My coach yelled and screamed at me in high school, do I need that?
Business coaching is all about you and not about the coach. I will challenge with questions that will help you think more clearly and anew about your problems and opportunities. My coaching is successful when you state the best solution, then it is your solution not mine. I measure my success by how little I talk and how much you produce results.
Is business coaching touchy feely – therapeutic stuff?
Business coaching is about business, about getting the right things done. Sometimes this touches on the way in which you listen and communicate with people, or, your focus on facts and not emotions. But, always, our discussions are about your business results and how to improve them.
You don’t know anything about my business. I have been at this for xx years, how can you help me?
There is an element of truth in this. If you really need help with a specific technical issue, business coaching is not the solution.
On the other hand, every business is about customers, products, services, employees, sales, profits, capital, marketing, sales, operations, product development, quality, and more of these basics. It only takes me an hour to ask enough questions to know the basic shape of your business, to provide me a platform to engage you in productive discussions of how to push you and your business forward.
And, another key role for me is to help you establish the short list of tasks to work on each week to drive ahead. I provide the constant reminder of how day-to-day work connects with the big picture goals and the tactical accountability for getting the work done.
How long before I see results?
You will see results in your personal management approaches and skills within a few weeks. Business results typically take longer, three months is a good timeframe, though it depends on the cycle time of the business issues you are tackling.
The results speak through my retention of clients. Since they can fire me at any time if they are not happy with the results of the coaching work, they simply say “goodbye”. My retention rate is very high. Many who leave me come back when they start a new venture or enter into a new phase of their management careers.
Do I need to meet with you every week?
Most clients find it valuable to meet every week. It keeps up the pace of the work, makes for better, more immediate feedback on progress and problems, and maintains better self-accountability for the important future-building tasks. On the other hand, some clients find every other week to work fine. We just need to identify what works best for you.
At the outset of a new relationship, I insist on at least two months of weekly meetings. This gives us the opportunity to really dig in and accomplish something important and useful. It also assures that I have a sound understanding of how you work and the important facts about how your business works.
Finally, most clients really look forward to talking with me. I am the one person they speak with each week who will listen with interest to whatever they say, not be judgmental in anyway, and be supportive through good questioning and sound advice.
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How effective is telephone or computer based coaching?
I have been working via telephone and Skype for four years, after years of face-to-face consulting. To my initial surprise, I have found the telephone to be better in many ways than face-to-face meetings.
When I sit down to talk, I am totally present and focused on the person on the other end of the line. I am listening to every word. And, not being required to provide visual focus, I can process the conversation and think of different questions to reframe the issues or bring up new avenues to explore very consistently. I can hear the body language through the audible cues given during a conversation. There are no visual or aural distractions because the two of us are listening intently to the voice in our earpiece and nothing else
Sometimes we need to talk about financial management issues or other document based topics, then, we can turn to our computer screens and refer directly to the facts in question. Some clients keep detailed notes and create an agenda for every meeting. I print this out in advance and I let the client manage our meeting as they see fit. Other clients come to the meetings with topics that are pressing on them that day. For them, I have to be sure that I bring up the tasks from the previous session so that we close the loop on their progress.
Am I signing up for a long contract?
No. My contract with you includes a clear statement that either party can cancel the engagement on a one week notice.
This must be expensive
Most clients budget $250 to $500 per month. This means that business coaching that will produce significant results, measured in sales dollars, increased profitability, more customers, and a more productive, happier you, the business owner or manager, costs on a par with your CPA. So, when you think of adding a new senior manager to your staff, this looks outrageously inexpensive.
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I’m not a business owner, just a manager, is this for me?
If you manage people, have a budget, and are responsible for results, business coaching can help you be more effective.
What about start up businesses?
I work with start ups regularly. In fact I have a discounted rate for start ups. Go to this page for more about how I work with startup companies.
Do you work with management teams?
Yes. This is where a Skype videoconference works really well. Unlike working with individuals, I do need to see everyone so that I can effectively manage the group and keep everyone involved.
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