The following is a guestblog from April Ristau who is professional coach.
Since deciding to make coaching my profession and business venture, I get plenty of blank stares when I tell people I am a coach. The first reaction I get is usually, “for what sport?” In the beginning I was a little taken aback by that response, but now I take it as a compliment (hey, they think I look fit enough to be a sports coach!) and, in all reality, it’s not too far off from what I do.
In sports, it’s the coach’s job to help you identify your goals, find what motivates you to reach those goals, help you identify what skills you need to improve, work with you to develop a plan, coax you to try new things, hold you accountable to the goals and in the end help you win and be better at whatever position you play. And many professional and amateur athletes hire coaches/trainers to help them improve their game – even the great ones!
As a sales and service coach, that is really how I see my role as well. Whether working with a team or individual, I want to understand your goals and vision – where you want to go and your current strategy to get there. If you don’t have either of those identified, we start there and name the goals. We can create a clear vision and what it will mean to reach those goals.
Once the goals are named and the vision shared by the team, the next step is to find out what motivates the individuals on the team – is it money, praise, the type/amount of work, time off, promotions, etc. – once you know what motivates someone, you can help them determine how to get what they want.
Just like any sports coach, a good business coach is going to determine what skills you need to improve to reach your goals. And just like a sports team is going to practice, do drills, have team meetings, etc., the business or individual will do the same. Instead of running laps or doing pushups, we work on role plays, assessments, practice questions/listening, and more.
A business coach is going to hold you accountable to the team and to your individual goals and possibly give you a new way of looking at the reasons you haven’t improved or attained the goals you wanted. By having someone hold you accountable, you are more likely to take the steps needed to get where you want to go. And, by having someone ask you tough questions, it helps uncover the obstacles that are holding you back from achieving what you really want.
So whether you want to improve your golf game (I’ve been known to give some pretty good sports advice too!) or improve your business, a coach can help you do that. Seriously, my focus is sales and service, but I love coaching anyone who has a goal they want to achieve and is open to trying some new approaches. You never know, it could change your game and make you a winner!
April Ristau is the owner of Armillary Coaching where she helps individuals and teams improve their game in business. Prior to starting Armillary Coaching, she was a sales manager for a top US Bank where she led her team to achieve and exceed sales and service goals. She was known for taking lower performers and helping them reach the top 10%. She also was capable of keeping top performers performing. April completed her coach training with the Newfield Network, a premier ontological coaching company earlier this year. In addition to her business, she is very involved in the community by mentoring ex-offenders, coaching people to run marathons, working with the Chamber of Commerce and helping the SPCA, to name a few. To reach April, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, call her at 804-306-2515 or check out her website at www.armillarycoaching.com.
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