A good business coach (or indeed any coach!) will follow a standard coaching process, doing their best to follow the basic structure of a coaching session/engagement and be expected to deliver positive results for their client. But a great coach will go beyond what is the standard process and do ‘just a bit more’ to really bring in the transformation that their client needs. This going just slightly beyond what is needed is essentially what makes the great stand out from the rest.
Excellent business coaching is not merely about asking the correct questions – it is the ability to elevate and transform your client’s life and business by helping them understand long and short-term business goals, identifying the strengths & weaknesses of the business, assisting them to grasp current business realities and bridging the gap with their future vision, charting out strategies to grow the business, helping set achievable goals and taking action steps to attain those objectives.
As a business coach, in addition to the business aspects, the focus will also be simultaneously on guiding executives through a journey of self-discovery that reveals unknown skills and better grasp of limitations, refining talents & honing new skills, inspiring them to overcome psychological barriers that hinder success – because essentially their personal improvement and upgradation is closely linked to their successful business prospects.
To help accomplish this transformation, all great business coaches use the right tools and techniques that enables their client’s business to grow, achieve continued success and lead more fulfilling & happier lives. Wheel of life, spheres of influence, big rocks etc., are some of the well-known business coaching tools that coaches employ to deliver positive outcomes. But there are more useful tools, especially if you are starting your coaching business, that provide a good mix of questionnaires, feedback forms, exercises, strategies and tips that can make a clear difference to your business coaching process.
Here are 12 effective business coaching tools that may not have been widely heard of but can prove quite valuable in helping coaches bring about a significant & successful change in their client’s business (and also for expanding their own coaching business!) Let’s take a look.
1. Input Questionnaire
This is a useful tool that lets the coach set questionnaires to gain business & personal insights in order to gauge the current state of the business as well as the personal situation of the client. Not only does it help the coach understand the client & their business better, but it also helps the client open up their minds to trying out novel thoughts & opportunities and mentally adjust to possibly changing their approach going forward.
2. Coaching Goals Form
In order to achieve positive outcomes from a coaching process, it is necessary to encourage the client to set realistic and achievable goals. But it is also equally necessary to ask the client to set goals as to what they expect from the coach. This tool helps the coach as well as there is a reference to work on and mutual clarity on what is expected from the coaching session and whether those objectives are realistic and are getting fulfilled during each session.
3. Business History Record
This is another great tool where the coach can set questions to understand the journey of their client’s business so far. The answers can provide pertinent insight into the history of their client’s business, the successes and failures, the upcoming challenges, existing business patterns, and also where the client and their business are headed in the near future.
4. Business Purpose Tool
This is an important step in the coaching process, as having a clear, set business purpose is necessary to move on to the next steps of strategizing, implementing tough decisions, and eventually achieving that objective. The business purpose tool makes it easier to not only break down the goals into short-term and actionable targets but also to keep track of those steps. This tool helps the client truly understand the aim of their business, gives the business much-needed clarity and focus, and helps in making informed business decisions.
5. Business Vision Tool
One of the more effective business coaching tools, the Business Vision Tool lets the client present their vision for the business, set out what their short-term, as well as long-term goals, are, and where they see the business headed in the coming decade. Once the long-term vision is clear, it helps in charting out the immediate task to be completed (say in the coming quarter) that eventually ties in with the larger objective.
6. Business SWOT Analysis
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (or SWOT as it is popularly known in the business world) is crucial for any business coach. Not only does it help the coach gain understanding of the positives, negatives and risks of the client’s business, it also helps the coach to better identify potential opportunities in the near future. This tool helps the client size up their business, its pros & cons, deal with threats, and grasp newer openings that can help speed up growth.
7. Periodic & SMART Goal Setting
Setting goals that align with the overall business vision is important. This tool helps the client to set a number of business goals they want to achieve in a set period (monthly, quarterly or annually) and take actions to fulfill those main goals. The tool lets the client break down long term goals into day-to-day achievable tasks that eventually tie in with attaining long term objectives. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Based or SMART goal setting encourages the client to set clear, structured goals instead of vague declarations.
