Coaching: How can it help you and your business?

By Anne Bachrach

A.M. Enterprises (The Accountability Coach)


There are various ways to approach coaching since every coach brings a unique perspective to learning. What are the most common subjects that coaches tackle?

Apply coaching to your life and realize your true potential

Coaching is a form of teaching, with the directive of instructing and training a person to develop a specific ability. There may be many abilities involved under one broad category in this training, for example, athleticism or management. There are various ways to approach coaching since every coach brings a unique perspective to learning. What are the most common subjects that coaches tackle?

Life coaching, business coaching, and other forms

Life coaching helps clients to organize their life and pursue their life’s ambitions — professional and personal. Life coaches use a variety of methods to help give their clients confidence and guide them to take initiative that leads to action and results. Life coaches do not treat psychological disorders, nor do they serve as therapists or special consultants.They train people for the pursuit of life and happiness, and to help bring balance into their lives.

Coaches' programs usually center on positive thinking, behavior modification, setting goals, and some form of belief practice. Interestingly, although life coaching is not intended to replace professional therapy, it does actually derive much of its instruction from advanced courses in sociology, psychology and career counseling.

Personal coaching is similar to life coaching, but is limited by the client who wants the coaching to focus on one avenue in particular.

Business coaching concentrates on advice that will be of use in a professional environment. This training may focus on improving human communication, working on effectiveness as well as efficiency, delegation and psychometrics.

When and how is business coaching requested?

Companies seek out these coaching opportunities, usually when a business is perceived to be performing at a low standard. However, even some businesses that are doing well believe that their operation could benefit from such experience and knowledge.

There are several classes of business coaching to consider, such as employee training, corporate training, entrepreneurial coaching, or even leadership coaching. Business coaching is not the same thing as mentoring, though the two phrases are often related. Business coaching may involve some form of mentoring, but mentoring is merely an unregulated developmental relationship that may or may not be offered commercially.

Another form of coaching is conflict coaching, which concentrates on improving communication and minimizing conflict in volatile relationships. Conflict coaching may be organizational or may be limited to family units. There are other forms of coaching, such as dating coaching, athletic coaching and hobby coaching, but most people think of the term coaching in a business context.
Self-coaching, Group coaching, and one-on-one coaching

The most common forms of coaching programs are self-coaching, peer (or group) coaching, seminars, and one-on-one coaching. There are advantages and disadvantages to each style. Let’s review each method one at a time.

Self-coaching: Can be advantageous in that there are no time constrictions and the learner can work at his own pace. Despite the term “self," this method of coaching is still usually a guided process, since the learner is reading educational materials from a verifiable source, such as a correspondence school.

Whether this is effective coaching depends on the abilities and personality of the learner. He or she must be personally accountable and must be committed to finishing the course within an amount of time that would benefit them. This coaching is typically not as effective as the other forms and often the person doing the coaching will consistently let things get in their way and end up procrastinating; therefore, not doing well on achievement of their goals.

Group coaching: Group coaching teaches many learners at once with the aid of one or more coaches. Group coaching utilizes the crowd of people as an advantage, relying on multiple energies and greater support in numbers. Most companies and entrepreneurs prefer group coaching because it is cost efficient. This model may be ideal for the spread of standardized information; however, group coaching is limited in what it can do for individual improvement.

Seminars: The seminar is basically a glorified classroom operated similarly to group coaching. Like group coaching, a seminar lets listeners interact and listen to an experienced coach. Some seminars do tend to sensationalize a subject, however, and may be presided over by a dubious authority.

One-on-one coaching: This is perhaps the most effective means of coaching, as it combines the coaching process with a mentoring arrangement. Coaches work with people directly and illustrate principles with personal examples. The disadvantage of one-on-one coaching is in its limitation: energy and resources are often restrained, while coaching time can be expensive for both the client and the coach.

What is the best method of coaching for you? What is the best way to train your staff and team members to be more efficient and effective in their performance?

The answer is: whatever works.

You may have to try one or more of the above teaching methods in order to find a system that is helpful. As stated, larger companies tend to invest in group coaching because they can’t afford other alternative. Time is just as important as money in business, and one-on-one coaching can be time consuming. Sometimes a little information and a lot of motivation can go a long way. Research and review the options that are best for you to achieve your goals in the time frame you desire. Pick one and implement that system as it is designed and it will make a difference in your life.