Some people will think that providing business coaching or mentoring to a person will be easy and require no training whatsoever. Surely it is just about sitting down with the individual and explaining to them what needs to be done and how to do it properly? The reality though is somewhat different, as any business coach who has been performing the role will be able to testify. To be an effective business coach takes a lot of experience, personal characteristics and traits, a large amount of knowledge, and skills which are taught on business coaching courses and training sessions.
For one thing, even if the individual providing the business coaching has extensive knowledge and experience of the industry and specific job role which the person they are coaching or mentoring is currently (or about to be) involved in, the way they conduct themselves during the sessions will have an enormous impact upon the future success of any changes and modifications that person makes. Too soft and the person may not view the present state of affairs seriously enough or accept the need to make changes; too harsh and they may become defensive or even openly resistant to change. The tone of the session needs to be light enough to ensure that the employee gets on board with the need for change, but also strong enough to convey to them that it needs to be done.
A skilled business coach also understands that one of the most important factors which determine whether or not changes are made successfully is the attitude of the individual. More specifically, this person will need to be highly motivated with regards to making and staying on track through the difficult transitional period which will follow. They are far more likely to do this if they take ownership of the action plan, which will only come if they are highly involved in its creation, as it will provide them with an extra incentive for it to succeed. Therefore a skilled business coach will know not to dictate what should be done or be the only one talking during the session, but instead will understand that the individual themselves needs to play just as much of a role as the coach themselves during the meetings. Business coaching is not like a training course where all the information and answers are laid out on a plate; it is more about guiding and assisting the individual to discover the answers for themselves and provide support over time as they implement them.
Along with gaining experience, a prospective business coach also needs to learn the skills necessary to become an effective coach and mentor. These can be learned on business coaching courses which teach this information. Accredited coaching courses like the ILM Level 5 Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring will teach and provide a great deal of knowledge and information needed by those wishing to provide business coaching and mentoring in a workplace.
Becoming a great business coach will require a combination of training courses in coaching techniques and methods, along with experience of providing coaching to different people who each have a unique set of problems, attitudes and approaches to change in the workplace. Becoming a successful coach and mentor will require many months and years of training, hard work and dedication in order to acquire the skills needed to reach a high level. That is not to say that a manager for example who has little experience in providing coaching to their employees and has recently achieved a business coaching qualification will not be able to provide many benefits to the individual(s) they are coaching, but becoming an exceptional business coach will take a lot longer. The issues affecting an employee are sometimes obvious, but are often hidden, which requires skill and tact as these issues may be embarrassing or personal, and as such intentionally concealed.