The Secret to Finding a Great Business Coach

Information at the Indianapolis Library

Are certifications the key to finding a qualified coach?  Past experience?  Personal empathy?  Whether you are considering an assist for your personal life or your business, consider the one thing that consistently creates great coaches.

Canadian Cross Country CyclingThe best mentor or coach is the person who has had to overcome adversity in his/her career, to create great accomplishment.   It’s easy to reach home plate if you start on third base; the best coaches are the ones who had to fight their way out of the dugout, just to get to bat – then, after they lead the league in RBIs, they start teaching others to do the same.  I believe great obstacles make great coaches.  Overcoming obstacles teaches you how to win; effective coaches pass that experience on to others.

When everyone is a wannabe pundit, and self-proclaimed expert, how do you cut through the BS ..and find some real results?

Business coaching doesn’t necessarily require a particular certification.

Consider instead: Has your mentor or coach achieved what you seek, or can they demonstrate how they have helped others to reach their goals?

That track record is more important than any certification, because it is personal to you, and to your needs (or your company’s needs). Plus, a long list of degrees (certifications) doesn’t necessarily mean that the coach will be effective for you (will you get along? can they truly help you and meet your needs? does this individual fit with the culture of my organizations?  certifications won’t tell you that).

Experience in the face of difficulty is what matters most, combined with personal rapport. The track record of accomplishment should give you the personal confirmation you need.


Certifications are not the same as results, although they can help to establish credibility.  Hiring a coach is really about creating outcomes – accelerating results in ways that you can’t find with just Google alone.

The wisest question to ask, and the secret to finding a great coach, is quite simple.  Rarely is this question asked, but when it is presented simply (and answered professionally) the results can be quite profound.

See if this question makes a difference:

Can You Help Us?

Beyond certifications and experience is trust.  The past serves as a reference point, but the results that you can create, right here and right now, are much more important.  Ask your coach what they have had to overcome.  Ask about adversity, especially if you expect to be guided through yours.  Find a context that resonates, based on the simple question:  ”Can You Help Us?”  And make sure your coach is focused on your outcomes.  Is your success the most important objective in the room?

I believe great obstacles make great coaches. How about you?

Photo used under creative commons.   Some rights reserved by Serge Melki

The One Thing That’s Missing in Your Video Message

Social Media Strategies with Chris Westfall

Being simple is easier said than done, especially when it comes to creating an online video.

Simplicity is often the best way to reach your audience.  Do you know how to present your story in its simplest form?   Check out this video blog entry to help you create the kind of video message you need, for your social media strategy.
When we communicate our ideas, particularly in business, we tend towards the complex: the steps in a process are what make the process complete.  But simple doesn’t mean being simplistic.  In fact, being simple in your communication can be a fairly complex process!

Simplicity is complicated because of our beliefs.  We believe that messages must be dense to be considered intelligent and authoritative.  But it’s impossible to tell your life story in a two minute elevator pitch, or online video.  Being clear is the ultimate goal.

Step onto the Stage with Chris Westfall

The fact of the matter is that messages must be simple to be understood. Giving yourself permission to trust in simplicity is the first step.  Do you struggle with believing your message needs “something more”?  

Chances are your listener wishes it was something less.  

Not less important, but less convoluted – especially if you are creating an elevator pitch, or an online video.  The concept of “Tell me more…” allows you to focus on what really matters, while allowing your audience to guide you towards the level of detail that matters to them.


Do you struggle to keep your message short and simple? Is it possible to handle a complicated topic with a simple message?

Can a Bad Online Reputation Impact Your Job Search?

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Your reputation begins online, and if you want to move your career forward, you’ve got to start by managing your online reputation.

A guest post from K’Lee Banks.

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