What’s the problem with some business coaches?

Business coach and law firmsWhen you’re running a law firm, it’s probably important to get advice from others who are successful in different fields.  No matter whether your business is a law firm or some other type of business, you probably need some advice from others in other industries.  This is especially true is you are just launching your law firm.

You could probably, for example, use the advice of business developers or business coaches.  If you are looking for one, they are all over the place looking for work and easy to find.  Individuals with experience with marketing can certainly be an aid.  Having some help with a human resource professional, employment attorneys and tax professional can also be an aid.

Let’s face it: For many lawyers, they might be very skilled in the areas of law in which they practice.  But how much do they really know about running a law firm?  Anybody with some basic element of common sense is going to try to get the help of folks with knowledge in these particular areas.

However, what is the problem with some business coaches?  And how can an attorney or law firm can get in trouble when relying on these so-called professionals?

First, many of these so-called business coaches do not take time to understand the ins and out of your law firm.  They might not take the time to know the dynamics of your law firm.  Or, even if they try to take the time, it can be really difficult for a business guru to come through your office and really get a complete handle on it.

For a business guru to fully understand, they’d almost have to sit and work in your office for a long period of time.  Yet, many will disseminate advice without really understand the dynamics of your law firm.

Second, many business gurus can start giving advice outside the true area of their comfort zone.  In other words, they might have lots of past experience in one particular area.  In this particular area, they might be quite knowledgeable.  But, ultimately, they start weighing in and giving advice in areas that are really beyond their experience and their comfort zone.

Take somebody who might have a MBA with an emphasis in accounting, and a background in this area, who starts giving human resource advice when this wasn’t the focus of their schooling or job experience.  In this area, the advice they might give can become stretched.

Ultimately, smart business owners may seek some advice and guidance from other professionals out there.  This can be a positive development in a lot of ways.  But, ultimately, it’s your law firm.  You know your people better than any business guru.  You also probably have spent more time in your office than any business guru.  You also probably know your people better than they do — at least you should hope you do.

So, ultimately, be confident and know when to take advice and when not to take advice.  Not all advice from a business coach is correct — if you choose to use one.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.

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