Yearly Archives: 2016

Business Coach or Therapist?

Psychologist or business coach?

When people hear the term ‘therapy’ their minds seem to conjure up all sorts of colourful images. From Freud contemplating his patient lying on the couch to Robin Williams making a life changing breakthrough with Matt Damon. Therapy has become so widely accepted and popular that an estimated 30% of the US population attend regular therapy session.

This begs the question: If everyday people from all walks of life are so comfortable with the concept of therapy, then why does business coaching – which encompasses the benefits of therapy, the advantages of business improvement, and the application of career satisfaction – not have the same level of popularity?

The answer depends on who you ask.  However, popular opinion is that business people are often so busy being busy in their businesses that they don’t have the time to help themselves in their business. 

The bottom line is that the average business owner, entrepreneur, or business manager is trying so hard to cope, that the concept of an external business coaching helping is almost too much to manage.

This is not a judgment, rather an objective perspective, which is exactly what business coaching is about. Perspective. Objectivity. And your business.

When attending therapy, you have the belief that issues will be resolved and you will ‘feel better’. When enlisting the help of a business coach, you know that issues will be resolved, ideas generated, and prosperity enhanced.

Business coaching is therapy – just on a much broader and more satisfactory scale!


 

Talk to a business coach today!

Personal Trainer Vs Business Coach

Why should you hire a business coach?

Give a bowl of rice to a man and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to grow his own rice and you will save his life.

Confucius

Fitness training, such as martial arts, has been prevalent for thousands of years. Yet it was only in the early 80’s that the concept of a ‘personal trainer’ grew in popularity – both as a profession and concurrently as an advantage to have in people’s lives. The interesting part about using personal trainers is that their credibility continually increases and diverse individuals from all sorts of backgrounds seek their guidance and expertise.

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.

Confucius

So why isn’t it the same with business coaches who have expertise, competencies and experience far beyond the boardroom?

The simple answer is because we are slightly ahead of the wave. People are still hiring and trying out personal trainers now, for the first time,  almost 40 years after the profession became plausible.

To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.

Confucius

The reality is that business coaches embody more than just an understanding of business.  They work with a plethora of areas integrated with the person involved in his or her business growth – from work-life balance through to daily employee challenges. To develop your body is to work on 10% of your holistic self, while to work with a business coach is to consider 100% of who you are, where you want to go in your life, and use the guidance of an expert to craft the ride with you.

So, if your body is worth the time, investment and energy of spending twice a week paying an expert to assist you, why isn’t the rest of your life – and business – worth the commitment?

The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life.

Confucius


 

Speak to a business coach today! 

 

What Makes A Great Coach?

Chara

Before delving into the characteristics of a great coach, it’s necessary to note that coaching efficacy is often difficult to measure.  How do you know if you are doing a good job as a coach? And how does the client know if coaching is actually working?

The difficulty in answering these questions is that coaching is generally a subtle and gradual process, which works almost subconsciously over a period of time. Sometimes which the coaching process is doing its job, the client is almost unaware of the impact, until the results present themselves.

These three elements are generally present in excellent coaches:

  1. They care deeply about people
  2. They have incredibly high personal standards and ambitions
  3. They have a high level of self-knowledge

Research shows that the below are also common characteristics of exceptional coaches:

  1. Exquisite self-awareness
  2. High emotional intelligence
  3. Broad vision, with focus on important details
  4. Nuanced, crisp, superb communication
  5. Highest regard, caring and respect for clients
  6. Creative, innovative learner and developer of custom coaching methodologies
  7. Perceptive, intuitive, curious and inquiring
  8. Quick study with capacity for deep and wide learning
  9. Student of coaching and other disciplines that support helping others
  10. Sincere interest in clients and desire to help
  11. Continuous learner, personally and from others’ experiences
  12. See coaching as a two-way interchange of energies and learning
  13. Humble, open, nurturing and grateful to the world
  14. View coaching as a calling, an art and a discipline
  15. Walk the talk and model a good life for their clients

Here’s the bottom line:

If the client feels that coaching is working for them, if they feel that they ‘click’ with their coach, and that they are gaining benefits, the coaching process is working and their coach is a great coach!


 

Become a Business Coach with SA Business Coaches.

The Traits of Entrepreneurs

Traits of entrepreneurs
Compare Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Steve Jobs.

It’s obvious that they’re all entrepreneurs, all successful, and all very famous. What other commonalities do they have? Very little actually.

So how did three so diverse men all come to be successful entrepreneurs? Passion and drive. All their all personality characteristics, backgrounds, and leadership approaches become completely secondary. They are first and foremost passionate about what they do, and secondly they have an unparalleled drive to achieve what they want to in their businesses.

