About a decade ago, businesses engaged business coaches to help fix toxic behaviour, acting as mediators and non-biased facilitators whose purpose was to get everyone back on the same page. Today, business coaching is about developing the capabilities of high potential performers. At Consultya, we believe in both developing capabilities while delivering verified bottom-line results for our clients. A Harvard Business Review survey was conducted across 140 leading coaches and invited five experts to comment on the findings. In summary – “coaching as a business tool continues to gain legitimacy”.
What is coaching?
We see coaching as a mindset, a way of behaving, a way of leading and interacting with people. In this day and age, your role as a construction or a trade business owner is NOT to have all the answers. Now you had to have started with heaps of technical training early on in your career, and you certainly know what good looks like, but that’s not enough to allow you to build and scale a successful business. To cope with the new reality of work and the ever-increasing pace of change (automated invoices, digital marketing, online tendering, integrated financing etc.) you need to, as the business owner, move away from command and control practices towards a coaching model of continuous learning, the delegation of work, capability building, and fostering a collaborative and a safe environment.
“Coaching is the art of facilitating the performance, learning and development of another person.”SOURCE: The School of Coaching
Coaching has also evolved over the past 15 years from just a benevolent form of sharing what you know with somebody less experienced to asking questions and promoting self-discovery. Sir John Whitmore, a leading figure in the world of business coaching, defined skilled coaching as “unlocking people’s potential to maximise their performance”. So the best coaches are those who can 1) Impart the knowledge and 2) help others discover it themselves. Servant Leadership is a type of leadership that focuses on people, using coaching as a key tool to facilitate and grow your team.
Okay, so I get coaching, what then is Business Coaching, and why would I need it?
Similar to how any successful sporting team is supported by a qualified coach, business coaches exist to guide, facilitate, assist and support owners of businesses to solve some of their main challenges. This could be a question of growth, such as: How do I grow my business further? Should I acquire a competitor, do more sales & marketing, or consider interstate growth? Those kinds of questions tend to be heavy, and as a small construction or trade business owner, you don’t tend to have the immediate resources there to help you answer some of those questions. You would typically need a Strategy or a Planning Manager, and then may in turn need the support of a business analyst who can do all the number crunching. Large corporations will have in-house teams that can help them answer those questions, and even then, they will still go to big consulting firms for advice. So how can you benefit from all the wisdom and experience in the market without having to employ big teams or engage large consulting organisations? Yep, that’s the one – it’s a business coach.
So why should you consider a business coach? Well it could be for one or more reasons.
Let’s share with you some of our learnings as Business Coaches in the Construction Industry
It can be very lonely at the top. When you run a small business, it’s difficult (and sometimes inappropriate) to share your big dreams with your five, ten or fifteen person team. Who do you trust the most to go to and say: “I want to be a $10M business in the next five years”…
Sometimes your partner will want to slow you down, bringing a more conservative perspective to the operation of the business as they consider family obligations vs risk-taking. Other family members could argue and tell you to stick with how you’re going for the moment until we see the end of the pandemic period. Friends could be the worst to entrust with such grand visions of your life and business – it could in some cases generate envy and unnecessary emotions and conversations.
That’s why it could, in some instances, engage a third party, to work with you, hand in hand, to realise your vision. However, think about those pointers below before you go around engaging anyone:
- Review the background of the business coach, and obtain a reference check or two! Apply the same diligence you would as if you’re employing a full-time staff in your business.
- Schedule a 30min introductory session with them, and let them explain to you:
- What is their background
- How did they come across business coaching
- Why do they believe they’re good business coaches
- Do they have any credentials (academic qualifications)
- What is their expertise
- Who else have they helped out (great if they can demonstrate a case study)
- How much do they charge
- During your interview, you need to be checking out whether
- They are genuine individuals
- You feel they’re warm and trustworthy
- Do they come across as knowledgeable and experienced
- Can you work with them over the next 6 months to 1 year
If you decide to proceed with the business coach then one of the first things you need to consider is “How are we going to be measuring progress” … Just like anything in the world, what doesn’t get measured doesn’t get managed. And you’ll be left with heaps of questions down the track, wondering if it was ever worth your time if you think you’ve been ripped off, what impact the coaching had on you or your business.
In summary, business coaching is a service and an opportunity, available for you, that can support and take your construction or trade business to the next level. It doesn’t have to be too extensive, fancy or full-on. We recommend you start with small baby steps and seeing the results before you committing to getting support fixing the big stuff. At the end of the day, your role as the Construction or Trade business owner is not to know everything, but to be able to guide and direct, ask the right questions, and surround yourself with the right people who will share the experience that you need to move forward.
If you would like to have a 15min non-obligatory session with our executive business coach, then please call us on 0428 204 050, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request further information.