Working with a professional business advisor requires time and commitment to achieve the desired results. Generally, it takes two to five years of working with a business advisor to get the desired outcomes. The coaching relationship could last from 6 months to several years, with one-hour sessions once every two weeks. Small business owners often operate in isolation without expert advice or feedback, making it difficult for them to grow as their functions and businesses expand.
In my last blog, I discussed the negative self-talk (also known as excuses) we give ourselves for not wanting to have an executive coach, and the main business benefits of Executive Coaching. So what are some of those advantages and how do I know if I need executive leadership advice? More specifically, what is the ROI of coaching? Coaches should identify short-term opportunities to improve results, individual production, or a particular metric that reflects the unit's performance. If top management invests and is committed to the process, the experience will be better for everyone than if senior managers roll their eyes or think of executive coaching as just another management trend. Imagine the power that is released when you partner with a personal business advisor who deeply understands your company, as well as its strengths and weaknesses.
According to my experience as a coach, this more direct method has a better chance of achieving better performance and has the added benefit of providing positive reinforcement to the person being trained, since they quickly see success as a result of their behavioral changes. Working with a coach can be similar to hiring a business partner or building a relationship of trust. A traditional coaching approach would have consisted of focusing on the behaviors identified in the 360 review, with the assumption that if they changed, results would be achieved. The positive effects of good training extend to the business world, just as excellent pitching training ultimately benefits everyone who takes to the playing field in baseball.
If a new business owner has limited experience, a professional coach can help accelerate growth through feedback. While this approach to coaching sounds logical and straightforward, many coaches and senior leaders are reluctant to work this way. All leaders need support to grow to the next level, and one of the best ways to get that support is with a business advisor. Here's a list of skills you'll develop when you work with a business coach: communication skills, problem-solving skills, decision-making skills, leadership skills, team building skills. The ultimate long-term goal of an executive coaching relationship is an executive who performs better and who is a more effective leader, with a team that is more confident and prepared to address challenges with less concern.
In addition, within a coaching session, a leader can role play and practice coaching with a business coach. Once trust is built, coaching clients can feel free to share their deepest doubts without fear of being ridiculed or humiliated. However, it is not clear if these measures are linked to the actual improvement of business results, or in what way. Coaches don't want to be held accountable for real business results that they can't directly control, and senior leaders often feel like they're already struggling with a lot of performance numbers.