An honest proposal from a Business Coach

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I had to write a proposal for my coaching services this week. It was a bit of a struggle, mainly because I don’t normally do it.

This is because

  •  working with me is one of those things that people either ‘get’ or they ‘don’t get’. Writing it down doesn’t seem to add to my sales conversion
  •  what I do is not easily boiled down into a set of activities, milestones and deliverables. This is true of most 1-1 development work. When I show up for a session with a client I don’t know what particular context I am going to find them in so I have to adapt as I go. There is however, process behind my work.
  •  the work I do is hard to measure. It creates an ‘outcome’ and an ‘outcome of the outcome’
    • The first outcome is the change I effect in the individual. These results are subjective and its a challenge to apply meaningful measurement to;
    • The ‘outcome of the outcome’ is the changes in customer experience, turnover and margins that happen as a result of the changes you undergo. This is easy to measure but difficult to relate back to the work I did.

With this backdrop in mind I have, nonetheless, put some things to paper. I’m didn’t  make wild promises and create fictitious deliverables and timelines but I did set out what I deliver and a flavour of how I do it.

I’m sharing it with you for two reasons:

  • there is a lot of interesting ideas within the proposal that can help you
  • if you have considered exploring business coaching this will give you a strong sense of how things work

The proposal

In this proposal I answer the key questions that are likely to be on your mind when thinking about working with me.  This document sets out how why you should work with me, how I work and the benefits.

Why is working with someone like me important?

Managing and growing businesses is a highly challenging context for a human being. It is hard to maintain high levels of performance and wellbeing against a backdrop of

  • Fast moving, changing and chaotic markets; coupled with rapid technological change driving complete uncertainty
  • The complexity of the relationships, individuals, money and physical assets that have to be organised against the backdrop of this uncertainty
  • The unique and changing nature of an individual’s state of mind and how they create their experiences in each moment

The goal of my work is simple.

 To provide a permanent shift in the way you show up so that you get the results you want irrespective of what is happening around you.

We work together for twelve months during which time you get the benefit of

  • an independent sounding board for your thoughts, decisions and actions
  • a perspective on business leadership grounded in a unique breadth and depth of experience
  • someone who is skilled in understanding you and raising your own levels of performance
  • someone capable of holding you to account for how you show up, and willing to engage in the tough conversations required to access new levels of performance and wellbeing

 

Below my clients awareness the processes I am using are pointing you at who you are when you are at your best, and then anchoring that position as an internal benchmark for you to reference, at will. I call this position your grounding. When combined with a raised level of commercial awareness and a set of strong execution habits, my clients end up more resourceful and able to perform at new levels.

With the commercial world prone to constant evolution and rapid change, the ability to think and act from a placed of considered intuition is a key skill. A big part of my work is teaching you how to test and trust your instincts.

After twelve months my clients are fully equipped to move forward without my support. Some choose to stay and continue to engage me on a less frequent basis.

Why choose Dave?

My whole career, both corporate and self employed, has been about problem solving. I get quickly to the root of problems, whether they be structural in the business and market or psychological in the person. Once diagnosed my creativity comes to the fore and I am able to support people to create and implement simple and practical solutions to improve performance.

My working style is playful (the stand up comic in me often turns up) but always with the serious end point of creating sustained change in how you perform. I value competence and skill in myself and others. My aim is to draw out the very best from my clients.

My combination of commercial acumen and deep understanding of how people work are unique. This enables me to operate in the role of a mentor (someone who has been there and done it), coach (someone who understands how to get you to take action), trainer (someone who teaches you what to do) or consultant (someone who tells you what to do). It is this ability to blend approaches that makes it impossible for me to come up with a title that fully encapsulates my work.

Customers who work with me are accessing the experience that comes with

  • a twenty-five year corporate career in six FTSE100 companies spanning four sectors, where I climbed the ladder from a Clerical Assistant to the Director of Financial Operations for Orange.
  • eight years of experience as an SME coach and trainer, working with owners, directors and teams to create rapid profit growth
  • leadership experience ranging from small professional teams, cross functional project teams up to line management of over five hundred operational staff
  • fifteen years of Corporate Audit experience where I was paid to scrutinise and improve every aspect of business strategy and operations (and where I also developed an uncanny ability to tell if someone was lying to me or not!)
  • heavy and sustained investment in myself to continually improve my own understanding of people and skill in effecting transformation, including personal mentoring from leading global authorities including Dr Joseph Riggio and Jamie Smart

 

Whatever the challenge facing you or your company I have seen it, or a very close flavour of it, before.

