This Article was published in the Huffington Post on 26th of August 2015 and is authored by Michelle Hext.
10 Ways to get the Most From Your Business Coach
One of the smartest business decisions you can make is hiring a coach to support you in your endeavor to build an empire.
I’m honestly blown away whenever I speak to a business woman who’s in the struggle and discover she’s never had a coach. I can’t help but think, “WOW, boy you’ve just done things the hard (and usually long) way!”
I’m a coach and I’ve also been coached many, many times over the past 15 years so I know a thing or two about the subject.
We (coaches) can see around the corners you can’t see around just yet, we keep your bigger vision in mind while you struggle with the detail and point you back on course when you try to take a different path when the going gets tough, but in my opinion the best coaches are the ones who help you grow into a bigger, badder, better version of your already awesome self.
An even better coach will expand your thinking in ways that will blow your mind and hold your hand while you adjust to this new found level.
While a great coach is super important, knowing how best to use your coach is even more important! I dread to think of the money I wasted on coaching simply because I didn’t know how to best use my coach.
So if you think you’re coach is awesome but aren’t really moving forward, maybe it’s because you’re not utilizing your coach effectively.
Coaches are human and while we pride ourselves on our ability to get our clients from A to B using whatever tactics we need to employ to do that, what we are not — is mind readers.
I’ve had clients tell me during a coaching call that they’ve spent three days in tears because of X, Y or Z.
I tell them, “um, this is when you’re supposed to reach out, remember?”
We love nothing more than to give, give, give to you, our fabulous clients.
We love nothing more than to be of the highest service to you and we want you to succeed as much as you do (and sometimes more).
But we can’t do that if we’re not across what’s going on for you. If you’re struggling we want to know.
Anyhooo, I’ve put together some things to consider that will help you to use your coach more effectively so you and your coach are both happier campers.
REMEMBER THAT YOUR COACH IS NOT GOOGLE
You’re paying big bucks for your coaching so don’t waste your valuable coaching time asking questions you can easily find the answers to with a half decent google search.
YOUR COACH IS NOT YOUR MARKET
Constantly asking your coach to veto any post you want to put up on Facebook or email blast sent is not a good use of your coach.
Your coach is not your target market so it’s best to test your material on your market to get the sort of feedback you need.
Your coach will no doubt be happy to look this stuff over but it will be much more useful to you if you have already had feedback from the people who will be buying your product.
YOUR COACH IS A FERRARI NOT A HYUNDAI GETZ
Think of your coach as a high performance sports car — when you take a Ferrari out for a spin you make it count, you go a little faster around the corners because you know the car can handle it, you take it places you don’t usually go, you get yourself in and out of trouble and you respect the performance.
Driving the Ferrari expanded you in some way and left you wanting more.
This is a high-performance coaching conversation.
When you drive your Hyundai, it’s meh. You get from A to B but nothing too exciting happens along the way. This is a ho-hum filler conversation that you could have with your sister that is fun, warm and often fuzzy but really serves no higher purpose than to keep you moving. This is not a high-performance coaching conversation.
Whenever you meet with your coach try to remind yourself that you’re taking the sports car out for a spin and you want to push things to their limits.
HIRE A VA
If you’re technologically challenged or don’t know the first thing about setting up an automated email sequence or how to build a sales page and it’s holding you back, hire someone to do this stuff for you.
If you’re working with a coach and your coach is pushing you forwards at a great rate of knots but you’re dragging your heels and things are not being completed because you’re not tech savvy, do yourself a favor and get help so you can keep the pace and remain focused on the things that will drive you forward and reap a larger financial reward for effort.
THINK STEVE JOBS
Ok, I’m not saying I’m Steve Jobs but I adopted this thinking (stay with me) when I was working with a great coach.
I can write about all of the “do nots” because I practiced them all.
I look back and cringe at some of the stuff I asked my coach, now I can see I was wasting both his and my time. “Is this font ok on my flyer?” “Should I run my event in March or August?” etc etc Ask yourself “is this a high-level question?”
Would you go to Steve Jobs with this question? If not, then work out where else you can get that feedback or information from and use your coach for higher-level questions.
YOUR COACH WON’T DO THE WORK FOR YOU
Coaches come across a lot of clients who want saving.
They SAY they want bigger, better things but what they really want is for the coach to create bigger, better things for them!
It’s important for you to know that you have to roll up your sleeves and do the work.
Sometimes it’s uncomfortable.
Sometimes it downright sucks.
But if you know the actions being asked of you will drive you forward, do the work, that’s why you’re paying your coach the big bucks.
You’re paying for your coach to stretch you and to support you while YOU do the work.
DON’T BE A CLOCK WATCHER
If you’re sitting in your coaches office (or in front of your pooter skyping) watching the time to make sure you’re getting your full hours worth you’re totally missing the point.
I’ve had clients have a breakthrough in a 15-minute conversation and they are so excited to jump off the call to get started on their tasks they’re gone at the speed of light.
Your session is about outcome, not time.
BE LIKE A BOY SCOUT / GIRL GUIDE
Always come to your coaching sessions prepared.
This coaching program is your bus, you have the wheel and you’re the one driving it.
Know what you need from the coaching session (even if it’s just to get clear) so your coach can coach you more effectively in the session by knowing exactly what you need to focus on.
A COACH IS NOT A MAGIC BULLET
Your coach is less than half of the equation really.
You bring your ideas and (sometimes) your vision and you’re the one doing the work.
Your coach observes, offers feedback, keeps you focused and holds you accountable.
If you don’t do your part your coach can’t do theirs.
BE YOUR COACHES DREAM CLIENT
My favorite clients are the ones who do the work.
The ones who fight for their success and do so without the drama.
They trust in the process and keep planting one foot in front of the other even when the going get’s tough.
They ask for help when they need it, but only when they need it.
They know their coach is there supporting them and cheering them on, but know their coach is not their crutch.
If you’ve never had a coach before trust me, you’re doing things much tougher than you need to.
Many coaches offer a free discovery session so I highly recommend booking some discovery sessions and trying on coaching for size to see if it’s the right thing for you.
Follow Michelle Hext on Twitter: www.twitter.com/KAElegantly