6 Benefits of Hiring a Business Coach

If you feel stuck at work, consider hiring a coach to gain better self-understanding and improve your professional journey.
OPEN Forum Contributor
October 28, 2014

As a business owner, you're used to solving problems—you do it every day, over and over, to make your business better. But just because you do it so frequently doesn't mean you don't need a little help now and then—a different perspective, a fresh set of eyes, a new approach.

That's where coaching comes in. Business coaches can help you become the best business leader that you can be.

Looking to expand your business? Hoping to improve your new-hire interviewing skills? Needing to sort out your business's long-term goals? There are coaches that specialize in all these areas and more. But if you’re still not sure that hiring a coach is worth the investment of time or money, consider the following benefits a coach can offer.

1. Active Listening

One of the most powerful things a coach can provide is active listening. You probably don’t have anyone in your life who will listen to you as attentively as your coach will. And active listening doesn’t mean sitting silently by while you talk, either. It means asking questions, listening to your answers and offering feedback. In short, it means truly paying attention to who you are, the problems you have and the issues you’re facing. Coaches are trained to listen actively and to respond in helpful, positive ways.

2. Objectivity

A coach isn’t personally involved in your life, so they can provide help that a friend or colleague cannot. A coach's objectivity is one of their most valuable assets. They're there to help you, but they don’t have a stake in seeing a situation in any particular way. A coach can approach both you and your situation objectively and provide honest and helpful feedback and suggestions.

3. Learning Lessons

Assigning "homework" is one of the ways a coach might get you to think differently and creatively about your problems and your life. These assignments might involve writing in a journal, creating lists of goals, interviewing people, networking, researching topics or trying new ways of handling things. Your assignments will be tailored specifically to you and your issues, and they’ll be designed to help you to see things in a new light. Iif you do get an assignment, it's important that you complete it, reflect on it and discuss it honestly with your coach. The assignments are there to help you, but they won’t help if you don’t do them.

4. Guidance

A coach will provide gentle and reliable guidance to you. If you’re up against a wall, this is one of the things you’ll need, and a good coach will offer it. Trust that the guidance is based on your coach’s observations of you and your situation, as well as their experience with clients in similar situations. Sometimes we can’t see our own situation clearly, and it takes an objective outsider to see it for us and provide us with suggestions for navigating to a different place or seeing things differently.

5. Knowledge

Coaches are up to date on the latest research and trends in the field in which they work, and one of the things you’re paying for is access to that knowledge—specifically for the ways that it intersects with and relates to your situation. Good coaches know how to apply their knowledge to specific situations in order to effect change, and they’ll work closely with you to teach you what they know and how to apply it—both in your current situation and in the future.

6. Insights

As a result of listening actively, working with you on your assignments and observing you over time, coaches can provide invaluable insights into your behavior and the behavior of others. These insights will help you as you make sense of your life, your business, the people around you and the difficulties you face. They’ll also be something you can carry with you into the future, even after your coaching relationship ends.

Coaching isn’t therapy but rather a personal and professional journey to greater self-understanding and action. Working with a coach can open new doors, generate new ideas and create new solutions. Once you find a coach who's a good fit for you, you’ll find your business improving, your business relationships strengthening or your creativity flourishing, all as a result of the work you do with a coach.

It can, in fact, be nothing short of life-changing.

Read more articles on productivity.

Photo: iStockphoto

OPEN Forum Contributor