8. Goal Tracking
Set goals can only be effectively achieved when the actions towards achieving them are regularly tracked. Goal Tracking is a necessary tool that helps the coach keep track of their client’s tasks and holds them accountable for their own progress towards achieving their desired objectives. This tool lets the client stay organized and keep on course on their road to reaching their target.
Our Reflective Goal Setting coaching tool is a must-have in your toolkit to help your clients connect deeper with who they are what their goals mean to them intrinsically. Take it for a spin.
9. Personal SWOT Analysis
Similar to Business SWOT, personal SWOT analysis is a great contemplative tool that helps clients to stand back and evaluate their life realistically, gain better insight on their skills & limitations and understand which areas in their life are satisfactory and which parts need more effort. Employing a personalized SWOT analysis can help boost the client’s self-confidence and make them aware of their unknown potential which can open up newer fields of opportunities that they previously thought were inaccessible.
10. Time Management & High Impact Tasks
Running a successful business depends a lot on how you use the most important resource available – time. This tool helps the client with effective planning, avoiding wastage of time doing unproductive jobs, managing interruptions, assigning priority to accomplish high-impact tasks, and more.
This tool not only helps avoid business crises through better organizing and prioritizing urgent jobs but also reduces the stress that can be generated from being swamped with too many pending tasks due to ineffective time management.
11. Effective Delegation Tool
This tool is a must for clients who tend to do all the work by themselves and invite a load of unnecessary stress. A successful business is built by a team of people who each contribute in a healthy manner. A good leader is one who delegates responsibility to his chosen associates and trusts them to do their job. This is a useful tool that helps the client learn how to delegate tasks thus helping free up valuable time and energy that can be better utilized elsewhere.
12. Daily Successful Habits
Daily habits (punctuality, regular exercising, sleeping at a particular time, etc.) are important for smooth day-to-day running of our lives. Often making small changes are ones that give a person confidence to execute the big changes either in their personal or professional lives. This is a very effective tool that lets the client build a personal structure around which the other activities are centered. Having an organized framework inspires a sense of clarity and calmness to the day, helps get the daily tasks done efficiently, improves time management and creates a more balanced work-life setup.
Our Ideation on Daily Habits tool can help your clients progress effortlessly towards their goals & objectives. Try it out here!
1. Why should business coaches use tools?
As a business coach your primary focus is on guiding your clients on their journey towards achieving their personal & professional goals that ultimately result in a transformative growth for their business. But this often comes at the cost of neglecting your own coaching business.
Business coaching tools give the coach a medium to not only help their clients but also themselves by having an organized & efficient set up that includes a systematic coaching program, continued connect with clients, streamlined finances & administrative processes, real-time tracking and evaluation of client performance, solid data security that boosts coach-client trust, improved brand visibility & expanded reach to tap into larger client volumes and efficient time management that improves ROI.
In short, business coaching tools let the coach offer their client a customized coaching package (multiple pricing + duration) to help them grow their business and also lets the coach focus on creating value additions to their own coaching business that can result in increased volumes & revenues.
2. How do coaching tools and techniques help coaches improvise?
Coaching tools and techniques are mainly creative exercises (forms/questionnaires/sheets) that help the coach understand their client, their background, their challenges and ambitions, where their business currently is and where they want it to be, chart out an action strategy and then eventually help the client execute those plans to attain their set goals.
But sometimes falling back on set methods can get repetitive and constricting in the long run. Using coaching tools & techniques with a newer and more creative approach lets coaches improvise their coaching process by customizing the coaching experience to suit specific client requirements.
It lets them be more effective and flexible in their methods, engage widely with clients to fine-tune their vision and strategy, encourage out-of-the-box thinking that can lead to new concepts, build client confidence, motivate them to commit to actions that will lead to progress and also help clients be more empathetic to different perspectives that can help tackle challenges in both personal & professional spheres.
Simply.Coach is an enterprise-grade coaching software designed to be used by individual coaches and coaching businesses. Trusted by ICF-accredited and EMCC-credentialed coaches worldwide, Simply.Coach is on a mission to elevate the experience and process of coaching with technology-led tools and solutions.