selection process with the same rigour that you’d apply to a key hire. Interview them, be strict with your selection criteria, and ask for a (free) consultation so you can see their coaching in action and for real before making a decision

And finally, trust your gut.


To find out more or to book a free consultation: