With any career, you need to
have some level of development in order to get started. Some choose to seek out
professional degree programs at universities while others take training
seminars or are self-taught. The circumstances are the same for those looking
at a career in business coaching. There are multiple ways you can take, and the
choices you make in your education and development are entirely up to you.
As you begin your business
coaching career, you may wonder what additional training you may need outside
of this article. Are you all set once you close your textbook for the last time
and walk away with your certification? Unfortunately, you're never really done.
Business coaching requires constant learning, as there are always new things
emerging in your industry and the industries of your clients.
This article will cover the
additional aspects of your education that you might not think of when you
begin. It will also discuss how you can continue your education and development
as a business coach for years to come.
After Your Training
This article is, essentially,
the bulk of your training for your business coaching career. You will have
knowledge and experience that you are bringing with you into the article,
obviously, but your training is there to teach you how to apply it. As with all
things in life, not everything can be taught in a classroom. There may be a few
things that you will truly learn once you have your certification in hand and
have entered into the field. That experience and knowledge you brought with you
into the article? Chances are you gained most of it outside of the classroom,
often after making a mistake or two.
Learning in a non-classroom
setting does not mean that taking a class isn't worth it-apologies to those who
excitedly thought they could just shut this textbook and walk away. What you
learn in a business coaching course are the theories and
technical aspects behind your career. You learn that information now, before
you are in the field, so you have a steady foundation to work on.
When you enter into the
business coaching field, you may find that you underestimated a few things. You
encounter a problem that wasn't in your training or that you are completely
unfamiliar with. Everyone's experience is different, and you shouldn't let
those issues stop you from developing your skills and becoming the best
business coach you can be.
While it is not a complete
list, the following are some of the things you may face in the business
coaching field that you may have to learn through experience rather than
training. If you face any of these things, or other challenges, remember to preserve and learn from them.
Finding a balance-Some
coaches find themselves facing the challenge of balancing the roles that they
need to play for their clients. Often you need to be more than just a coach,
but a leader, mentor, friend, and teacher all at once. 1 You may not
realize it, but in your personal life you also play many roles harmoniously.
Finding that same degree of balance in your professional life may take time and
a little trial-and-error to get it right.
Running a business-Perhaps
you are starting your business coaching career with preexisting knowledge and
experience of running a business. Congratulations, you're already passed that
hurdle. However, not all business coaches have run their own business solely by
themselves. It can be overwhelming and you may question if you need the help of
a business coach yourself to get started. Running your own business, solo, may
come with a learning curve and a few bumps as you get started.
Too much, too fast-Sometimes,
you do need to walk before you can run. You might be so excited to start your
business coaching career that you dive right in and dive deep. Occasionally,
some coaches dive too deep. You will need to remember that you are human and
have limits, and finding your work pace can take some time and effort, just
like finding your work balance can.
Staying Up To Date
As part of your development
and continued education as a business coach, you will need to do what you can
to stay as up-to-date as possible. Most experts agree that the coaching
industry is going to need to stay in a constant state of progress if it wants
to keep up with its clientele. 2 Things change, the unexpected
happens, and predictions go awry. Keeping up with the goings on of the
industries of your clients will help put you ahead of your competition. When
there's an estimated 53,300 active coaches worldwide, anything that can safely
put you at the front of the line is something you should consider. 3
As the old saying goes,
knowledge is power. The more of it that you have, the more likely you will be able
to stay sharp, and have an edge over your competition. So what can you do to
stay up to date?
Check out industry news-Looking at what is going on in your clients' professional
industries is going to help you prepare for what they might ask for and need in
coaching. Pay attention to emerging trends, ideas, and anything that might
affect your coaching. Don't forget to check out your own industry, as changes
in business coaching can be beneficial or harmful for you.
Conventions, and Conferences-For every industry, there are times where associated
professionals can meet up and get caught up on the goings on in their field.
Most conferences and conventions will allow you to mingle with your peer and
swap information. You'll be able to talk with industry leaders and hear about
the industry's progress straight from the source. You can also go to
conferences for your clients' industries, and gain information from there as
well that you can use. Plus, you might get the added bonus of growing your
network and customer base.