 

What are the benefits of working with me?

 

Spending time working with me creates two levels of outcome:

  • personal transformation –effecting a change in the way you see your business and yourself, relative to the direction of travel you want to take and the opportunities and challenges you encounter on route. I leave my clients with the understanding and tools necessary to constantly show up at their very best
  • results as an outcome of transformation – when you begin to show up differently the ideas, decision and actions that emerge will affect the results you achieve. This is the tangible results of my work often measured using key business operational and financial measures.

Depending on your starting point you can expect to access higher levels of self belief, resilience and assertiveness. This in turn drives more creativity, better decision making and the ability to take focussed action. This in turn affects the commercial results of your company.

What approach do you take?

There are two ways that I work with people. I run Leadership Development programmes and I run 1-1 tailored engagements.

The programmes are run in groups and follow a set out syllabus. There are exercises and a project within the programme structure that relates the content back to your business, so that you can apply and integrate the syllabus into your company.

Working with me 1-1 takes a different approach. Whilst there is a syllabus of content I cover over the period it is not structured into a specific order. Instead I support you in pursuit of your key business objectives, using the situations and events that emerge as ways to apply the ideas and principles you need.

This is a far more effective way of creating sustained performance shifts. You literally develop and transform on the job. At each step, as well as providing answers and guidance on specific situations, I explain the principles that are operating behind why you feel challenged or stuck.

I don’t get you to stare at the sun. I do not take a therapy style approach to transformation and am not concerned with my clients history (except to highlighting when I see their personal mythology showing up in their behaviours)

Instead I focus on a positive forward looking orientation; from where you are now, what do you want? This style of work creates an excitatory, action focussed bias in my clients and provides a strong pointer towards their grounding. This is achieved through focussed powerful conversations (you can read more about how I approach this here).

 

After a few months you will notice a shift in how you think and feel in the workplace and your colleagues will also detect a difference in how you are ‘showing up’.

From this place of directional clarity a path of least resistance emerges; a set of simple actions consisting of idea creation, decisions, conversations and tasks.

In theory from this point it should just be a matter of sequential execution of the steps on the path. In reality though most people begin to struggle at this point. Your ability to follow the desired course of action and maintain a high calibre and consistent performance, is impacted by four key levers of performance.

Grounding – At any moment you are either in your grounding or not. This is a key variable in performance. Being away from grounding can stifle creativity, make you indecisive, introduce procrastination and restrict your desire and ability to connect with others. Working with me gives you access to the understanding of where your true grounding is and how to recognise the role your state of mind is playing in any moment.

 

Connection – Any commercial success has, at its heart, the ability to build and sustain strong connections with customers, suppliers, peers, your team and your boss. The quality and nature of connections with others is a impacted by personal grounding and your ability to recognise the grounding of others. My coaching helps you to uncover where connections need strengthening and gives you simple tools to build positive connections.

 

Execution – Habitual structures that you can use to create plans, solve problems, make decisions, manage distractions, take decisive action and measure progress, are at the heart of high performance. There is no one optimum structure or discipline set that works for everyone. My work here is to help you to organise yourself around a set of habits that are a perfect fit for you.

 

Mechanics – Ultimately to be successful in the business world requires an understanding of the principles that drive commercial success and the ability to ‘see the big picture’ when decision making. Under pressure, good commercial sense can often go out of the window and opinions and guesswork can override facts and commercial sense.

 

Once you understand and integrate these four levers into how you show up and get things done you access new levels of performance and wellbeing. It is these four levers that are the heart of the process I bring into my conversations and work with clients.

 

Structure

When working 1-1 I am able to create a flexible delivery structure that fits with my client’s timescales and preferred working styles.

In this instance it is proposed that we meet once a month but also have a weekly phone call, supported by an email that you will submit at the end of each week. We will review this process after two months. The email will contain a summary of the week and will form the basis of our phone conversation.

In addition, as with all my clients, you have 24/7 email and phone access to me (with a 24 hour response SLA).

 

Next Steps

From this document you really now know what you need to know in order to move forward with me. The next step is to book a fifteen minute meet and greet call. You can do that here or you can drop me an email at dave@sleepingtiger.co.uk and we will take care of the rest here.

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