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Productivity

How to get the most out of your business coaching session

Flying Solo founder Robert Gerrish has been a business coach for 20 years. This is the scariest question he’s ever been asked...

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“I know I want to start a business but I don’t know what kind of business I want it to be.”

Anything remotely more specific than that is a good place to start, according to Robert. But if you want to get true value out of your business coach it pays to come prepared.

“Be clear about what you want [from your session] so you don’t leave frustrated and annoyed that you haven’t got anywhere,” Robert told Flying Solo.

Be clear about the kind of help you need

Robert tells Flying Solo you need to make a distinction between the services of a coach or a consultant. 

“A consultant will tell you exactly what to do,” says Robert. “Where a true coach is somebody who will enquire and nudge and challenge you to find solutions yourself.” 

For best results, Robert also recommends confirming your choice of person is accredited and a good fit to your personality.

“Look for testimonials and have a quick chat, make sure you’ll be having a conversation with someone who is a good communicator,” says Robert. 

Clarity is king

With those fundamentals ticked off, it’s time to nail down the details of the problem you want to address.

“People who usually come to coaching already know their business and have expertise, but their overriding feeling is that things should be better or that they should be earning more for the work they are doing,” says Robert. 

“If the client came to me because they wanted more clients, I would challenge them by asking what type of clients they were looking for, and what they were currently doing to attract those kinds of people to their business,” says Robert.

“I’d say something like between now and this time next week, what are 3 things you can do to help you achieve that goal? And then in the next meeting I’d ask you how you approached those things,” says Robert. 

How to know if you’ve found the right fit? 

Choosing a coach is a very personal decision and Robert says it pays to reach out to your networks or post an ad on the Flying Solo forums. 

“It’s an important relationship so do your due diligence and when you come away from your session be sure to reflect on the flow of your conversation.” 

  • Did they listen well?
  • Did they challenge your questions?
  • Did they expand your line of thinking?
  • Are they taking you in the right kind of direction?

If you can answer yes to most of those questions, consider yourself on the right track. 

Lucy Kippist

is an experienced Australian editor with experience in writing, podcasting radio and television, with previous senior editorial roles at News Corp news.com.au, Kidspot and Kinderling Kids Radio. In her current role as editor of Flying Solo, Australia's #1 website for solo business owners she is pursuing her passion for women in the small business space. Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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