My board said I should get a business coach six months ago, as it was recommended I expand my people skills. I agreed to see him for six months once a week, for two hour sessions.
I have actually got a lot out of it. However in the last month he has been saying to me that we need to explore deeper, personal issues. I feel very uncomfortable with this new direction but am concerned that the board will perceive this as me not wanting to co-operate.
They have agreed with the coach to sign me up for another six months. When I suggested I had got what I wanted from the sessions, he says that I am resisting because I don’t want to look at these issues as he is suggesting.
Also he is starting to put in his two cent’s worth on strategy, which I think is none of his business.
What do I do?
Yikes! He sounds like some alien life force trying to seed itself on planet Earth through you! Get rid of him ASAP. Your instincts are absolutely correct.
Look, business coaching is a murky area. While many coaches are professional and focus on coaching, some do stray into obscure areas and start morphing into shrinks when they have no professional experience in these matters.
Business coaching and “exploring deeper issues” are two completely different disciplines. If your business coach does not understand this, then he is incompetent. Some coaches go so far as to encourage a dependency so they can keep signing you up for more sessions. They might also start sticking their head into strategy – also a completely different field.
But I am puzzled with how passive you are. Why haven’t you sacked him yourself? It sounds like you are out of your depth.
But don’t be afraid of all that mumbo jumbo “deep” stuff. Take control. Find out from a board member what the board is concerned about, and address that. If it is people issues, do you need HR support? Do you need more coaching or assistance from an HR specialist?
If there are deeper issues (maybe you like your morning whisky a little too much) then employ a shrink and fix your personal problems so they don’t spill over into your business life.
Your Aunty B.