Over the past few years, books such as “Good to Great” by Jim Collins have created serious interest and major growth in the area of business coaching. Although many executives and business owners are familiar with consultants as individuals or teams who enter the business to impart expertise, not so many understand what a business coach does. Essentially the main difference lies in the focus; the consultant focuses on business processes whereas the coach focuses on you.
So how do these two services differ? The consultant enters a challenging business scenario armed with the expertise to come up with possible solutions. The business coach interacts with the individuals empowering them to uncover and implement their own solutions. Essentially, the business coach focuses on behaviour, values and habits that shape processes and performance.
Both coaches and consultants can be vital to business success; but may be required in different scenarios, for instance
The consultant will offer advice, but the coach will empower and support you in uncovering your own. Consultants will present a report of their findings whereas the coach will deliver feedback to empower you to question and review your own thinking and behaviour.
I’ve used both interventions through the course of my professional life and I would not have achieved success without either one. The key was knowing who to call … and when. If I could give an executive or entrepreneur advice, it would be to surround yourself with a strong team. There’s no way of guaranteeing success, but there are things you can do to enhance your chances and avoid costly mistakes along the way.
I wish I’d known this at the beginning of my entrepreneurial career .. although it is the reason I started Idea Alive.
Lynne Frost is the founder and managing director of Idea Alive - a coaching business that works with Executives and Entrepreneurs.
For more information go to: www.ideaaliveSA.co.za