As a Human Resources leader with more than 20 years of experience advising and counseling business leaders and executives, becoming certified as a coach seemed like a logical choice to enhance my business operation when I ventured out on my own. My initial intent was to add credibility to my experience via certification. What I learned during my certification process was how much I didn’t know about the coaching profession. Here are a few of my takeaways.

Coaching is not consulting

Contrary to popular belief, coaches don’t, and shouldn’t have all of the answers. Many inexperienced or uncertified coaches act as consultants or advisors and tell their clients what to do. Good coaches help their clients explore options and come up with the best choices for them based on where they are and what they want for their future. In most instances, coaches are not subject matter experts in all areas of their clients’ business.   While they may have relevant experience that helps them understand the context of the issues business leaders face, they do not have all the answers.  Coaches are not consultants who offer direction based on that experience. Rather, they are experts who effectively change behavior, which delivers far better results than telling people what to do.

Coaching is not counseling

Coaching does not center on the past or try to understand someone in an effort to fix him or her. And it’s not for problem employees. Once viewed as a tool to help resolve performance issues, many organizations are investing in coaching to develop skills of high potential and high performing individuals who have been identified as future leaders. A good coach helps the client navigate toward a more engaged and compelling future through a thought provoking and solution based approach that creates accountability.

Coaching is not a perk

Coaching is a value added competitive advantage that makes financial sense. Professional coaching can drive sales, employee engagement, innovation and bottom line results. As referenced in my blog, “Why Hiring a Professional Certified Coach Makes Cents”, the ROI from professional coaching is amazing. According to a Manchester Consulting Group study of Fortune 100 executives, the Economic Times reports “coaching resulted in a ROI of almost six times the program cost as well as a 77% improvement in relationships, 67% improvement in teamwork, 61% improvement in job satisfaction and 48% improvement in quality.” Business coaching is not a perk, it’s a sound financial investment that can produce monetary rewards above and beyond the cost.

A certified professional coach can help individuals at all levels realize their fullest personal and professional potential. Contact me for a complimentary 30-minute introductory session to explore what coaching can do for you.