Difference between good and great business coaches

WHAT makes the difference between a good coach and a great coach?

You might say results, and while that is correct, ultimately the business owner is the one who makes the decisions that determine the results.

A business coach is much the same as a sporting coach - they'll have the plans, strategies, team plays etc - but it's your decision to execute.

The same could be said about your leadership in the business, what ultimately determines your success or failure is your team.

So what do great business coaches do that ensure you get the results?

The have a number of key attributes (adopt these attributes to your business and watch your team fire up):

The first is empathy (not sympathy - there's a big difference). If coaches were sympathetic to your challenges, we'll be dragged into the same negative environment. Our job is to change the status quo.

Secondly is patience - one of the keys is to understand that when a business goes through change, there are challenges, delays, second guessing etc.

Only by being patient with you, real change can happen. Never go off task and there is a limit to when it's no longer okay to be patient. A great coach will let you know that you're dragging the chain and to shape up.

Thirdly a great coach must be a very good listener. A coach should not be more interested in telling you what they've achieved, be it for themselves or others, rather than listen to your needs.

Fourthly, a great coach will be compassionate, they'll care deeply about your business as well as the greater picture of community, and often they'll go above and beyond with random acts of kindness.

Of course, attribute five is a great coach must encourage you, support you in challenging times and celebrate with you all victories, big or small.

The sixth trait is flexibility, the ability to bend and twist as your business does. A rigid "this how we do it" just doesn't cut it in these peak-and-trough times. A plan is needed, but like the sail boat that tacks depending on the wind, so will a great coach. Where the wind (opportunity) provides the best way forward, that's the approach required.

A great coach will ask you the deep questions that stir you to change and get you uncomfortable in the current situation so you want the change and are prepared to make it happen.

The eighth attribute is to always have and show optimism and hope, not just for your business but business and community in general.

Lastly, a great coach is a challenger. Coaching is not a popularity contest but the job is to get you results - to push you, lead you, encourage you and celebrate with you.

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