The three questions to ask yourself if you’re looking for a Business and Life coach
A famous university in Switzerland did a research project in the eighties to find out once and for all which of the many forms of psychological coaching, counselling and therapy methods was the most effective.
Solution Focused therapy (which is coaching), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Person centred therapy, Freudian, Jungian, Existential… All of them where investigated with a range of test subjects.
The outcome turned the world of therapy, counselling and coaching on it’s head.
It turned out that only a very small part of the effectiveness of a therapy engagement was related to the form of that therapy. The top three factors that influenced the outcome of therapy were:
- The quality of the relationship between the client and the therapist
- The length of the engagement
- The readiness of the client to make changes
In other words, which of the various form of therapy was chosen by a client had very little to do with the outcome of therapy.
Clients who move mountains
Great coaching, business coaching, life coaching, executive coaching, is just like that. The outcome is first of all dependent on those same three factors. Right at this moment I’m working with about 10 clients. Many of those clients are moving mountains in their businesses and their lives every week. A few months into my engagement with my client Clare, she sent me an email this morning that included this sentence: “So much of my business and my life has changed in the past months, in ways that no one could’ve planned, that I find it hard to sit still”. But one of my other clients, Adrian, remains stuck more or less where he was when we started. In our session yesterday, I felt I had to point out to Adrian that something needs to change or he’ll end up disappointed in our work and his own achievements.
I am the same coach, with the same skills and experience for both of these clients, but with Clare the coaching is working and with Adrian it isn’t, at least not yet. I’m still fairly confident that Adrian will come round in the coming months and I’m hoping that my strong words to him yesterday, will have the desired effect, but it’s possible that my words fell on deaf ears and that the coaching engagement won’t have the desired outcomes for him.
The truth about how to find the best business coach
In the 12 or so years that I have been a business – life coach, I’ve learned the truth of the Swiss research project. When my engagements work, they do so because we get those three factors right and when they don’t the problem always hides in the same place.
I’ve taken this lesson to heart over the years and I’ve designed my coaching programs and my intake processes for new clients with those three factors in mind. But you need to take your own responsibility to check in on these three factors as well.
Ask yourself three questions:
- Am I prepared to change? (Business change without personal change is impossible)
- Am I prepared to give the coaching process adequate time to work? (Real change takes time)
- Do I believe that I can build the kind of high trust relationship with this coach in which I will feel safe enough to step out of my comfort zone and stay there? (Real change always happens outside your comfortzone)
Unless you can answer those three questions with a wholehearted yes, save your money and wait until you can.
Working with a great business coach in a great coaching engagement can be one of the most life changing and rewarding things you’ll do in your career as a small business owner… As long as you take the trouble to get it right… I promise you.
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