Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Which Do You Need For Your Salon: a Teacher, a Consultant, or a Coach?

Educators deliver the “What?” Trainers deliver the “How?” Coaches inspire the “Why?”

What an excellent question! The answer depends on whether you need help with management or leadership. Typically, a consultant is called in to diagnose difficulties, propose solutions, create the fix, and apply the fix. They aren’t necessarily trainers or educators, so when they leave, the expertise goes with them. The next time you have a similar issue; guess who you get to pay again?

I know this is a bit of a generalization. But I’ve noticed the terms “consultant” and “coach” are interchanged all too often today, confusing the true mission and focus of a good business coach.

A coaching practice, whether it focuses on life or business, is built around a strong competency to ask the right questions, not necessarily to diagnose problems, though that is one of the outcomes. A good coach will raise your awareness to a level of understanding so you can evolve into a higher level of understanding, and continue that evolution after your business relationship has ended. You get to keep all the tools the coach has transferred to you.

Coaching sounds a bit like teaching, or training. However, the information a teacher delivers is really one way, and they aren’t necessarily vested in your using the new information to your highest ability. Similarly, a trainer focuses more on making sure you can mimic the same process, without really taking its purpose into consideration. Coaching is about the client’s business model, not the consultant’s.

Think of it this way: Educators deliver the “What?”; Trainers deliver the “How?”; and Coaches inspire the “Why?” If you’ve had employees or children, you know that when you’ve inspired someone to ask “Why?”, they will soon discover the “What?” and “How?” on their own.

Join me again next week when I’ll examine the difference between managing and leading. Until then, you can receive a free business analysis to see if you could benefit from working with a coach.

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