After the passion and drive we can start listing hard work, motivation, commitment, sacrifice and all other behaviours which enabled their success. Their traits include relentlessly pursuing what they want, never accepting rejection as a final answer, and thriving on change.

The traits of an entrepreneur are diverse and yet incredibly alike. All pursued their passion as if there was nothing else in the world that mattered. By creating their own possibilities and luck, each successful entrepreneur created their own reality, and thus impacted our reality in such a way that their products colour our world.

 

“The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”
Nolan Bushnell

Email Etiquette: How to keep things professional

pablo-24Twenty years ago if someone wanted to put something in writing, they considered their words. They sat down with either a pen and paper, or used their typewriter, and they crafted their message with intention and deliberation.

Today, however, we have email. Email is probably one of the greatest technological advances in communication over the last century. It enables speedy and efficient messenging in a matter of seconds, and is how the world does business.

Enter netiquette.  Netiquette is “network etiquette” – the dos and don’ts of online communication.

The increase in informality in email messages has created panic in many businesses.  More and more businesses have started implementing professional standards to leverage email communication effectively, cutting out small talk, and facilitating speedy decisions.

Email best practice includes the following:

  • Golden rule. Don’t say anything in an email that you would not say face to face
  • Company image: Remember your emails impact on the company image
  • Personal relationships: There is an impersonal element to email (although email contact is better than no contact)
  • Don’t hide behind email and avoid face to face contact: Do not give good, or bad, news via email
  • Email is not confidential: Emails can be retrieved, forwarded, examined, and used in a court of law
  • Do not overuse group email: ‘Reply all’ should be used conservatively
  • Email is tone deaf: It is extremely difficult and tricky to communicate tone in an email, and for it to be understood correctly
  • Copying others on your email: The “CC” field is for copying in people who need to stay informed, but do not need to take action.
  • Subject line: Make sure your subject line captures the essence of your email
  • Don’t make assumptions: Do not assume the recipient knows the background to your situation
  • Concise messages: Get to the point
  • Be prompt: Reply within 24 hours
  • Professionalism: Always use a professional email signature
  • Include a disclaimer

 

Leadership Styles

Leadership styles

One of the greatest questions about business is whether the leader at the helm of the company really makes such a difference to the success of the business.

Leaders build, inspire and motivate. If you consider your own life and career, how many people have built, motivated, or inspired you? And how many of those people were leading the company that you worked for at the time? True leadership is a rare quality, and driven employees seem to work productively with or without an effective leader.

Decades of leadership studies contemplate personal attributes, traits, varying styles, followers’ perceptions, and leadership outcomes to determine what makes an effective leader. The reality is that it is the situation that decides what makes an effective leader.

The person who is able to make use of the resources available to them while building, inspiring and motivating their followers is the person who is an effective leader – regardless of age, experience, behaviour and so forth.

We have two clients who both run successful businesses. These two men utilise completely polar opposite leadership styles.

The one is an authoritarian who dictates how things must be done and by when. His staff cower when he walks through the business and a ‘thank you’ from him is highly prized.

The other is completely consultative and embraces a transactional approach of give and take between the business and the staff. The staff feel comfortable to confide in him, speak to him and make suggestions.

Both business leaders have frustration, failures and successes. The staff in one business are motivated by fear and to please; whereas the staff in the other business take ownership of their results. Both businesses face challenges and both business leaders have human resource issues.

The bottom line is that no one approach is correct. The leadership style that works is the right one, at the right time, in the right business.

In the words of Scott Hammerie: “People don’t follow you because you are nice, they follow you because they believe the place you are taking them is better than the place they are.”

Why Do Businesses Fail?

Why do businesses fail?

There are a thousand expressions that talk about working hard yielding rewards. Unfortunately, many people in the business world will dispute this philosophy. Hard work is certainly admirable and brings results, but it is not the only ingredient required to ensure business success. 

Business fail because of a myriad of reasons. The simplest being that there is no demand or perceived need for your product. Sometimes we come up with a brilliant idea but it is either just before the wave of popularity strikes, or as brilliant as the idea is, there is no perceived value in the market – meaning that people don’t think they need it – even if they really do! Competition, substitutes, and pricing are also factors which impact on the success of a business.

Looking internally, business success depends equally on people and processes. Both the people in the business, and the processes running the business, need to be competent. If the people are not in the right positions, or if the systems and processes are not effective, the business will ultimately collapse.

It is most important to realise that business failure is not a personal failure. It is simply feedback from the market to tell you that something in your business needs to be changed.

This is the only way a business person can grow and mature their business when they do not succeed. In the words of Ron Holland:

“Failure can either be a stepping stone to success, or a stumbling block to defeat.”

