I shouldn’t be surprised that you ask, what exactly does a business coach do? After all, it has taken me many years to answer it for myself, and it took me several training courses and hundreds of hours of working with clients before I could honestly say, firstly, what business coaching is not.
What a business coach is not.
A business coach is not the same as a mentor. A mentor is someone who has specific knowledge about a particular area of business, and so you hire them to teach you how to do it, say like drawing up a business plan or advising on employment issues.
A business coach is not a therapist. Traditionally, psychotherapy and counselling, focus mainly on your unconscious emotional woundings from your early life and how these patterns of reacting to your early life, keep repeating and sabotaging you in your adult life.
Finally, a business coach will not do the work for you; coaching only works when you take full responsibility for the changes you want to make in your business life.
Why you may need a business coach.
Think back to the last time someone truly, genuinely listened to you and then asked you powerful questions to draw out, even more, learning for you, and not just for a few seconds but a whole hour?
If you have had such an experience, then I am sure it will stand out in your memory. Why? Because it is such a rare experience in our busy lives for someone to have the time or the patience to really hear us.
How business coaching changes the brain.
As neuroscience has discovered, our brains are constantly rewiring themselves, even during a conversation, new ideas are formed, and hence new neural pathways laid down, you are rewiring your brain as you read this article!
The discovery of mirror-neurones also shows how quickly our brains can copy another person’s actions when a new skill is demonstrated to us. This is not just limited to practical skills those same mirror-neurones also respond just as quickly when new ways of social behaviour are shown to us.
So when you enter into a business coaching session:
- Your brain starts to pay attention to every subtle nuance the business coach displays. As you talk, you notice the coach really listening to you and asking increasingly probing questions.
- With each question asked, your conscious mind retrieves fragments of low-resolution memories from your past and then assembles them in your short term conscious memory, pice-by-pice into a high-resolution jigsaw of a story.
- Now your freshly constructed memory can be explored and challenged, the questions asked by yourself and the coach, start to rearrange the pieces into a more helpful story, “Yes, I can go to the gym three times a week, if I scheduled it in my diary each week!”
- Then when you commit to doing the new behaviour and agree to be accountable to yourself and your coach, this changed narrative is written back into your long term memory. So that your old habits start to weaken and the new story begins to create new neural pathways of the behaviours you desire.
- Another positive consequence of pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone is that new genes start to switch on in your body and brain enabling greater physical strength and mental agility to develop. Find out more about Epigenetics here
A business coach is an expensive luxury to have in your life. Surely it would be cheaper for you to go and watch all those free TED talks online and then read a few of those thousands of self-help books on Amazon? Yes, that would work if you were a computer! But you are not a machine; you are an intensely social animal, you need to be seen and heard by another person who will then hold you accountable to your word and actions.
Accountability is the final key ingredient in making a change in your life, without it, business coaching becomes a load of empty words, your words only become powerful when you take action and report back to someone that you have taken action. And if you failed at your new behaviour, then let’s look at that and see how we can improve your approach so next time success is inevitable!
Extra resources – How incredibly flexible your brain is.
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Business Coaching is a unique approach to helping you change your behaviour. There is no guarantee of quick success, but I know from personal experience when I try and make changes on my own, my success rate is low, when I have friends or even a coach standing by my side on the journey into the unknown, then my chances of success are significantly increased!
If you have any other questions about how coaching works, then click over to my governing body, the International Coaching Federation, for more details.
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If you need help getting clear as to what your values are and how well you are living up to them in your life, then book a free 20-minute session with me, and we can talk about how we can help you create more meaning in your life.