“All it takes is one new insight or idea, strongly acted on, to take you to a completely different place” – Robin Sharma
Recently I was asked by one of my clients working in the field of financial advice and investments , why so few colleagues in the financial sector have a relationship with a business coach. While there is no single or definitive answer, I suspect that at least some of the reasoning may lie in the all too common belief that coaches are seen to be an unnecessary expense, as people can work things out for themselves and have done ‘okay’ so far in doing so. There is probably also an element of disbelief that a coach is sufficiently equipped to understand the complexities of business in a field that is not their own.
The reality, however, is that a business coach adds a dimension of insight and ideas that encourage engagement with new actions, which in turn lead clients to a different place. In my professional experience that different place is usually a better place in a variety of ways, some of which are highlighted below. This reality is why even business coaches themselves, have business coaches.
Here are three reasons why financial advisors can benefit from the input of a business coach:
1. What worked in the past will not necessarily work in the future
Although certain tried and tested methodologies may have proven successful in the past, the world constantly demands new ways of doing business. For example, the need for and manner of financial planning is seen entirely differently by many of the Millennials and the upcoming iGens (or Generation Z) as compared to previous generations. The meaning of wealth for these young professionals – and future professionals – requires an understanding of how they experience the world and see the future. This new market is not particularly interested in how things worked in the past. Business coaches have the immense privilege of working with every age group, thereby giving them insight, knowledge, and experiences that add tremendous value to the development of new ways of doing business.
2. Changing pictures and shifting paradigms
One of the greatest benefits of working with a coach is that of gaining new perspectives. Being objective about one’s own professional modus operandi is immensely difficult, no matter how hard one tries. Justification, rationalization, default patterns and other ‘gremlins’ that feel comforting and reassuring often limit the ability to see things in a different way. This, in turn, limits the ability to change one’s picture. Furthermore, change is uncomfortable and chaotic, hence often avoided. A business coach supports and guides through the required shifts in paradigm, helping to reassure and contain the chaos of change as one explores and engages with the new.
3. Clarity of vision evolves through pause, reflection and sharing
Another benefit – arguably the greatest of all – is that of assisting clients in attaining clarity on their unique, individual sense of purpose and vision. Goals are meaningless in the absence of a vision – and vision needs to be in sync with an individual’s sense of purpose if one is to attain the status of thriving on every level. Both purpose and vision are challenged by the inevitable threat of being derailed by various ‘traps’, some of which are not necessarily seen before they arrive. For example, a coach is able to identify the seductive trap of focusing on the ‘urgent’ at the cost of the ‘important’ when the former does not play as pivotal a role in building and sustaining business as the latter. The time spent with a coach allows for pause, reflection and a confidential sharing of experiences and ideas that assist in ensuring the identification and avoidance of traps, so as to stay on track.
The focus in a coaching relationship is what in the best interests of the coachee’s business and personal success, working together to ensure that their world of work is one in which they thrive.