It's a Match: How to Find a Business Coach to Achieve Your Goals | Chicago Association of REALTORS®

Coaching is everywhere: personal coaching, coaching for sports enhancement, executive coaching. These days, hiring a coach seems synonymous with having a smartphone. But, since coaching is a newer profession, many people do not seem to understand what kind of personal or educational background makes for a good coach. And even fewer can explain exactly what a coach does and why anyone in business might need one.

The most important thing to remember when looking for a business coach is to find one whose training, background and skills most closely match your specific goals.

After clarifying where a business owner would like to take their business, business coaching will help plan and prioritize what goals and strategies are needed to help progress the business closer to its goal.

Find The “Right Fit”

A good fit occurs when communication flows easily between the client and the coach. Some people might call that a good ‘personality fit.’ If clients feel as if they are going to the dentist, they do not have the right fit.

The right coach will do the following:

  • Make clients feel comfortable.
  • Develop an understanding of the client’s potential.
  • Show respect for the client’s values.
  • Create a trusting relationship.
  • Be supportive and non-judgmental in helping clients to change.
  • Provide a non-threatening place to develop the client-coach dialogue.

Business coaching is not about imposing the coach’s values on the client. The focus is to help clients discover and use their own values to achieve their goals.

Know Your Style

Good business coaches do not offer off-the-shelf solutions. Each client offers a unique combination of personality, situation, challenges and needs. Taken in sum, these factors provide a road map for the coaching agenda. The coach’s goal is to help clients achieve their goals.

Some clients respond well to direct questioning and a directive approach. They prefer a pragmatic structure, like ‘this is what you need to do.’ Other clients prefer arriving at their own conclusions and require a different approach. There is no right or wrong way to learn something; each person is different.

Another option would be using a generalist as a coach. The advantage of using a generalist is that the coach will have a more global view of the market, which affects the real estate community in many ways.

Coaching is more about the individual and less about the industry, in our opinion. Business coaches bring their experiences from working with a variety of clients to each engagement. This can go a long way in looking at opportunities from an enterprise perspective, which can lead to a more creative and effective plan.

Know Your Goals

Coaching is not about fixing what is broken. It is about enhancing something that already works. Successful people are generally motivated by goals, and goals drive the coaching relationship.

Many business leaders want to work on a variety of business-related “soft” skills, from leadership styles to communication techniques. Leaders may find that the entrepreneurial skillset that helped them launch their company several years ago does not work as well now that the company is larger and more diverse. Companies have a life cycle just as people do, and leaders need to cultivate different skills at different stages.

Discover Your Potential

Desire is not the only component needed for success; successful individuals also need potential. What a coach does is help you gain a clearer understanding and awareness of your potential and how that potential relates to your goals.

Many coaches use a client-centered approach. The coaching relationship focuses on what the client wants. Many busy individuals use a coach as an objective sounding board because employees, family members or business partners are not so impartial where business is concerned.

Be Open to Change

Coaching provides a fertile environment for change to occur; it provides all the right conditions for growth. There is no guarantee that change will happen exactly as you may have envisioned, but keep in mind: coaching is not about changing people against their will.

It is not enough to know your goals. Together with your coach, develop a set of specific, actionable steps to achieve them. Set a time frame for how long you think it will take and some interim milestones that indicate success. For coaching to be effective, accountability is required for progress.

While all the results are not yet in, several recent studies have suggested a worthwhile return on investment for coaching in the workplace. Depending on the report, the ROI can be as little as five to one or as much as 22 to one. Those are tangible results to the bottom line. In the less tangible category, coached executives report better relationships with their employees and co-workers, less stress and increased job satisfaction.

In the years to come, the research will undoubtedly increase. However, the rewards already look promising. The question may no longer be “do I need a business coach?” but “when should I consult a business coach?”– and no better time to act than the present.

The ebbs and flows of the real estate market may require pivots in your plan. Working with a coach during downturns in the market creates a wonderful opportunity for professional growth in sales, marketing, leadership, management and more. This can prepare you for handling the busy seasons with greater effectiveness and success.