Anyone can aspire to become a coach. After all, coaching is about inculcating a sense of leadership, and that is not something everyone is born with. It is something you hone and cultivate. If you’ve laid the groundwork for leadership and are now in a position of power and influence, you ought to prioritize the art of delegation.
You must zero in on streamlining your coaching and management processes so that you get to accomplish more. By more, we mean responsibilities that are most critical to the business you are running—those with invaluable impact on growth.
One way to do that is via outsourcing. Yes, there are tasks that you can entrust to someone else, even if it’s to someone not in the same place as you. It’s high time you adopt the practice in your management and coaching style. Consider it a competency every leader needs to master and execute.
Essential coaching competencies
On top of mastering the art of delegation, coaches and managers also need to nurture other competencies. The right attitude is of the essence here.
You need to be passionate about business and everything it entails, the most obvious of which is people management. You cannot give up on clients and employees because you find them too challenging to coach. These challenges are part and parcel of the work you do.
To better cope with those challenges, you must be armed with both confidence and communication skills. Confidence will allow you to present yourself in front of people with authority. Meanwhile, top-notch communication skills will let you reach out to those you need to influence in a way that they do not only respect your title but, more importantly, your knowledge and expertise too.
Communication skills will equip you with the right tools for asking for accountability from the people you coach. A leader worth their salt won’t mind reprimanding someone who’s performing below their capacity if only to encourage them to do better for themselves and the team.
Flexibility is another requirement for coaches. Remember, you will be working with different clients with varying sets of values and priorities. Learn to adapt your style while looking at the big picture. The big picture is ultimately about growth. There are many aspects to a business that it is easy to lose sight of that. Keep your eyes on the goal.
Coaching is not for the faint of heart. You do not just talk your way through the job. You have to walk the talk. Lead by example. Otherwise, the people you are trying to influence will see through whatever double standards you’re guilty of. Yes, the job entails a lot of pressure. Having a lot on your plate is typical. This is where the possibility of burnout comes in.
You are dealing with people, after all. Their dreams and aspirations rest upon your shoulders. You know that if you screw up, you’re not only making your resume less flattering, but you’re also potentially thwarting your clients’ opportunity for success. That’s a lot to take in.
As you try to outperform yourself, you toil beyond the regular work hours. You devote even your weekends to your job. You skip rest and recreation that are crucial to your overall well-being so that you can do more. Soon, what you think is doing your career a favor will prove to be counterproductive.
It begins innocuously enough. At first, you find yourself no longer enjoying the work you used to derive pleasure from. Then, you realize your output has become mediocre at best. Before long, you’ll be avoiding your job like the plague. By then, you’ve succumbed to burnout.
Everyone is susceptible to burnout. If robots and AIs experience faulty systems from time to time, you, a human being, are not exempt from losing steam. However, you need not wait for it to happen. Proactively fight burnout by delegating.
Outsourcing vs. Burnout
Delegating could be done in one of two ways. First is hiring full-time employees to work for you. The upside of this is you have total control of your team, from the hours you expect them to do their job to how you want them to do their job. The downside is it’s a costlier option. You will have to follow employment taxes, for instance, as well as provide them benefits.
The second option is outsourcing. Here, you are essentially working with independent contractors. You do not need to provide them with a laptop or any prerequisites for them to do their job. You are also not expected to pay taxes or partake in their monthly health insurance contributions.
The downside is you have to follow the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) guidelines for the proper classification of independent contractors. One stipulation there is you cannot impose where, when, and how you want them to work.
However, there’s a legal way for you to manage their work hours and processes. All you need to do is properly communicate with your hired contractor. You can agree on a work schedule, for example. That is most crucial if you’re hiring a virtual assistant (VA) from halfway across the globe.
Maybe you need your VA to be online the same hours as you are. While that is technically against IRS rules, you can get away with it by looking at the arrangement—not as an imposition but a mutually agreed-upon decision.
Outsourcing tasks will decrease your to-do list because you are delegating some of your tasks to a competent employee. As a result, you will reduce your susceptibility to burnout. For coaches dealing with people’s financial future, that’s a matter of great importance.
What you should outsource
Once you get into outsourcing tasks, begin with the most obvious. Think bookkeeping. That’s not something that affects your coaching career’s growth; it’s just something you need to accomplish for business compliance.
The unfortunate thing is it happens to be a rather draining responsibility. You need to juggle recordkeeping, computing, and document filing, among others. Get those jobs out of your hands as soon as you can. Use your saved time for more pressing matters that will buff up your coaching career, such as coming up with strategies for marketing your services to more clients.
Next, move on to lower leverage tasks—for example, documentation of your coaching sessions. A VA can help you record those sessions. They can take on the responsibility of downloading the files and uploading them to your YouTube page if you have one.
That way, your clients could refer back to them any time they want to, or prospective clients could get a hint of what’s in store for them should they decide to sign up with your services.
Those are just the most basic tasks you can outsource. This career strategy’s potential expands to work that can leverage your coaching profession: think, social media marketing. By having a VA to maintain your social media pages, you can rest assured that your name is out there and your message is heard by people who may one day become your clients.
Just make sure you and you’re VA are on the same page. They must understand what you do so your online presence’s messaging is coherent and cohesive across all platforms.
How to outsource like a pro
Many online platforms offer outsourcing opportunities. To ensure you land the best of the bunch, research is crucial. Read testimonials from previous clients.
Look into the platform’s processes and policies. Do they impose a stringent process when it comes to gathering their pool of virtual assistants? Most of these websites feature some of their best candidates. Peruse their credentials, and those will give you a hint if the provider is worth pursuing.
Get into hiring with a plan. Detail your expectations. From a pool of applicants, zero in on those with credentials that align best with the job on offer. Ask for sample works if, for instance, you’re looking for a graphic artist or content writer. If work samples are out of the question, ask for references. Conduct a thorough interview. Finally, trust your instinct. Hire the person you feel you can vibe with.
As soon as you start working with your VA, provide consistent feedback in the first few weeks. Consider it as the onboarding process where coaching is vital. After that, do not fall prey to micromanagement. Your goal is to have as little to do with your outsourced tasks; to focus on other aspects of your career that require your undivided attention.
So long as the tasks you outsource are being delivered as expected, you’re getting your end of the deal. That goes without saying you still need to monitor the performance of your VA.
Out with burnout, in with outsourcing
For coaches to continue functioning at their best, burnout should be avoided at all costs. Falling prey to burnout will derail your growth plans. At best, you will need to slow down to recalibrate; at worst, you’ll have to temporarily put your official functions on hold to give yourself time to recover. Outsourcing eliminates those risks.
For years, outsourcing has been a favored business approach for a variety of industries. Coaches have many benefits to reap from it, too, so do not shy away from getting the help you need.
It does not take away from your proficiency as a leader. In fact, it reflects positively on you. Delegating tasks means you have figured out the way to best maximize your limited hours and energy, and that’s one of the truest marks of an excellent leader, sure to take you to greater heights.