The Skills You Need for Business Coaching

See also: What is Coaching?

The power of coaching is recognised in various aspects of business these days, and has helped many businesses reach new heights and achieve a different level of success. Business coaching can help increase work productivity and improve financial results, opening doors to new business opportunities.

But to be a successful business coach, you need to possess certain skillsets. Remember, your job is to coach entrepreneurs and help them start, grow, and sustain their entrepreneurial endeavours.

Here are some of the essential skills you need for business coaching.

1. Leadership Skills

To be a successful entrepreneur, it's not enough that you have great ideas and vision. You also need to possess good leadership skills. If you cannot make your employees follow you, then everything will go to waste. Thus, one of the essential skills that business coaches should possess is leadership ability.

Leaders should know how to delegate work responsibilities, motivate others, and be innovative. As a business coach, you should teach leaders how to delegate work among the team. You must teach them how to assess the level of control they want and clearly communicate this to everyone in the team. Leaders should also know how to motivate others, so business coaches should teach entrepreneurs how to create a motivational environment. Finally, business coaches should also train leaders on how to innovate. They must be able to come up with good ideas that can help them improve their business.

2. Coaching Skills

Your main task as a business coach is to help entrepreneurs be successful by providing guidance or training, otherwise known as coaching. Most business owners these days are looking for advice on how to develop their company, yet they often have a limited number of resources to turn to. Sure, you will find countless business articles and eBooks online about building and successfully growing a business. But, at the end of the day, every business is different, and generic advice is not the best substitute for personalised guidance that business coaches can provide.

But how can one become a successful business coach? The most important attribute of a coach is the willingness to help the person to learn. It is not your responsibility to fix all problems, and you don’t need to have all the answers that entrepreneurs seek. Instead, your role is to support them to become good entrepreneurs to resolve the problems themselves.

Some of the best coaches possess several key coaching skills and attributes that make them successful in coaching. They generally have high emotional intelligence, which means they are good at understanding and relating to people. Regardless of how difficult an entrepreneur is, you should be genuinely willing to help that person. In addition, coaches should know how to empathise and build relationships. More importantly, they should have strong communication skills.

3. Decision Making and Problem Solving

Entrepreneurs are faced with different issues every day, so one of the essential skills they need to learn is solving problems and making the best decisions. Therefore, business coaches should teach them how to make the best decisions and solve even the most complex issues.

As a business coach, you need to teach entrepreneurs some different ways to make a decision, which could be based on either logic or emotion. You should also make them aware of what could stop them from coming up with an effective solution, such as having too much or too little information. Business coaches must also teach entrepreneurs the various stages involved in solving problems, including identifying the problems and breaking them down into components.

When solving problems, business coaches should teach entrepreneurs how to break them down into parts. Even the most complex issues can become more manageable if they are broken down into smaller components. After structuring problems, the next step is to investigate ideas and look for possible solutions. At this stage, they may need to involve others or think more laterally to seek alternatives.

4. Active Listening & Empathy

Business coaches must also be empathetic listeners, which means they should pay close attention to the person they coach while showing empathy. If they want to be understood, they must first seek to understand. To be successful at coaching, they should emotionally connect with the person while simultaneously attempting to connect cognitively.

When a business coach engages in active listening, it helps to establish trust between the two parties. Unlike critical listening, active listening is not about evaluating the messages and offering their own opinion. Instead, it is mostly about making the speaker feel heard and valued. Once you start applying the active listening skill set as a business coach, the person you're coaching will be more participative and engaged in the conversation.

Enhancing your active listening skill set requires more than just hearing a person speak. When putting active listening skills into practice, you must pay close attention to what the person is saying and withhold any judgment. Remember that active listening requires understanding the other person first. As you gain a clearer understanding of the person's perspective, that's when you can start coaching by sharing your ideas, opinions, suggestions, etc.

5. Business Acumen

Business acumen is not necessarily a skill that business coaches need to possess. Instead, it is more about the eagerness to understand the intricacies involved in the business. It's one thing to be good at business coaching, but it's another thing to understand every aspect involved in the business to a certain degree. Unfortunately, this is one thing that many business coaches do not possess.

To be a successful business coach, you must have a basic understanding of almost every area of the business - from marketing to sales, operations, finance, and more. If you have already tried running your own business in the past, then you should already have the basic knowledge. However, if you have worked for somebody else all your life, then there's a good chance that you do not have access to every single aspect of the business, and you might have to brush up on some of these areas.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Coaching and Mentoring

The Skills You Need Guide to Coaching and Mentoring

Coaching and mentoring require some very specific skills, particularly focused on facilitating and enabling others, and building good relationships. This eBook is designed to help you to develop those skills, and become a successful coach or mentor.

This guide is chiefly aimed at those new to coaching, and who will be coaching as part of their work. However, it also contains information and ideas that may be useful to more established coaches, especially those looking to develop their thinking further, and move towards growing maturity in their coaching.

About the Author

This article was provided by Business Coach Leeds, helping businesses and entrepreneurs in Leeds and around West Yorkshire reach their goals.