Guest blog: Coaching for business

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sam white

If you’re looking to unlock an idea that could transform your business it might be time to talk to a coach. Sam White, who works as a trainer, mentor and coach, explains why…

Coaches have been in the news quite a lot recently. We can all remember the downcast look on Roy Hodgson’s face when England were knocked out of the World Cup. Which was contrasted with the hopeful face of Andy Murray’s new coach Amelie Mauresmo at Wimbledon this year, not just a new coach for the defending champion, but a woman as well.

But is a sports coach the same as a business coach? Sports coaches use their own experience to give advice and direction on things like technique, fitness and strategy. Business coaching, on the other hand, takes a completely different approach.

In this context, coaches should assume that the coachee has a solution already and that it just needs to be teased out through questioning and dialogue. Coaching can help an individual or business decide on the next move and how to make a change. A business may request coaching for an employee who isn’t performing as well as expected or to help them unlock the key to improvement. But whatever the scenario, coaches in a business context shouldn’t be giving advice or direction.

What about when the business or individual would appreciate some guidance? In our experience as mentors and coaches, a combined approach can be really helpful. If you genuinely don’t know which way to turn, no amount of carefully crafted questions is going to present you with the answer.

You need to speak to someone who has been in a similar situation before and who can offer their perspective on it and share their experience of what happened next – which is where mentoring kicks in.

Most importantly whether you’re looking for coaching or mentoring, it’s worth talking over what you’re hoping to get out of the process beforehand, as asking for this support can have dynamic and invigorating results for your business.

About the author:

Sam White is the co-owner of Piece of Cake Training and Consultancy, which offers training, coaching and mentoring support to businesses. She also works as a team coach on the BA Hons in Business Entrepreneurship at Falmouth University.