coachingMaking the decision to hire a business coach is not only a major one for any business, it also represents a significant investment.  While making the initial decision to hire a coach may have been easy, what is not so simple is ensuring the right steps are taking during the hiring process.

There are some common mistakes that business owners and managers make when hiring a coach that can significantly reduce the benefits of coaching.  Specifically, these are:

  1.  Lack of clearly defined business outcomes
  2. No selection criteria (or criteria that are poorly defined)
  3. Rushing the hiring process.

An outline of each of these mistakes along with how to avoid them is outlined below.

Mistake #1 –  Lack of Clearly Defined Business Outcomes

It may sound obvious but often when the decision is made to get some business coaching, there is little consideration given to the specifics of what the coaching will achieve.  This is a sure recipe for disaster and usually results in poor results at a significant cost.

Solution:  Before hiring someone to help with the business, it is important to be very clear on what it is that the business is looking to accomplish.  Is it help with planning, managing employees, strategic development, mentoring, financial management, operations, marketing, sales or a combination of these that is required?

Take the time to formulate what the outcomes and expectations for business coaching will be, along with the business goals and objectives.  It is often best to do this in consultation with any relevant managers or staff to ensure maximum benefit to the business.

Mistake #2 – No Selection Critieria

Not only is it important to know what your business outcomes are, but it is just as vital to define what you are looking for in hiring a business coach.  Employees must always fit a certain set of criteria to be considered, and so should a business coach.

Solution:  Specify what the criteria will be when selecting a coach and write them out as a checklist for use during the interview process.  Considerations here may include availability, flexibility, areas of expertise, experience, staff/resources and price.  Each of these can also be given a weighting based on their importance.

Having an idea of what criteria are important when hiring a coach will make the process a lot easier and faster by helping to eliminate unsuitable candidates quickly.

Mistake #3 – Rushing The Hiring Process

It is tempting once the decision has been made to hire a coach to get it done quickly so that the business can start to benefit.  But again, this can be a costly mistake in both time and money.

Solution:  Approach this as a project that will take place over a few weeks.  Here’s a simple breakdown of what is involved.

  1.  Research period.  During this stage compile a list of names for possible candidates.  This can be done through talking to other businesses, internet research, contacting relevant organisations or associations etc.
  2. Interview process.  Make contact with possible candidates and start talking to those of interest using the selection criteria outlined.
  3. Due diligence period.  During this time it is pertinent to check references, ask for any further information to help with the decision and also discuss the cost of the coaching.
  4. Selection.  Now it is time to pick the right coach and get to work on the business.

While these are common mistakes often made in hiring a business coach, using the solutions and process outlined above will ensure that the right coach is selected for the business.  Taking the time to do this is smart business and will bring benefits for a long time.

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