Coaching technical experts who also manage a business
June 5, 2018 § Leave a comment
I’ve coached a number of people over the years who have both been expert practitioners in their field (entrepreneurs, artists, technical specialists…), and who have also been responsible for the running of their business (directors, partners or equivalents).
Whilst their coaching has at times focussed on the development of their craft or expertise, most often the work has come under the heading of being an effective contributor to running the business. How to be a shaper and leader of strategy, for example, or how to manage relationships with colleagues, or how to take charge of their own future within the enterprise.
The refining of their technical expertise, their craft, whatever made them create or join the business in the first place, has often happened intuitively, outside the coaching and instead through their daily practice, almost without them noticing. And there’s no surprise here, as of course this craft is what lights their fire! It’s where they have chosen to put their heart and soul, and where they find meaning in work. So they already have effective strategies for developing this part of themselves; and these strategies are the reason they became experts.
But few go into business solely in order to go into business. Few gladly choose the path of people management. Few have set themselves the primary lifetime goal of effective delegation or increased productivity, or minimising the effects of stress.
So these latter topics are the ones which sometimes turn up in coaching, because for these experts they are not the arena of intuitive skills. They instead can be experienced for some people as arenas of uncertainty, of no right answers, or of inexperience, where a false step might lead to further complications.
In short, they are arenas where conscious attention has to be paid to ensure the experiences are unpacked and the learning converted into more effective future action. And that is why there are so relevant agenda items for coaching, in support of the growth of the whole person as an effective practitioner.
This is a copy of an article which also appears within my LinkedIn pages.