The Stupidity Of Business Coaches

Posted on February 06, 2013

Here are some complaints I’ve received (and some constantly) from business owners about coaches and consultants they have experienced:
  • “It was all too ethereal. They weren’t ever able to ground anything.”
  • “They give me loads of work and advice but given our busyness, I couldn’t fully get around to doing it.”
  • “We’d do our 90 day planning but it was all left up to me.”
  • “I paid good money and got little in return.”
  • “They’re lazy and dislike to travel.”
  • “All they seemed to do was talk and dispense advice.”
  • "They had the concepts but lacked actual real life experience."
And my personal observations over the last 13 years:
  • Many coaches have as one of their KPI’s, length of retention, meaning, the longer I can retain a client on a monthly fee then I am a successful coach; the more clients I have on monthly fees with long retention I am really successful
  • Some, have been employees all their life, do a business coaching course for ten days and voila, they’re a ‘coach’, instructing people on how to run their business
  • If the coaching doesn’t work for the client, it’s always the clients fault
  • Big on advice, light on results
  • Like to sit on the phone or use skype/email rather than go to the actual workplace, engage with the client, observe behavior, the environment, people etc
  • Limit coaching to one hour blocks or less (by remote means), X amount of emails and phone calls
  • Are personally time driven, not results driven for the client
  • Many haven’t done it tough in business – haven’t been in the firing line, in the trenches
  • Are big into motivation rather than changing actual behavior and monitoring that change. As Jim Rohn so pertinently stated “Motivation alone is not enough. If you have an idiot and you motivate him, now you have a motivated idiot.”
  • Qualifications from the Franchisor, certification from a coaching body, a degree…really means bugger all if they don't deliver
I receive emails from 'coaches of coaches' that promise to double my income, halve my consulting time, live the dream life etc etc. It would seem to me, that in most of the marketing that comes from these ‘coach of coaches’ it is always weighted (and sometimes 100%) on the side of the coach. Nothing about benefiting the client at all. Here is the opening line of one of the marketing emails I received from a coach that bears mentioning and that portrays coaching marketeer speak on the whole:

“Ray, I’m writing to you barefoot from the table on the deck at our beach house.” (we Australians have a term for this kind of marketing inanity that I won’t publish here)

Where is the authenticity, congruency, focus on bettering the clients condition? Where are the results, doing the hard yards to yield significant and solid business outcomes for a business? Yes, the coach has a business to run themselves and needs to do it efficiently and profitability. I get that. But what I see in today’s proliferation of this profession is a self centeredness and self absorption that is disturbingly devoid of integrity. And business owners see it too. To the coach – put your clients interests first. Yes, do it efficiently by all means, making sure you get paid well and the lifestyle you desire but… focus on their needs, wants and for goodness sake, get them the results they’re after and then some. Add incredible value to their situation and change your main KPI to the amount of referrals you receive. To the business owner, manager – find a coach or consultant that has done the hard yards, who gives you unlimited access, who ideally is recommended, who guarantees their work, has got significant results, someone that is orientated your way, not theirs. Make sure they charge you for the value they contribute, not by the hour, the month or the day (they will more likely drag their heels if this is the case). You want someone who will give you the results you want, and achieve them quickly. And, if the above isn’t clear enough, I think some of the current coaches in the market place should go and get a real job.

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