I think it is safe to say that there are many preconceived notions about business coaching. Furthermore, some of these notions really are myths rather than reality. In an attempt to provide some insight into what are the major myths about business coaching, I have developed a list of the top ten myths and respective realities that are counter to each myth.
Myth # 1. I really don’t have any problems. I am doing well and don’t need a business coach.
Reality: Maybe this is true, but it is important to understand that business coaching is not about fixing problems. Business coaching is about creating new possibilities and improving yourself.
Myth #2. Business coaching is nothing more than a cleverly disguised way of telling people what to do.
Reality: Effective business coaching focuses on results and uses various approaches to pull solutions from within those being coached rather than the coach telling them what to do.
Myth #3. You have the questions and your business coach has the answers.
Reality: From my perspective as a strategic thinking business coach, this is very far from the truth and reality. As an effective business coach it is just the opposite. Your business coach has the questions and you have the answers within you and your business coach will help you discover them.
Myth #4. Business coaching is only for troubles or poor performers.
Reality: The best business coaching clients are those with potential that is not being realized or people who have hit a hurdle or stumbling block in their development and need coaching to guide them through the impediment.
Myth # 5. Business coaching is just sitting around and listening to people.
Reality: Effective business coaching comes from asking the right questions at the right time. A well thought-out question may be worth hours of listening. However, listening is only useful if it yields enough information to formulate the right questions.
Myth #6. Business coaching is time consuming.
Reality: Reality is just the opposite. Some of the best business coaching happens in brief and sharply focused doses. And remember the old saying about there is never enough time to do it right but there is always enough time to do it over? Effective business coaching will increase the probability of getting it right the first time and therefore save time in the future.
Myth #7. Business coaching is too expensive and only wealthy people can afford their own business coach.
Reality: Maybe this could be true with some business coaches, but certainly not for all business coaches. When speaking with prospective business coaching clients we focus on the value of the business coaching to their own growth and development and their business and personal goals. After that we develop a mutually satisfactory and beneficial financial arrangement.
Myth #8. I can coach myself for free or I can simply talk to my best friend.
Reality: No matter how hard your best friend tries, he or she cannot be unbiased and impartial with you. And you and your best friend will not ask the tough questions that need to be asked and will not bring the benefit of a true outsider’s perspective.
Myth # 9. Men cannot coach women and women cannot coach men.
Reality: Effective business coaching is gender neutral. In fact, sometimes business coaches of the opposite sex can facilitate people seeing issues from the other’s perspective.
Myth #10. A business coach must have a similar personality to yours.
Reality: Business coaching is about growth and development and having a business coach with a different personality will offer fresh perspectives.