Mentoring and Business Coaching Facilitate Company Success

Questions to consider in evaluating coaches.

By Hank Moore, Corporate Strategist

Question 1: How fast is the coaching industry growing?

Coaching industries are growing rapidly because self-styled experts are creating pockets of business for themselves. Demands have long existed for quality service...with few seasoned business advisors available. Thus, niche consultants served the business.

New generations of entry-level consultants are hanging out shingles as “coaches” without backgrounds in guiding people, organizations, and processes. Most business coaches used to be something else and are turning to “coaching” in their downsized career period.

Training programs for coaches are available, some good and some nothing more than multi-level marketing. There’s presently more marketing to the concept of business coaching than substantive track record.

Questions to consider in evaluating coaches include:

  • Would you feel comfortable if they ran your company?
  • What is their longevity? Were they “coaches” five years ago? Business advisors must have at least a 10-year track record to be at all viable as a judgment resource.
  • What is their maturity level? Could they appear before a board of directors?
  • How do they meet deadlines, initiate projects, and offer ideas beyond the obvious?
  • If one level of coach sells the business, will this same professional service your account? Demand that coaches of seniority staff the client.
  • How consistent are they with specific industries, types of projects and clients?
  • How good a generalist are they? Coaches with too narrow a niche will not ultimately serve your best interests.

Question 2: What is the hottest new idea?

The hot new idea is to focus on depth and substance...not on flash and sizzle. Those who proclaim that hot ideas make good coaches are vendors selling flavors of the month...not seasoned business advisors. If coaching is based only on hot ideas, it is nothing more than hucksterism. Coaching must be a thorough process of guiding the client through the levels of accomplishment.

The ideal coach:

  • Clearly differentiates what he/she does...and will not presume to “do it all.”
  • Is a tenured full-time business advisor, not a recently downsized corporate employee or somebody seeking your work to “tide themselves over.”
  • Has actually run a business.
  • Was a good member on other people’s teams.
  • Knows that each player has strengths and works within those perimeters.
  • Has consulted companies of comparable size and complexity as yours.
  • Has current references and case histories.
  • Gives “value-added” insight...in contrast to simply performing tasks.
  • Sees the scope of work as a professional achievement...rather than just billable hours.
  • Pursues client relationship building...as opposed to just rendering a contract service.

7 Levels at Which Mentors Are Utilized Based Upon The Business Tree

  1. Resource: Equipment, tools, materials, schedules.
  2. Skills and Tasks: Duties, activities, tasks, behaviors, attitudes, contracting, project fulfillment.
  3. Role and Job: Assignments, responsibilities, functions, relationships, follow-through, accountability.
  4. Systems and Processes: Structure, hiring, control, work design, supervision, decisions.
  5. Strategy: Planning, tactics, organizational development.
  6. Culture and Mission: Values, customs, beliefs, goals, objectives, benchmarking.
  7. Philosophy: Organizational purpose, vision, quality of life, ethics, long-term growth.

7 Levels of Mentoring and Coaching Based Upon The Business Tree

  1. Conveying Information. Initial exposure to the coaching process. One-time meeting or conference between mentors and mentees. The coach is a resource for business trends, societal issues, opportunities. The coach is active listener, coaches on values, actions.
  2. Imparting Experiences. The coach becomes a role model. Insight offered about own life-career. Reflection strengthens the mentor and shows mentee levels of thinking and perception that were not previously available to the mentee.
  3. Encouraging Actions. The coach is an advocate for progress, change. Empowers the mentee to hear, accept, believe, and get results. Sharing of feelings, trust, ideas, philosophies.
  4. Paving the Way. The coach endorses the mentee...wants his/her success. Messages ways to approach issues, paths in life to take. Helps draw distinctions. Paints picture of success.
  5. Wanting the Best. Continuing relationship between the coach and mentee. Progress is visioned, contextualized, seeded, benchmarked. Accountability-communication by both sides.
  6. Advocating, Facilitating. The coach opens doors for the mentee. The coach requests proactive changes of mentee, evaluates realism of goals, offers truths about path to success and shortcomings of mentee’s approaches. Bonded collaboration toward each other’s success.
  7. Sharing Profound Wisdom. The coach stands for mentees throughout careers, celebrates successes. Energy coaching and love-respect for each other continues throughout the relationship. Mentor actively recruits fellow business colleagues to become mentors. Lifelong dedication toward mentorship...in all aspects of one’s life.

A regular contributor to www.trainingmag.com, Hank Moore has advised 5,000-plus client organizations worldwide (including 100 of the Fortune 500, public sector agencies, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations). He guides companies through growth strategies, visioning, strategic planning, executive leadership development, Futurism, and Big Picture issues that profoundly affect the business climate. Moore conducts company evaluations, creates the big ideas, and anchors the enterprise to its next tier. The Business Tree is his trademarked approach to growing, strengthening, and evolving business, while mastering change. His current book is “The Business Tree,” published by Career Press. Moore also speaks at conferences and facilitates corporate retreats on strategy. He has advised two U.S. Presidents and spoken at five Economic Summits. To read his complete biography, visit http://www.hankmoore.com.

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When I first joined Training magazine in 2007, my publisher gave me a stack of magazines to read and strongly suggested I familiarize myself with Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Evaluation.

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