Success is a work in progress

Do you play sport? Maybe your kids do? If the answer is yes to either, you’re probably familiar with the importance of a good coach.

Even if you know how to play soccer, the practices, the games, the pre-game prep talk, strategic planning, and post-game wrap up requires a dedicated coach. You don’t just have a coach when you’re learning how to play the game – you continue to use a coach.

Where would Rafael Nadal or Dustin Johnson be without a coach? Okay, so you’re getting where I’m coming from.

You will no doubt have heard about business coaching, you may even have considered it. However, the chances are you probably think it’s an expensive luxury. I’m here to tell you as a highly experienced woman in business, that coaching need not cost the earth, in fact when it comes to value, coaching will deliver a return well above your initial investment.

I have an extensive career background in business, spanning analytics, strategic planning, project and stakeholder management, communications, marketing, promotions and sales. However, it was only when I was starting my own business, that I recognised the importance of a good a coach. An inspiring coach doesn’t just help you with your professional and business life, but allows you to identify goals that span your personal life too. After all, didn’t you go into business for yourself to enjoy a better quality of life?

Business Coaching generally starts with an initial-90 day period and if you’re clever about it, you will engage your coach either annually or biannually on that basis. Today coaching is brought to you; it can be done via phone or skype sessions eliminating extra travel time. You can also be in front of your computer making notes as you go, which saves even more time.

My personal experience with these sessions meant I had the security of my own space which allowed me to be completely candid. There were times that candour made me feel vulnerable and some sessions were emotionally challenging, but being in my own space always felt safer affording me the privacy for true honesty.

I was amazed how easily my coach could coax me into clearly articulating a set of goals which otherwise, I was struggling to identify. Sometimes we just need an experienced mentor to ask the right questions leading to the answers I already had within me. Coaching kept me accountable, gave me the tools to deal with that ‘overwhelm’ so often a by-product of small business.

Business coaching helps you to reflect and focus on the critical issues and after a period of time, the sessions almost became meetings with myself. Breaking down the barriers facilitated progress across all areas of my life, by revealing my business and professional goals, as well as wellbeing and relational goals.

I learned many sobering facts about myself and my management style, along the way. I had always been really tough on myself which I discovered had not made me a better leader and it certainly had not made me more successful. Business coaching sessions revealed solutions that were literally right in front of my eyes but required me to look through a different lens to see them. Instead of trying to change things, I learned to change my approach to them and my coach kept me honest throughout, guiding me through a series of attainable next steps. I watched my progress in awe.

You may know how to play the game of your business, but no doubt you’d agree that it requires constant reassessing, realigning, and change to keep pace in your industry and continue to grow. That is why you need a coach. High performance, high results and barrier breakthroughs are all there for the taking, and who doesn’t want a supportive voice right there, next to them on their team?

Neroli Jones, CEO, Paradigm Switch

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