The Business and Practice of Coaching by Lynn Grodzki and Wendy Allen
One Line Summary
The technical play by play of starting a successful coaching practice
I’ve reviewed several books now not only on how to be a great coach, but how to be a great coach that can actually sustain their business model.
The Business and Practice of Coaching is somewhat of a hybrid of these two ideas. There’s technical knowledge on how to be an effective coach in here, but also nitty-gritty ideas on how to running a successful business.
Some of the information here is superfluous to the other books that I’ve read on coaching, so it may sound like I’m repeating myself. As an objective review, I can’t assume you’ve read the other books on my list.
This is going to be a short one. Let’s dive in.
Why it’s Awesome
If you don’t understand the differences between coaching, counseling and consulting, this book gives a fantastic in depth comparison.
What it boils down to is that as a coach, you are assuming that your client is already whole, capable of finding their own solutions and is not there for you to “problem solve”.
In this sense, no one needs a coach. But they may want one if they’re looking to self-actualize and achieve their dreams.
Problem solving is for counselors and consultants. Their client has a specific issue and you assume the authority figure role that has all the answers. The client is therefore assumed to be unable to find their own solutions and is in need of your “fixing”.
Neither of these approaches is inherently better than another. For people with serious mental illness, an authority figure role may be more appropriate than a coach.
Despite the fact that coaching does not stem from an assumption of “fixing problems”, many problems paradoxically do get fixed. I know this because I’ve coached people and I’ve been coached. It’s a unique process that I almost never see anywhere else and a powerful coach is extremely effective.
Also, this book was one of the resources that convinced me to go get formal training. You wouldn’t go to a therapist or doctor who didn’t have formal training, and you shouldn’t go to a coach who doesn’t have it either.
There are also many other benefits to becoming a certified coach. Networking is a huge plus since you will meet other coaches in your program and will join the ICF (International Coach Federation). Also, many coaching programs have a business development curriculum to make sure their graduates are successful and generate referrals for them.
In the end, if you are going to be a coach then you need to practice and master your craft as much as possible. Getting certified training is a great way to start that process.
This book also has some interesting insights as far as setting up at legal structure of your business. There are pros and cons of going as a Sole Proprietor, LLC or some type of corporation. Really it just depends on the person.
If you’re struggling to figure out who you want to be coaching and what niche you are going to fall into, there’s a bunch of different case studies pointing out the differences between different types of coaching, e.g executive coaching vs life coaching. I’d read these descriptions before many any sort of hard choice.
One final thing I really got out of this book was it’s amazing book list in the appendix. Essentially any other book you could need on coaching or running the business side is on there.
You’ve GOT to get the business end of your coaching practice handled. I’ve talked about before how this industry is littered with wanna-be’s and never-made-its. If you don’t want to be just another casuality, do not take the entrepreneurial end lightly.
Why Does It Suck
If you’ve already got a relatively successful coaching practice up and running, you can probably skip this one. This is mostly an introduction for new coaches.
Also, there are better books out there in my opinion on how to get clients. Book Yourself Solid and The Prosperous Coach are both books I’ve reviewed on Aurum Reviews that go more in depth on this.
The Wrap Up
Good for new coaches looking to get an introduction to the business side of coaching. Advanced players can step out.