Mon 24 / 03 / 14
5 minute mentor
Welcome to the second “5 minute mentor” post. As I mentioned last month, my hope is if you spend 5 minutes reading these posts you will learn something useful that you can apply to your business.
This month we are going to discuss the real value of getting some external support and also look at how long a company should engage with a coach for.
Lets start by looking at the benefit of getting some external support. This could be in the guise of a business coach, a mentor or a non-exec director. In many ways, I find the label of ‘business coach’ unhelpful because, as I mentioned last month, you need to different types of support at different times.
So what does getting some external support offer your business?
- A totally objective view to help you ‘see the wood for the trees’
- Someone to talk through your business challenges and decisions with
- Guidance and confidence to deliver projects
- Specific expertise in your area
- Someone to play ‘devils advocate’
- The experience of working with many other companies just like yours, with similar challenges
- And finally, someone to trust and confide in, who ‘has your back’
OK, you have decided to get some external support. How long should you expect them to work with you?
If we are talking about a business coaching assignment then I am a strong believer that you should not be creating a dependency on the coach (so I am amazed when I hear of coaches working with organizations for 5 years+!). Coaches should be ‘enabling’ their clients and transferring knowledge so they and their teams can solve similar challenges in the future, without the need for the coaches support.
Typically coaching assignments should last between 6-18 months. So the coach and client identify and agree the area(s) to work on, enables the teams to deliver the work, supports them through the process and then exits the business.
Sometimes the relationship will change (so for example, I have moved from being a coach for a client to becoming a non exec, attending board meetings) and sometimes coaches will finish one project and start another.
Remember that coaching isn't just for when a business has a problem - quite the opposite - it can can help expedite the growth of a business.
Next month we are going to explore the typical areas that a coach can support your business.
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