Evaluating success in business mentoring
In theory, it should be relatively easy to discern the level of success in business mentoring or coaching. Sales – or some other key performance indicator (KPI,) such as production – has improved. However, what happens in a case when the client has not achieved the results originally dreamed about? Has the effort boiled down to a resounding failure?
I have several clients based in the Jerusalem area, who are classic one or two-person businesses. They are the boss, the chief of sales and also clean the floors. They are desperate to up the tempo of sales, but are still spending half their work days putting out irrelevant fires – which are frequently ordinary domestic problems.
Dena is a typical example. She came to me with the idea of exploring how to set up a new service enterprise. She certainly had solid background knowledge. Explaining her pitch to others would not be a problem.
However, circumstances have combined to foil Dena at the set up stage. To be blunt, all the initial targets have been missed, mainly as a string of personal issues that have forced Dena into unforeseen and time-consuming activities. The debts have mounted. Sales have remained minimal.
So has Dena failed? Is there any hope left?
Admittedly, Dena has not succeeded, but that does not mean she has failed. Certainly, much of the initial set up is in place, ready for a launch at a future opportunity.
There is something more. Regular readers will be aware that I encourage my clients to develop hobbies in parallel to their new commercial challenges. I usually look for a physical response like running. Dena, though, took to poetry, a former passion of hers.
I asked Dena to come up with two new poems. She wrote four, and now cannot stop writing. Today, she read out two of them to me. On completion, she then did something that I had not seen her do in all of our prior sessions. Dena laughed, out loud, almost embarrassed by her own triumph.
Shortly afterwards, Dena left the room. She strutted out with a nervous confidence, determined to find that new level of success.