Friday, May 1, 2009

I aint a coach no mo'

I spent a good five years of my life as a business and human relations coach for two different companies in Des Moines. It was an outstanding learning experience! When you get paid to help people in a very direct way it's sometimes very difficult to turn that off. I haven't been a coach for almost two years so I don't have as overwhelming of a need to coach, but man sometimes I just can't help myself. I was chatting with another business owner who was 'venting' about something her customers and employees were doing. It reminded me how often business owners look at issues within their business as people problems. "She did that." "He did this." The reality is that most business issues are NOT people problems, but are system problems. More specifically, the lack of an effective system. Most people do not want to make mistakes, most people to not want to create problems, so why look at the person first? Instead, take a step back and look at what's missing from the structure of the business that's allowing this to happen. Oh wow, look here I go again coaching! I can't shut it off! But Should I?

One of my favorite lines from a movie basically says, "I never tell a man how to run his business". I always liked that quote and really do wish that I could have the discipline to do it, but it's so difficult to me. Also, I am reminded that every time I coach someone I am giving them some of me. My ideas. My talents. My way of doing business. And I'm giving it to them for free! What's the point of that? That's just not good business!

Even knowing this, I don't think I'll be stopping anytime soon. Why? Many reasons. I want people to wake up, I want to make the world better, I selfishly feel compelled to say it. Who knows. I do know that the majority of the time when I coach with out being asked to coach it falls on deaf ears and I have done nothing more than talked through a concept for my own pleasure.

Man life is complicated. No, actually people are complicated and life is a reflection of that.