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The Values of a Business Coach By Angelo Edwards You have finally been convinced by business colleagues and friends

to hire a business coach to help your organization reach its goals and objectives. So what is the value of the business coach to the organization? The value of the coach should be in four areas: Strategic-Thinking Partner, Business Companion, Outside Objective Resource, and Value Drift. Let’s start with the first value. Strategic-Thinking Partner The business coach should help you visualize creative future scenarios that are beneficial to the organization for example, (reaching a fundraising goal, increasing market share, establishing new program services.) The coach can aid in transforming dreams into commitments, enthusiasm, and results that are grounded in reality and not fanciful panaceas. The coach can assist you to think beyond the constraints of what you already know and design new ways forward. Invite the coach to your annual retreat where you’re developing your strategic plan. As the organization is determining where it must be at a specific point in its business cycle, the coach should be a participating partner. The coach is a partner with your organization providing expert analysis or sometimes acting as a facilitator, but what you’ve garnered is a partner without the downside of a partnership. Your new partner can now become a non-judgmental sounding board as the organization sets realizable goals and objectives and provides feedforward in their attainment. Business Companion A business coach as a business companion focuses on high-value actions vs. low-value activities, thus eliminating wasted energy. Wasted energy in projects that are stymied, lead nowhere or, are ill-conceived can be detrimental to the success of the organization. The coach provides fresh perspectives and objective observations as projects are designed, implemented, and monitored. The coach helps the organization evaluate new opportunities and assists with handling challenges that may arise as the organization attempts to move forward in a positive direction. Lastly, as a business companion, the coach is there to help transform apparent obstacles into creative ways forward and applying experienced brainstorming techniques and models for making specific decisions. Outside Objective Resource A coach’s main strategy is to bring their resources of new ideas, insights, proven approaches, solutions, and help to the betterment of the organization. With the involvement of the coach, they can also bring attention and momentum to projects that would otherwise never begin. They are someone with whom to collaborate, invent and

discover. Being an outsider, they are a great source to help develop new networks and alliances to expand the organization’s reach. Value Drift If a coach is doing a good job, the organization’s sense of the coach’s value naturally declines over time. This decline is called “value drift” as defined by Germaine Porche and Jed Niederer, authors of “Coach Anyone About Anything.” The coach works with the organization in a developmental aspect, constantly moving towards the goals and objectives set by the organization. As the organization gains more confidence in achieving its goals and objectives, the drift becomes natural, almost to the point where the organization may perceive that the coach is just coming along for the ride. A good coach embraces this value drift as part of doing business and considers it as a welcomed occupational hazard. Be careful as an organization not to become coach-dependent. Remember, the coach is there to help lead you, not to set up shop. Of all the values discussed, the most important value that the coach should bring to the business relationship is the Value Drift. Gone are the days when consultants would milk their clients through unnecessary long-tern billable hours without there being any valueadd to the organization once the consultant’s contract has ended. Now you know that a valuable coach should work their way out of a job. Angelo Edwards’s business career spans 20 years. He is a professional business coach specializing in micro-enterprise and non-profit business development coaching. He is the co-founder of the Micro-Enterprise Institute, Inc. www.microei.org. E-mail: angelo@microei.org