In this article I’ll explain more about the type of coach I am and explain a few differences in the coaching community.

What kind of coach are you?

It’s a hard question to answer without context.  Generically speaking, I’m a business coach.  But then I work with the leadership teams of a business (or the whole business where the business is on the smaller side).  We look at the reason the business exists, where it wants to be and how we’ll get it there.  There is a crossover here because all businesses have to have input from people, and often it’s the people who stop the progress of the business.

A few keywords to consider, Leadership, Strategy, Executive and Accountability.  That kind of coach.  I’ll go in to more detail about those as sometimes there are coaches specifically for one of those and you might need one in particular.

Breaking those down:

Leadership coach

A leadership coach will work with the top level of a business and help to create the harmony between all of the leadership team.  They’ll also ensure ideas are discussed as a group and help shift the focus from the specific projects and tasks to the direction of the business, which is then supported by the projects and tasks.

Strategic Coach

A strategic coach will help you to create the specific plan that your organisation needs to progress to the next phase of growth.  I like to imagine the strategic aspect creating a T shape, where the top of the T is the strategy across the whole business and then the downward or “|” part of the T the project which help gets you there.  Where you have multiple projects going on at once, imagine a comb, each of the tooth is a project, the comb is the strategic direction of the business.

So imagine the Leadership team decide what they’d like to happen, the strategic part is when and how it’s going to happen.

Executive Coach

Executive Coaches will also work with the leadership team of a business, but are very likely to work on a one-to-one basis to help give a higher perspective, prioritise and to develop new initiatives.  While this is an area I can cover, it’s not my preferred area, I much prefer to work with teams and pass one-to-one coaching to a trusted associate.

Accountability Coach

If you procrastinate a lot, this is where an accountability coach will come in, to help you set yourself goals, targets and timescales to work to.  There are guaranteed to be challenges which stop you achieving what you want.  The accountability coach is there to help you understand what has gone well, what hasn’t gone so well and then learn from it and improve.

What other Business Coaches are there

In addition to the above, there are other areas where I’m not so strong so would always look to help find an alternative coach.

Psychology or mindset coaches

I’m very interested in human psychology and also how the mindset plays a massive role in how you achieve certain activities.  Certainly from a sporting perspective I’ve first hand experienced the affect of mindset on performance.  At the same time, I believe this is an area of significant depth and I’ve not had any formal training here!  If you look at the four stages of competence, I’ll happily admit I’m at the stage of Conscious Incompetence!

Numbers or data coach

Also known as a Financial Coach, or in the larger business this is the Financial Director.  I help businesses to understand the data that is important to them, and also to try and look at leading indicators to predict where the business is going rather than where it has been.  That’s where I’ll stop though, for me it’s really easy to manipulate financial data and move things from one pot to another so I leave that to the experts!

Textbook coach

When I explained what I do to Dan Lamoon at Colab Creation he took a moment then said “ooohhhh, so you’re not a textbook coach”.  Which was a phrase I’d not heard before but is bang on.  Some coaches work through a strictly defined process, with textbooks and will help you grow your business using a predefined process.  I do have tools that I’ve created that I’ll leverage, but at the core of what I do is understanding.  I make it my mission to understand you and your business.

What industry do you work in?

All of them!  The methods we apply are aimed at bringing the business together and helping everyone to take the business forward.  Because the process focuses much more on the who and how it can be applied to all business areas.  As above the one-to-one Leadership Coach is likely to be the one to help you understand what initiatives you should try. They are also likely to have that inside knowledge on what the industry is up to and previous experience of the industry.  I have extensive experience working in Investment Banks, Utilities and IT departments which can help clients in those areas, but isn’t a limiting factor.

If you have any questions about the types of coaching covered here, or would like any help finding the right coach for you.