Coaching Solutions [part I]

by Rick Forbus, Ph.D.

All of the years of coaching and all of the successes for my clients have brought me joy. This article is a celebration of some of those solutions. Some time back I realized that selling Coaching Solutionscoaching services was harder than selling solutions. Most of our clients at Trove, Inc. really buy solutions, even though; the coaching agreement may begin in an entirely different place.

Many of the World’s most admired corporations, from GE to Goldman Sachs, invest in coaching. Annual spending on coaching in the US is estimated at roughly $1 billion.     Harvard Business Review

Preconceptions about coaching abound. There seems to be a few ways that companies and individuals frame their misconceptions about the value, or the lack of value, that coaching brings to them. These mistaken beliefs about coaching range from the ridiculous to the sensible, but, still unreasonable assumptions.  Here are some of the assumptions and preconceptions I have discovered in my coaching-as-a-business journey.

  • Coaching is only needed for the struggling employee
  • Coaching is only for the top-tier leaders in an organization
  • Coaching implies the leader/owner/manager does not have strong competencies
  • Coaching is a luxury item and not necessary for growth and profitability
  • Coaching is too expensive for the small business or individual to afford
  • Coaching is a form of punishment for the outlier
  • Coaching cannot be effective for the home business owner or individual who wants to improve

Employers are shocked at how high their ROI numbers are for coaching.     Alastair Robertson, Manager of worldwide leadership development, Accenture

Telling someone about a coaching success or a company solution that came to fruition because of a coaching engagement, is much easier. To be honest, most of Trove’s business comes by referral. Here is a good list of solutions that customers have described to us that our coaching has provided:

  • Coaching provided clarity to an unclear business plan
  • Coaching uncovered “blind spots” in a client’s stress behaviors
  • Coaching provided strategies for personal presence and creating resonance in group settings
  • Coaching functioned as an alliance partner for an emerging leader
  • Coaching provided leadership skill development
  • Coaching helped a team to discover their divergence and found ways to leverage it for profitability
  • Coaching helped managers to create visual clarity of communication flow and connectivity
  • Coaching surfaced better solutions for marketing and “telling the story” to potential clients

One way that discoveries are made when talking with prospective clients about improvements is through asking questions about their challenges. Most business owners, executive leaders and managers know what their “points of pain” are. For instance, at a coffee conversation, one prospect told me of his challenges with getting his leadership team to align with each other and with the business objectives. I offered a few Trove solutions at the coffee shop and within a month we were engaged in a LETTER OF AGREEMENT to help his team find alignment. Of course, results emerged and then other coaching agreements have followed.

If you found these tips from Rick Forbus, Ph.D. of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in his self-paced, downloadable courses at


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