What's your competition up to?-Part of going to conferences is you get to see what your
competitors are up to. What are they doing to get clients that you're not?
Likewise, you can see what they're doing that isn't bringing customers to their door and avoid doing it yourself.
Your competition does not need to be viewed as the enemy either and you can
network with them. Networking can be used to share valuable information that
you can use to stay up to date.
What are your clients asking for?- The demands of the
industry are going to shape a lot of your professional decisions as a business
coach. A part of that involves what your clients want. It is very easy to fall
behind in your industry if you are not listening to what your clients' want,
which can cause them to pass you over for another coach. Your clients are also
going to be paying attention to their own industries and may find out things
before you do through their own network. Listen, pay attention, and you may
learn something new.
As part of your development as a business coach, you will
need to do things to improve your skills. Staying up to date on the comings and
goings of your field will only do you so much good. Improving your skills as
your career progress will ensure that you don't get sloppy. You can know all
the moves in theory, but if your footwork is rusty then no one is going to want
to dance with you.
Just as you can add to your knowledge, you can also add
to your skillset and improve upon what you already have. It is your
responsibility to keep your skills up to a level of standard, and you should do
so regularly. Some of the following are just some of the options you can choose
from to help improve your skills and abilities.
Take Seminars and Workshops-You can get more out of attending industry related
conferences and conventions than just news. Most of those events will offer
seminars and workshops for attendees to learn new skills and polish their old
ones. These sessions are often lead by your peers from the industry who have
proven to be successful and have years of experience in the industry. They
were, once upon a time, in your shoes and can relate to you.
Review Your Training-Most
of your skills are going to develop by the time you've finished your training
to be a business coach. Sometimes, going back to your roots is the best method
of improving your abilities. Your training gave you the methods that you use
with your skills. Sometimes, those same methods can be used to rebuild or
strengthen those same skills. When you went through training, you had to apply
those skills to those methods in order for them to work. Do they still work
now? How did you get them to mesh during training? What did you do or not do
during training to reach the acceptable standard for certification?
you may find that you suspect your skills are falling behind. As a type of
preemptive strike against your skills weakening, you can test yourself on a
regular basis. You can use those same puzzles to
test your skills and push them towards improvement. The difficulty of the tests
you choose can be steadily increased so you actually are pushing yourself with
them. If the tests are starting to become too easy, then you're not pushing
yourself and you run the risk of letting the quality of your skills slip.
Listen to Feedback-The
importance of feedback has already been discussed , but it
really can be an important tool for improving your skills. The feedback you
receive from your clients can be the easiest way to keep track of your
skillset's proficiency. If you regularly ask for feedback from your clients, or
include an evaluation as part of your coaching process, you can take that
information and use to monitor for any changes that can prove harmful to your
career. Using the feedback, you can catch your skills slipping before it
becomes a problem.
One of the final things that
you can do in your business coaching career in terms of development is to
expand your business. Growth is often the surest sign of development and
progress in professionalism. If you reach the point during your career where
you can expand your business coaching service, then chances are you are doing
Expansion will probably
become one of your business goals for your coaching service. Reaching the point
where it becomes possible may take time and effort, but it can be possible. The
work that you put into your coaching business will determine when and if
expansion is going to be possible. In order to get to that point, there are a
few things that you can do in the development of your business coaching career
in addition to the above.
Maintain your certification - You cannot reach the point of expansion if you let your
coaching certifications and business licensing slip. Keeping up with the
different aspects of your service that allow you to operate will allow you to stay
on course. Mark when everything is due for renewal and keep up with the
necessary requirements to stop yourself from letting them lapse.
Plan for the unexpected - Things
can sneak up on you when you least expect it. You have the potential to be
faced with obstacles that seemingly come out of nowhere-remember that new
things arise in the industry that can change how things are done. Having
back-up plans in place to keep yourself on track in the event of significant
changes, both personally and professionally, can ensure that your business
coaching career lasts long enough for it to expand.
Continue your education - As
part of your certification or professional organization membership
requirements, you may be have to seek out continuing education courses. While
you can do some continuing education tasks like those discussed in this article on your own, taking a class can give you an added boost. Continuing education
course for business coaches often give you the steps and tools you need to
expand your business.