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People hire personal trainers to achieve better results, businesses can achieve the same through engaging a coach

Business coaching is often misunderstood or poorly explained, we can simplify things with a gym analogy. 

You may decide to join a gym for any number of reasons; such as getting fit and healthy. Having researched the best local gym that meets your requirements you make a choice and commit to the idea. At this stage you are excited about the journey ahead and what you will achieve both physically and mentally.

You now have access to all the equipment; you might even write yourself a plan which you work to and see some results. At this stage you make a number of investments:

 – Monthly membership
 – Gym clothing
 – Time

The diagram below maps these stages and we see performance increase as time goes on. As we begin to hit our goals (weight loss or specific activity improvement) we enter a period of good times, motivation is high in this phase as we see a physical change.

PT Stage 1

We hit a period of payback when we have achieved our goals, at this stage something interesting happens. We set ourselves a new target but motivation which was high has dropped, it now becomes harder to improve our performance taking the same approach which was previously successful. As incremental changes are harder to achieve, we begin to skip sessions and our performance plateaus; we get frustrated and motivation dips further.

We feel like we have hit a brick wall.

Now we have a decision to make, if we continue the same pattern of behaviour our performance will decrease further as visualised below.

PT Stage 2

Now imagine at this stage you engage a personal trainer; they have access to the same facilities but introduce a new approach. We research and select a trainer; initially they will seek to understand what you are trying to achieve and why, from here they will create a plan (strategy) with you.

This could involve:

 – Coaching you through different exercises specifically designed around your goals
 – Explain how to get the most out of your time in the gym
 – Your diet and lifestyle choices

The personal trainer will now hold you accountable at every session to ensure you are moving forwards. This new investment re-energises you to get through the imaginary wall that was holding you back. When we illustrate the impact this has we can see that our performance once again improves.

PT Stage 3

In the context of business coaching the premise is similar. A business coach explores your vision and works with you introducing a consultancy toolkit that is designed around your business. Whilst you have the ability to run a successful business, the introduction of a business coach provides focus and helps you generate sustainable growth.

Many businesses go through good times and then get stuck because they have not invested in the systems and tools to keep accelerating. Once they are in the wall it is difficult to see a way out and unfortunately, we see frustration grow as staff leave and the business declines.

Fortunately, the above principles can be applied through the Stages model which helps us understand the business journey. Developed by Shirlaws this is one of the first models that we introduce to clients:

pt stages

The Stages model introduces new ideas and concepts; most noticeably the addition of 5 green skills. These represent some of the core competencies that clients evolve to build capability around, through developing these capabilities businesses are empowered to move through the brick wall into the advanced growth phase.

Through understanding which stage a business sits in we can create a growth strategy that builds on existing competencies and develops new ones. Now that you understand the principle of the Stages model you may be able to plot your own journey and current position.

Should you wish to explore this further, we have created an interactive tool that charts your position and provides a 15 page report exploring what that means. This free report introduces ideas and concepts that you can implement into your business.

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