Why Hire a Business Coach
The best athletes in the world hire coaches. Personal trainers bring accountability to your gym routines. How can a coach help an independent business owner?
A business coach acts as a sounding board
Sometimes you just need someone outside the business to talk to. As you approach an important decision, it is helpful to explain the situation (which gives you clarity), talk through the options, and then decide with the support of the sounding board. A good coach only asks good questions and lets the business owner own the decision:
  • Coach: So, what is the decision you are struggling with?
  • ​What are your options?
  • ​​What are the benefits and costs of choosing each option?
  • ​​When do you need to make this decision?
  • ​​If you had to decide in the next ten seconds, which option would you pick?
Notice the sounding board only asks questions. Try this series of questions on your next decision. This approach is the opposite of the stereotype consultant who tries to give you the answer.

Business owners most often can find the answer on their own with the help of a few good questions from a coach.
A business coach is not a stereotype consultant
The legacy business model of consultants is to hold onto knowledge and share it for a fee. Back in the old days, before you could Google search anything and everything, this model worked. There is still value in having some business skills and knowledge, but knowledge is much easier to find. A good coach has an abundance mindset and is willing to transfer the experience to the business owner and the business.
The science of behaviour change (or not changing)
There has been a lot of development in the understanding of how our brains work over the last 20 years. After I provide a brief summary, I will suggest some experiments you can try to validate the research.

The two parts of the human mind - In “Thinking, fast and slow”, published in 2011 by Nobel laureate, Daniel Kahneman, he separates thought into “System 1” and “System 2”. System 1 is fast, instinctive, and emotional. System 2 is slow, more deliberate, and more logical.

In Chip and Dan Heath’s best-selling book “Switch - How to change things when things are hard”, they use the metaphor of the rider and the elephant. They suggest our brains are like an elephant with a rider perched on top. The rider is the planning, analyzing System 2 rational part of the mind. The elephant is the emotional System 1. To be more scientific, the Rider or System 2 part of our brain is our “ neocortex”. The elephant or the System 1 part is our limbic system. To frame it one other way, the rider is our conscious mind, while the elephant is running our subconscious mind. I like the rider and the elephant metaphor.
So what?
The challenge comes from the fact that it is our elephant, or emotional brain, that records our life’s experiences, including our business experiences. Because it is our mammalian brain, it is prehistorically wired to keep us safe. That’s why the elephant doesn’t like change - in the deepest, subconscious sense, a change is a threat to our safety. If a negative or painful business experience happens, our elephant records the story and then works very hard to avoid it happening again!

This routine by itself is fine. The problem is that our brain has to process about 400,000 decisions about our safety and everything else in our lives every second. In order to be more efficient, it creates little shortcuts and automatic habits that run on their own. Over time, all of these stories about events form our beliefs, control our habits and behaviours, and create our reality. Or more precisely, our perception of reality. Shakespeare’s Hamlet said: “There is nothing neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so.”

Our “thinking” is the combination of both the conscious efforts of the rider and the subconscious efforts of the elephant. The research basically says that the elephant performs most (93%) of the decision-making on autopilot and even when we “think” we are being rational, the elephant is just feeding the rider the thoughts subconsciously in order to align with the memory bank of our past stories.

A good coach has a thorough understanding of human behaviour. They are trained to recognize the self-limiting beliefs and behaviours which are the biggest barriers to personal and business growth.

It’s just human nature. Any business owner can more easily coach another business owner as opposed to trying to coach themselves. The benefit of a coach is that they are not in the business. They can look at it from a completely different perspective.
Are you coachable?
Not everyone is coachable. To extract the benefits of business coaching, you need to have an open mind. You must be willing to give permission to your coach to ask you the important questions in a respectful process. You need to want to expand your conscious awareness and identify the barriers in the way, and this also includes your team of employees. The best business transformations happen when the whole team is aligned and engaged.

If you think you can benefit from a coaching session, we would like to invite you to set up a one-hour discovery call. There is no charge for this session, it's on us!
There are limited spots so be sure to book your free discovery call ASAP!

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email at paul@thebusinesstherapist.com
phone at 519-776-5656

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