Testimonial from Mark Taylor

Testimonial for Business Coaching package:

I was fortunate enough to have a series of coaching sessions with Massimo of MaGa Coaching and found the whole experience both useful and enlightening.

There are many details to running, organising and promoting a business some of which are easy to ignore or ‘do later’. The great thing about having a business coach is he is able to put into perspective the most important areas that you need to look at in order to build your business.  Massimo did this with  great skill.  This, in turn, increased my motivation  and even though there was no one forcing me to cover all the points from each of the last sessions, the fact that I was paying for them gives even more incentive.

I now have a series of extremely useful tools that I can use to increase the profitability and size of my business – these are invaluable and though I may have been aware of them, it took Massimo to structure them and bring them to the fore front of my mind.

I would thoroughly recommend using Massimo.  His experience is wide ranging, if you think that he can help you – he can !

Mark Taylor – Company Director – Green Clean Limited – Cambridge

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This post was written by MaGa Coaching on 11 February 2010

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Help for business management: consultant or coach?

Many businesses, from sole traders to medium and large organizations, are taking measures against the recession facing us. Some of them will thrive, others will carry on business as usual and others, perhaps a percentage larger than average, will eventually close down.

Those directors and business owners who are analysing their businesses to formulate a strategic plan are often encountering some recurring, well known problems:

  • Inadequate organization that sometimes duplicates tasks, costs and generates inefficiency
  • Malfunctioning communication that causes information overflow for certain people and lack of information for others
  • Inefficient management that often lacks on focus and correct prioritization of tasks
  • Personal conflicts that cause friction and further lowers the already strained morale.

In many cases hiring an external professional (EP) to help with current management issues has its advantages:

  • The EP can offer a detached view to problems and the daily routine that most employees and managers usually have
  • The EP will be unaffected by the “we always did this way” kind of mentality
  • The EP will be willing to solve problems and sort out the causes involved in them irrespectively of historical events within the organization

For many years the a business consultant was synonymous with the above indicated EP. More recently a growing number of professionals moved toward a different way of helping companies and their business: becoming a business coach.  A business coach can help identifying, addressing and solving company problems. This is done by supporting the business owner or the management team to implement a solution that suits their company, management style and available resources in terms of people and capital.

A consultant, whether an independent freelance or part of a consultancy firm, tends to be highly specialized and specific in the tasks to be carried out. Nonetheless many people that used a consultant for their organization have complained about one main aspect of consultancy practice: consultants are in fact analyzing problems very well, with tools and methodologies that are not necessarily obvious or well known, but then they deliver a report that states what wrong and eventually how to address it. Another aspect of consultancy that can be often overlooked is the quality of people found in the organization they are consulting. Not every manager or entrepreneur has the same business school preparation that most consultants have. The suggested solutions might be difficult if not impossible to implement with the available resources and so the whole plan falls apart.

In a coaching approach problems are truly solved by the manager or the executive being coached. The coach will not simply suggest a solution expecting an automatic implementation. In fact suggesting is definitely the last thing that coaching offers: it supports the client to reach the solution with a structured and properly organized conversation, guiding the client to take action and ensuring these actions deliver the expected results.

While consultants are an excellent way of addressing business issues and problems providing specialized help in very specific sectors the business coach will help focussing on existing, perhaps under utilized skills and talent pulling the solution from the inside, in a very cost effective way.

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This post was written by massimo on 27 November 2008

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Coaching What?

Coaching has been around for some time, many decades: the term is usually very common and well understood when talking about sports coaching. At the same time definitions like life coaching, personal coaching, business coaching and executive coaching are much more recent in history: many people fail to recognise the term or have a very vague, often incorrect, idea about what that mean. While in the US the concept of personal coaching has been around for 20 years or more the in UK and the rest of Anglophone countries people with 10 years of experience are considered absolute gurus.

The sport coach is usually not the super expert or the retired champion: he is somebody that surely knows the sport but also has the right knowledge, techniques and personality to inspire and motivate the people he/she is coaching. We know of football, tennis, rugby or other sport coaches and some of them are real celebrities: behind a great champion or team is always a great coach.

A professional personal coach is an individual that usually mixes a broad background of experiences with one, often several, coaching qualifications that allow him/her to coach effectively a range of clients. Some coaches specialize in very specific subjects like career or self esteem while others tend to have a more general approach. In my experience business and executive coaches need to have the right management background, in order to have a common language with their client when coaching is centred on business.

Coaching, in its simple definition, is about asking questions, the right questions to help the client doing the appropriate thinking around his/her situation that often involves a dilemma his/she is trying to solve. For these reasons a coach should refrain from giving advice. Advice is my solution to your issue: you might like the advice and take it on board but it is proven that in the long term real solutions are the ones you identify by yourself. Once the right solution or direction has been identified then coaching is about action, getting the client to commit to a set of actions that will help delivering the results and achieving the goal.

So if you have a friend, a colleague or a relative that says “I would (should) really loose weight (or do more exercise, or socialize more or sell more) but…I cannot (I don’t have time, it’s the wrong moment)” then the right suggestion might be: “sounds like you need a coach”.

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This post was written by massimo on 21 October 2008

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