Don’t ever let business failure defeat you!

Who can you trust in your business?

 

Who to trust in your business There’s an expression that says: If you want loyalty, get a dog! Many ‘people-people’ would gasp at this, and many ‘task-oriented people’ would nod their heads knowingly. The reality is that one person cannot build and run a business completely on their own.  Whether they expand inside the business, or outsource externally, at some point there is a need to develop trust so that certain aspects of the business run without the direct involvement of the business owner.

So who can you trust? Trust is an aspect of relationships which can take years to cultivate, but sometimes a business does not have that kind of time. The bottom line is this:

Trust those who are trustworthy.

Actions speak louder than any form of promise or commitment, so trust those who do not watch the clock; who do not only do their job description; who do not complain about work. Trust those who work proactively for the best interest of the company; trust those who are there when you need resources to help; trust those who display honestly and integrity in their dealings; and most importantly, trust those who your gut tells you to trust.

To trust another in your business is to take a risk, because with trust comes certain liberties and power. But without that trust the business can never grow.

“We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk.”

Thomas Moore

 

 

Become a Business Coach with SA Business Coaches

“If you want to build your business and at the same time have a rewarding personal life, you call a coach.”

Denver Post

The coaching industry has witnessed a groundswell in popularity growth over the last five years. Here are the statistics from Dr Sandra Fielden (university of Manchester):

  • 51% increase in the use of coaching in companies
  • 47% increase in e-learning
  • 42% increase in mentoring and buddy-systems in organisations
  • 96% of people in business surveyed (Parsloe and Rolph) stated that people who take on more responsibilities in their working roles need coaching

So why is coaching back in vogue? Because coaching works!

The increase in optimism regarding the world’s economy has resulted in vast quantities of companies investing in business coaches, executive coaches and leadership coaching.

Why Business Coaching?

In a recent study, training alone improved leadership skills by 22%. When combined with Executive Coaching, improvement jumps to 77%.”

Fortune

Quite simply, an industry that it is a growth phase is definitely the place to be. Opportunities and potential lie in each and every business. There is no doubt that the time is now!

Business Coaching is one of those dynamic and never-a-dull-moment opportunities to combine business knowledge with interpersonal skills, allowing the coaching to achieve their goals and move forward with their lives. There is little more excitingand rewarding than igniting a fire of passion under someone who accepts responsibility for their own development… and then watching them race towards their finish line.

“The benefits of coaching appear to win over even the most cynical clients within just a few weeks.”

Money Magazine

So why become a business coach through SA Business Coaches?

 “….many companies….offer coaching as a prerequisite to proven managers, in the understanding that everyone can benefit from a detached observer.”

Harvard Business Review

SA Business Coaches offers the only business coaching course with a comprehensive business syllabus, psychological syllabus and coaching syllabus. Categorically, this is the only course that really gives you all that you need for a very competitive price, designed to be delivered in a manner that not only enhances your learning, but is also manageable for those who are working.

Integrity is at the heart of each coaching intervention.  Chemistry between coach and client is the glue that ensures a successful coaching relationship, and business knowledge is the element of competitive advantage which ensures that you add value to your client, not just in each session, but in terms of helping their business to grow from strength to strength.

The business demand for coaching is nearly doubling each year. Out of the $80 billion being currently spent on corporate education, FLI Research estimates that $2 billion is spent on executive coaching at senior executive levels in Fortune 500 companies.

Business Wire


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Business coaching course in Johannesburg, South Africa

Meet the Entrepreneur 10: Stepping Back

Stepping back from a businessThrough history the rebels who overthrow a government and start a new era are very rarely the people who then run the country.

Similarly, in business. The energy and thought processes that are required by an entrepreneur to launch and develop a business are a completely different skill set to the one that works to grow a stable and professional company. 

This can be difficult for an entrepreneur to hear.  The reality is however that if the entrepreneur wants what is best for the company, the chances are that he or she will naturally start to withdraw from the daily operations. 

 Further to this, the nature of an entrepreneur is to start new things, take on exciting challenges and take the risks which yield the best rewards. Therefore, inevitably the entrepreneur will start craving something new and dynamic.  Their innovative thinking and behavioural style is likely to launch them into another project anyway.

The rebels have a strong purpose and it is through their actions that the biggest changes in history happen. The presidents, prime ministers, or managers keep the status quo and grow things in a consistent and responsible manner.

All businesses need a shake up once in a while and all managers need to be challenged in order to grow. The skill set of the entrepreneur is invaluable and will never be redundant. It’s just a matter of using those skills most effectively and where their impact is the greatest.