By Margaret Reid
Should you become a business coach? Your instinctive reaction might be an immediate “no.” After all, who has the time to take on even more responsibilities? Don’t be too quick to simply dismiss coaching, though. Because though obviously the people you coach are meant to benefit, the way that you grow can also be quite significant.
How do I mean that? Well, though they say “those who can’t do, teach,” the truth is that teaching can lead to you doing things better, quicker, more effectively and with more insight than you otherwise would have had. Then there are the connections you build up, the insight into how other companies work, and so on.
Let’s explore what becoming a business coach can do for your own business success.
Test Your Expertise
Trying to explain something to somebody else is the best way to see if you know it, if you are truly an expert in it. This is true in the classroom, and it’s true in business. If you think you know something, then try explaining it. This will force you to sit down and go through the argument point-by-point and in the process expose any holes in your reasoning that you might not even have been aware of.
In this way, being a coach can be an incredibly useful way to learn the ins and outs of your profession. And that knowledge, in turn, will benefit you with your own company.
Good Teacher = Good Leader
Great teachers are great leaders. After all, you have to point out problems, short comings and deficiencies, but without making the other person think that you’re an absolute jerk. Quite the contrary, the best coaches know how to motivate people and companies. After all, that’s how they’ll get more coaching jobs!
Learning these skills as a coach means that you can transfer them over to your own team, where you’ll become a better and more rounded leader. That’s something your team will appreciate.
In this way, coaching can transform you as a leader as it will make you more aware of how to push people to excel.
Become a Solution Expert
When our own companies go through a problem, we don’t really have the luxury to pause and reflect. Instead, we need to solve this problem stat!
That’s not the case with a business coach. They can see the problem that a company is facing or has recently faced and can even find out what solution they tried and how that worked out for them. This knowledge is absolutely invaluable when a similar problem comes along in your company.
In fact, if you coach for a while, then you might well start recognizing problems before they’ve become full-fledge emergencies. This means that you’ll be able to both help people in other companies avoid them, as well as steer your own efforts in the right direction.
You’ll even learn to abstract different problems into categories that people are not even aware of and in this way recognize their underlying causes.
This is another big one. Sometimes being your own boss can be incredibly lonely. Sure, you might have a team below you, but as many bosses have learned the hard way, it is often hard to be both a friend and a boss. Similarly, you often can’t see if you’re making the right calls till much further down the line.
That isn’t the same when you’re coaching. When you’re a coach you can see from the reactions you get if what you’re saying is being appreciated or is falling on deaf ears. Similarly, you can get pretty quick feedback about whether they think you know what you’re doing. Do they suggest you to other businesses? Do they talk about bringing you back in? Then, you did a good job.
This will boost your confidence and give you some quick feedback about what is and isn’t working. And that, in turn, will make you more confident within your own company.
Forge Business Relationships
Another huge deal is that you’re going to be meeting lots of people of different walks and different professions. What’s more, by working with them over an extended period of time, you build trust and rapport. And that can be a huge bonus to your own efforts later on, as you’ll have people who you can call, who trust you, and who are able to open doors into some useful places that you otherwise would not have been able to go.
These networking opportunities can be huge and can well outweigh the time it takes to coach another person or another business.
So, should you be a coach?
It’s a huge investment of time and effort, and if you’re already running yourself ragged on your own projects, then maybe it’s not such a good idea. On the other hand, there are some real opportunities there. You can teach, build relationships, and – most importantly – you’ll get some great opportunities to learn lessons for your own company and your own effort.
If you’re not sure if it’s for you, why not try it out on unofficial basis? We all know people and companies that can use a bit of advice. So why not go in there and see if you can offer some? If you do so pro bono (and in fact don’t even suggest that what you’re doing is coaching), and see how they react.
Do they appreciate what you’re saying and do they look like they’re going to implement it? Then perhaps you can be a coach. Is the reaction lukewarm at best, and do you realize that you don’t actually have all the answer you thought you did? Then perhaps you are not ready to a coach yet. Give it a few more years. Then you can try again. In the meantime, you’ve learned some valuable lessons.