When I first started helping small business owners officially, 15 years ago, I didn’t really want to call myself a coach.
I didn’t know what to call me. Was I a:
- Trusted advisor
I settled on “Business consultant” and off I went to my first meetings with my well planned out agenda and timelines for getting things done.
Turns out, something was very wrong with my plan…
For some reason we NEVER talked about what I wanted to talk about!
And there was this time I mediated a shouting match between two business owners that included tears and way more information than I was prepared for…. So much for that agenda!
I very quickly realized that just because I could fix the business and tell my clients exactly what they “should” be doing, they were not listening.
I had tools to help the business. What was missing were the tools to help the people owning the business. I needed to learn how to coach.
On my journey from consultant to coach, I soon realized that people don’t like to be told what to do.
After earning a graduate certificate in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University, I was able to quickly incorporate a coach approach with the amazing business coaching tools to help my clients.
The results for my clients have been stunning. As a matter of fact, the typical failure rate of a small business dropped by 90% for those that I was able to coach.
The one result for me as a coach was having lasting relationships with my clients. Many of them booked a session with me each week for 5 years or more.
Plus, I had the opportunity to do team coaching and watch others’ dreams come true.
A piece of advice: Use these 8 business coaching tools to keep small business owner clients who will benefit from your coaching.
Here Are My Top 8 Business Coaching Tools:
1. The client’s agenda, not mine!
2. Ask, Don’t Tell! – My new three magic words.
3. The client does the work. – I’ve learned to take my hands off the steering wheel and gas pedal and let the client do the driving.
4. I learned to listen. (What a novel concept for a girl that loves to talk and give advice. A whole brand new world opened up all around me when I stopped talking and started listening.)
5. I was given permission to be curious. – Now, instead of me preparing an agenda, I simply show up with a curious mind and heart to ensure we work on the most important thing impacting my client that day.
6. I learned the meaning of being “Seen, heard, and understood”. Besides, I learned how when this is not happening in relationships, everyone suffers. That includes customers, suppliers, staff, investors and spouses.
These three words have stopped family feuds, prevented long-term frustrated employees from leaving, and closed so many deals for my clients because they know the following. If there is a conflict or no revenue, chances are someone is not feeling the love .
7. Judger vs Learner – What a fantastic yet simple idea for peace and understanding between individuals. This fits perfectly with my mantra for when things go wrong in a company.
“It is not a people problem, it is likely a broken or missing system“. My clients have learned to stop judging the people in their lives and again, with curiosity, be a learner to come up with new ways of doing things. [Credit to Marilee Adams Choice Map]
8. Acknowledgement is not agreement. – This means meeting the client exactly where they are and walking with them to where they want to go.
Even if it meant being in some crazy places for a while until they are ready to start their new journey.
The Results of Coaching
I didn’t have any of these tools in my consulting toolbox.
Since using them in my coaching practice, I’ve seen great results.
I recently asked my past and current clients: What has been your absolute favourite takeaway from our meetings? [I have permission to share these words.]
Pauline – Always believe in yourself.
Melanie – That I can be a great boss and run a SUCCESSFUL business!
Zach – I am good enough… The only thing in my way is me… There’s just one me and that’s all I need to be.
And thank you, Andrew, for your feedback. He says: I am happy and I am free. I now believe in myself as much as you always have, and for that, I am very grateful.
Their favourite takeaway from our work together had less to do with being able to understand their financial statements or being able to laser target new customers.
It’s more to do with how they felt about themselves. How cool is that!
Businesses don’t fail on my watch! I continue to use the business coaching tools & strategies to help my clients achieve operational effectiveness and financial success.
Only now the tools work better because I have integrated coaching into the process, which helps bring everyone along faster.
I am very proud to call myself a coach because I am doing something that matters deeply to me: bringing peace and prosperity to others’ lives.
This peace can then positively impact their teams, their families, our community and the world.
Until next time, enjoy your Coaching Journey!
Small Business Coach Training
Through my Small Business Coach Training program, I invite you to explore coaching small business owners.
If you are not working full time as a coach or working less than you’d like, this just might be a great avenue to grow your own small business, your coaching practice.
I can show you exactly how to do it, with a coach approach.
A few years back I took my 75 year old dad out for dinner. On the drive there he said that he had a question about my work and not to be offended. Well you know when someone prefaces a question in this way you better brace yourself.
He asked me “How do you get your credibility? He went on to state “You are a woman, a small woman, and not what I would think of as a business coach”
In his world, a business coach is a MAN, wearing a blue suit and red tie.
It didn’t matter that I had a graduate certificate in Executive Coaching and Organizational Development, or that I had worked with over 300 small business owners, or that I had won the ICF Vancouver Business Coach of the year.
Strictly because of my gender I was being judged as not being credible.
Equality in Coaching And Other Areas
Are you kidding me! What stereotypes are you still holding when it comes to women in business?
Are you paying the women in your organization the same as you pay the men? What about equality in coaching?
It isn’t just with business coaches. I don’t know how many times I’ve observed and challenged wage inequality where men have been paid up to 50% more in a small business than the women.
Then the men would laugh and say truthfully “the women do all the work”. Often in family run organization, the sons are paid way more than the daughters.
Last year, on International Women’s Day I went through my outsourced contractors. I announced to the team that from now on all the women would be paid the same as the men, even if they didn’t ask for it.
There was zero pushback, even as I rolled back some of the guys rates.
Today, on International Women’s Day, is the right time to challenge your assumptions about women in business!
Besides, it the time to take a stand on truly making women equal partners on your entrepreneurial journey. For the equality in coaching and all other areas!
#BalanceforBetter #instainternationalwomensday #iwd2019