Updated: Jan 6, 2022
"Focusing your clients on detailed action planning as well as establishing a solid process for monitoring and measuring results will help increase your effectiveness as a business coach."
As PBCA Canada trained business coaches we’ve learned that a simple tool, such as the Business Effectiveness Evaluation, can help identify many coaching opportunities with your new clients. By assisting your client in identifying gaps in their business processes or revealing personal effectiveness challenges as a leader in their business you can guide the development of action plans to deal with these issues and opportunities.
In some cases, your clients will confirm that they need to work on their strategic plan, which opens the door for you to offer a strategic planning workshop. This provides you with the opportunity to widen your coaching footprint by engaging not only the business owner but also his/her entire leadership team in this workshop. And by engaging the entire leadership team you can help the business owner build an aligned, productive, and engaged team, accelerate the achievement of results, and increase the number of potential coaching clients within the organization.
As an example, running a strategic planning workshop allows you to guide the client and their team to answer the following questions:
Why does your business exist? (Mission)
Can you visualize your business in 5 or 10 years? (Vision)
How will you conduct yourselves as you embark on this journey? (Values)
What are the key initiatives required to achieve your vision? (Strategic Goals)
What hurdles must you overcome? (SWOTT and Gap Analysis)
How will you achieve these goals? (Detailed Action Plan)
And finally, how will you measure your progress?
These are all very important questions that you can help address, and the last two questions in particular provide you with an opportunity to increase your effectiveness as a coach.
Ensuring a clear, detailed action plan along with a process to measure results opens the door for you to add more value with your client. And the strategic planning process is just one example where you can utilize these two questions to drive results for any initiative you may be working on with your client.
Be cautious about action plans that are vague, open ended and without time constraints. Challenge your clients to make sure identified actions are detailed, specific, and challenging, yet achievable. Ensure accountability is established through ownership at the leadership table and set a clear timeline target. Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) for the specific action. Ask who will maintain the action planning register and offer to work with that person to help them manage the process.
Measuring results should be a well-defined process with clear links to individual accountability. Consider helping the client establish scorecards, KPI dashboards, and other similar tools that can be displayed and used to communicate results within the organization, drive accountability, and build team spirit. The process should include the need for course correction when results are not meeting expectation. Consider the opportunity for external benchmarking to measure the client’s KPIs versus their industry. And don’t forget to encourage celebration when milestones are achieved.
Finally, help the business owner establish an effective meeting process with their team members in order to help drive the achievement of results. Team meetings should be scheduled as a regular occurrence on everyone’s calendar for the entire calendar year. Help the business owner create a standard agenda and ensure sufficient time is allocated for the review of action plans, and KPIs. And encourage the owner to set up one-on-one meetings with each of their direct reports on a regular basis as well. One-on-one meetings should be used to focus on employee development, performance review discussions, and to address specific issues and opportunities best addressed outside the team meeting environment.
Focussing your clients on detailed action planning as well as establishing a solid process for monitoring and measuring results will help increase your effectiveness as a business coach.
Elio Cozzi is an award winning Certified Professional Business Coach with the PBCA. He's an accomplished business leader with over 37 years diverse management experience in corporate and entrepreneurial roles. Elio currently provides business coaching and consulting services for small to mid-sized, growing businesses in the Calgary and surrounding areas, focusing on one-on-one and group coaching sessions for business owners and their leadership teams.
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