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 these 8 amazing coaching tools to help my clients.
The results for my clients have been stunning. 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.
Here are my top 8 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“, and how when this is not happening in relationships everyone suffers…including 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: 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 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.