Harvard Business Schools Take on Executive Coaching

A Harvard Business Review survey on business coaching has revealed some very interesting data that will assist those on the fence make up their minds about the potential value of executive coaching.

Within the study a lot of useful questions were asked that can cast light on what is required to set up the best possible relationship between an executive coach and any business leader they are working with.

The very first question asked was: Do the coach and the executive have good chemistry? If the answer is yes, this will definitely help the pair move forward and attain their goals. On the other hand if the answer is no, it’s probably advantageous to search for another coach as a coaching relationship is intimate and the individual being coached must trust the coach.

The 2nd question was: Is the executive willing to change their leadership style? A ‘yes’ is required for the relationship to have any chance of success, since change is hard to make and even harder to make stick. If the answer is ‘no’, then the executive is fixed in their ‘way of being’ and not open to change, so in all likelihood the coaching won’t work.

The 3rd concern asked was: Does the executive have the support of his/her leading management? If management is supportive of their leader then the coach and the executive can accomplish terrific things together. However if management is not fully supportive of the leader, there is little point in hiring a coach as its not really going to produce measurable results, and the real potential of the relationship is likely to be stunted. Often it is a direct result of management trying to push an executive along that coaching is offered and it can certainly be a great technique for maintaining personnel.

The 4th and final question focuses on the concern of “shifting focus”. Many of respondents who were surveyed for this study agreed that their coaching focus altered in time. And this is generally an excellent thing. When a coach’s focus shifts, many times it’s because development has actually been made. The important issue is to make sure that the scope of the coaching work is well recorded, as this ensures focus is maintained and a positive measurable result is more likely.

How to choose the best business coach for you

Business coaches can be important aids to any business, especially when a company is stalled or in decline, business coaches can come in and help guide management in the correct direction, help them alter direction, address complications and get back on course. But how does one choose the most suitable business coach?

Not all coaches are equal, there are a great deal of high quality result driven coaches that dedicate their lives to the things they do, nevertheless there are a number of wanna be coaches that enter coaching because they have failed in other careers and probably shouldn’t in truth be coaching anyone. Looking for the appropriate coach to work with can be problematic if you do not know where to look, how do you tell the legitimate from the unreal? The following pointers are designed to offer you a heads up to assist you in making the perfect choice of coach for you and your circumstance.

So what exactly should I search for in a great business coach?
Amongst the key things you really should search for in a professional business coach is his/her performance history. Unqualified and inexperienced coaches will not have the list of customers that a person who has actually applied their lives to the profession. So request references, reviews and case studies and do your homework to see what your prospective coach has actually achieved in the past.
What skills do they offer? This is the second thing that really should be considered is the coaches past record, the experience they can bring to the table. While fantastic coaching methods can take a client a long way, the skills, experience and performance history of your coach determine their ability to really mentor you and help you to put plans into action. So check out the coaches own business background well before you agree to deal with them and sign a contract.motivation

Another essential subject is confidentiality. Make certain that your coach is prepared to sign a confidentiality contract. Lots of people in the past have found themselves disadvantaged by surrendering private company details to business coaches who have later on shared the info with another business in the very same industry. A confidentiality agreement should really be a non-negotiable condition of any coaching arrangement, and if a coach is not prepared to sign one, you should go on to somebody else.

Lastly, look for a coach that is not only going to give you recommendations but also feedback on things that you are doing. The quality of feedback supplied will directly correlate to the coaches own business experience. Always search for a coach with a great performance history, an excellent list of clients, testimonials and other proof of effective coaching engagements, and if possible try and choose somebody who has in fact succeeded in business themselves.


Is your web professional a good match for your business?

useless-websitesIf your website doesn’t bring you leads or sales, what was the point? If people never find your website or find it but don’t engage enough to take an action, then it isn’t an asset that’s delivering results. Which at the end of the day is why anyone would bother investing in the creation of web properties isn’t it? It can be disheartening when you invest a lot of time, energy, thought, not to mention money into a project only to find that it doesn’t deliver. How do you make the right decisions so you know your investment will be worthwhile when there are so many choices available and the range in cost and time-frame is equally extensive. If you’re fortunate enough to know someone that can give you a good recommendation of a web professional that can help you navigate this complexity of choices, but even then, there are critical questions you need to be asking to ensure you have a good match that will deliver the results you are after. There are many, many web professionals out there and an extraordinary range of value; from the high end, “only high-turnover-businesses can afford them”, to the bottom of the range “do-it-yourself and hope for the best”.
The intention of this article is to give you a “heads up”, to help give you the best possible chance of having web properties that are both an asset for your enterprise and value for money.

The first thing to consider is engagement. How will your web properties engage with future clients? Good layout and aesthetic design is one part of that picture, but you also need to consider what are potential customers thinking about when they are looking for what I have to offer? How can they easily find the answers to these questions when they see my ads or get to my website? Will they feel a sense of relief they have found what they are looking for when they look at your site and will they get that relatively quickly? Quality images are also important especially if you are doing it yourself or cheaply don’t ruin it with images that will drive traffic away. Also question whether you are really the best person to write for your site. I’m sure you can write and you also know all about your business and your customers, but writing with the intention of engaging people and encouraging them to take action is a specialist type of writing, and unless you studied marketing at uni, it’s unlikely that you’ve learnt how to write in this way. Having a potential customer stay longer at your site, or better yet, feel they have found what they are looking for when they get to your site, is, after all, why you would bother to even have a site.

The second point to consider is traffic, how will potential customers find your web properties? Once your website is complete, what is going to make the difference between another website hanging out somewhere in cyberspace and people actually seeing it? Is this just somewhere people you personally hand your business card to are going to be able to look up and find out a bit more, or are you hoping for a bit more impact? If you are, then you need to think about traffic. To get traffic to your website you can use traditional methods; flyers, newspaper ads, letterbox drops, radio and so on or you can look at online advertising; adwords, seo and social networking sites are the most common, or a combination of both online and offline. Whichever method is right for you will depend on your budget, your market, the type of product or offer you have and your profit margin. Good campaigns will often change over time, perhaps by using one or two methods with the intention of reaching a break even point and then going into positive return on investment. You then have the situation of your marketing paying for itself and branching out your campaign into other methods or additional ads and extending your reach. This will help you build on the momentum and use your web properties to profitably grow your business.

The third point is strategy. Is your web company a churn the numbers, tick boxes type or do they take pride in making sure you get the best possible outcome and your investment is exactly that; an investment? Is there an over-arching strategy behind all the decisions you and your web professional are making? Having the big picture is a very important element in coming up with winning online results and you can easily tell if a web professional is taking this into consideration by the questions they are asking you. If they are taking the time to understand about your business; what it offers, your customers, why someone would choose your business over a competitor. In short they are looking for the best way to sell what you do and reach who wants what you do with a compelling message, then you have someone that knows what they are doing and will give you the online advantage that you need.