You should take the same approach when hiring a business coach as you would when hiring an employee. A coach should have qualities that are aligned with your own qualities and expectations. Here are five qualities of a good business coach.
It can get looked over, but a business coach must have good time management skills. You don’t want to hire someone who will show up to the coaching session 15 minutes after you were supposed to start. Time is money and if she is constantly late to sessions, she is eating away at a large some of your money, especially if you are running a start up.
Your business coach should be accessible. Of course, you will have to respect her personal time. However, if a one time situation occurs and you can’t get to her or if she never responds to emails or texts, it may lead to problem. Communication is key between an entrepreneur and his business coach. Communication strengthens trust and build relationships, which is exactly what develops when you hire a business coach- you are forming a professional relationship. As an entrepreneur you should feel secure in being able to reach out to your coach whenever you may need some help or clarity.
You need someone who is going to be real with you and tell you like it is. That’s why you hired a business coach. If you wanted someone to agree with you, you would have probably consulted family and friends instead. Therefore, a good business coach isn’t afraid to let you know when you are falling short of reaching goals or when you have reached a dead-end on a venture. Similarly, you must allow your coach to be objective. The truth is not many of us have thick skins and so sometimes the truth may be a harder pill to swallow than we had anticipated. However, it is critical for you to accept criticism when it is giving as it can only help you to get better.
Your coach should have the patience and teaching approach as a teacher. This is especially important if you are just starting out on your entrepreneurial journey. You need someone who will breakdown concepts and strategies with you as often as she needs to for you to understand them. If you are lacking in certain attributes like self-motivation or communication skills, the coach must be able to meet you more than half way if needs be.
A good coach never stops learning and improving herself. You don’t want a coach who got certified ten years ago but hasn’t been to a seminar in her field of expertise since then. You don’t want a coach who only has ten years of experience in a particular field but that was ten years ago and they have not taken an online coarse or read a book in the area in ages. You want someone who is a proactive learner, someone who is hungry for knowledge and who is just as passionate about sharing it.