23 Mar The Value of a Good Coach
“That’s what mentoring is: it’s teaching you how to respond.” -T.D. Jakes
A good coach or mentor isn’t psychic. They can’t see around every corner for you or predict the future by looking into a crystal ball. I mean, I guess I could try that but I’m not sure we’d have a good outcome.
That person also can’t run your race for you. If the person doesn’t help you improve your own skills, they aren’t really doing you justice.
My German knitting teacher.
Several years ago, I wanted to learn how to knit. I bought a couple of books and tried to watch tutorial videos, but I learn best by doing. So the books and videos weren’t helping me much. Ask and you shall receive: I found a German grandmother who gave knitting lessons to people. I signed up for her classes and she had two ground rules: 1) you’ll learn how to do everything correctly; and 2) you must always remember that knitting mistakes are not fatal. As I discovered, learning how to do things correctly meant me learning for myself, not her making the stitches for me. She was there to guide me but not to do the work for me. And so it is with a business coach. That person should be teaching YOU how to respond to situations. Just like a therapist who teaches you coping skills can’t feel your emotions for you– you have to do it yourself.
Why is this important?
I’m sure you have heard the phrase, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” The concept is the same. Someone who counsels you on how to respond to things like sales objections, squirrely prospects, and shifty clients is giving you a skill to take with you into your own business and to impart to your staff. That is one reason why I am opposed to training programs (and I use that term loosely) that hand out sales scripts and send you on your way. Sitting on the phone and robotically reading scripts all day is not teaching you a damn thing. It’s not putting any new weapons in your arsenal; it’s really just making you a telemarketer. I’m also not a fan of programs that solely or primarily kick you into a social media group or a message board to chat with other people. High level coaching/mentoring is a totally different animal than getting a group of people together for $100/person and saying, “OK. Y’all get on my message board and hash everything out together. I’ll moderate from time to time.” It’s important to me to instill good day-to-day business strategies as well as significant mindset changes so that, when new challenges arise, you feel prepared to meet them. You’ll know how to respond.
Have you considered a coach for your business? Looking for someone who can help you reach the next level? Let’s talk about it.