It seems everyone is a coach these days

I have seen the self-help and personal development business grow at an amazing rate in the past ten years. I remember attending a personal development workshop back in the mid-80’s. I didn’t broadcast my attendance. From those who knew I attended I would get “what’s your problem? Why would you do that?”

I don’t believe it’s just my news feed on social media I believe it’s being promoted everywhere. “Be better at this.” “We can help you be that.” There are even coaching companies that support coaches. What does Certified Coach mean? I can tell you this… Coach is probably the most overused word I know. I ask myself should I even call myself a Business Coach even though I have two certifications. Where is the line that delineates the difference between Coach, Trainer or a Consultant? Is a Sales Manager still a Sales Manager or is he or she a Sales Coach? It seems everyone is an expert if you believe the online self-promoting broadcasters. It seems the days of walk and speak softly with a quiet confidence are gone.

How should you choose a coach, if, in fact, you need one? Will the coach you hire be helping you with the soft skills to make you a better performer at work and in life? Will the coach help you be a better business owner and leader? Do you see where the line becomes fuzzy? The difference between a consultant and a coach is very simple. A consultant comes in and asks some questions and reviews your business position and comes up with a set of recommendations. There you are, now go do it. A Good coach gets into the why and asks lots of questions. Questions that should lead their clients down a road of self-discovery. Light Bulb moments are important. You discovered it yourself which means it will have a greater impact.

So, let’s talk business here. If you just want “give me the goods and let me get at it” that is fine if you have the self-discipline to carry out the plan. Buy a DIY program or hire the knowledgeable consultant. A good Business Coach will give you the goods and stay on to make sure you implement that plan. You must also consider that if you want to change the plan that it is done in consultation with your Coach. Changing the ingredients of a business recipe often has disastrous results.

We all like to do business with people we know and like. Make sure you don’t hire a cheerleader. The most important factor is that the expectations are able to be measured. If it is not measurable then there can be no accountability. A good coach doesn’t always tell you what you want to hear.

You hire a coach to help you get where you want to go. Make sure you hire the right one.