Business coach

A business coach


Business coaches guide employees of a company or other institution in order to improve their personal effectiveness, increase their job satisfaction, and positively impact their career development in the business setting. They do this by leading the coachee (the person who is being coached) to the resolution of their challenges by their own means. Business coaches aim to address specific tasks or reach specific goals, as opposed to overall development.

Here are some of the typical duties of business coaches:

  • Collaborate with clients to assess their business needs, goals, and challenges.
  • Develop personalized coaching plans and strategies tailored to the client’s objectives.
  • Provide guidance on business strategies, leadership skills, and effective management practices.
  • Help clients identify strengths and areas for improvement, and work on developing skills to address them.
  • Support clients in setting achievable goals and creating action plans to accomplish them.
  • Offer constructive feedback and encouragement to inspire continuous improvement.
  • Assist clients in improving communication skills, both internally and externally.
  • Facilitate problem-solving and decision-making processes, helping clients find innovative solutions.
  • Provide resources, tools, and frameworks for analyzing business situations and making informed choices.
  • Coach clients on time management, organization, and prioritization techniques.
  • Help clients build and maintain positive working relationships with colleagues, teams, and stakeholders.
  • Assist in enhancing emotional intelligence, stress management, and resilience in the business context.
  • Offer guidance on effective networking, business development, and client relationship management.
  • Support entrepreneurs and small business owners in creating business plans and strategies.
  • Help clients navigate career transitions, such as promotions or shifts in roles.
  • Stay updated on industry trends, business practices, and leadership theories to offer relevant advice.
  • Provide accountability and motivation to ensure clients stay on track with their goals.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of coaching sessions and make adjustments as needed.
  • Maintain confidentiality and ethical standards in all coaching interactions.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to business coach:

coach in business development
practitioner of business coaching
professional development coach
business leadership coach
personal development coach
business development coach
corporate coach
executive coach
leadership coach

Working conditions

Business coaches often work independently, either as freelancers or as part of coaching firms. They may conduct coaching sessions in person, over the phone, or through virtual platforms. The work may require flexibility to accommodate clients’ schedules, including evenings or weekends. Business coaches may also travel to meet clients or attend workshops and conferences.

Minimum qualifications

While formal educational requirements can vary, most business coaches hold at least a bachelor’s degree in business, psychology, or a related field. Many business coaches also pursue coaching certifications from reputable organizations, such as the International Coaching Federation. Strong business acumen, leadership experience, and effective communication skills are essential. Practical experience in business management, consulting, or leadership positions is valuable. Business coaches often continue their professional development through workshops, seminars, and networking opportunities.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Business coach is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Business coach career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to business coach.

corporate trainer
public speaking coach
programme funding manager
further education teacher

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of business coach.

  • Speak in public: Address a group of listeners in a structured, deliberate manner to inform, influence or convince them.
  • Coach employees: Maintain and improve employees’ performance by coaching individuals or groups how to optimise specific methods, skills or abilities, using adapted coaching styles and methods. Tutor newly recruited employees and assist them in the learning of new business systems.
  • Work in an organised manner: Stay focused on the project at hand, at any time. Organise, manage time, plan, schedule and meet deadlines.
  • Develop a coaching style: Develop a style for coaching individuals or groups that ensures all participants are at ease, and are able to acquire the necessary skills and competences provided in the coaching in a positive and productive manner.
  • Apply teaching strategies: Employ various approaches, learning styles, and channels to instruct students, such as communicating content in terms they can understand, organising talking points for clarity, and repeating arguments when necessary. Use a wide range of teaching devices and methodologies appropriate to the class content, the learners’ level, goals, and priorities.
  • Evaluate clients’ progress: Keep track of clients’ achievements by reporting on their progress. Monitor whether goals are reached and barriers or setbacks overcome. If not, consult with clients about their issues and offer new approaches.
  • Advise on efficiency improvements: Analyse information and details of processes and products in order to advise on possible efficiency improvements that could be implemented and would signify a better use of resources.
  • Give constructive feedback: Provide founded feedback through both criticism and praise in a respectful, clear, and consistent manner. Highlight achievements as well as mistakes and set up methods of formative assessment to evaluate work.
  • Organise projects to fill education needs: Fill education gaps by organising projects and activities that help people to grow academically, socially or emotionally.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of business coach. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Communication: Exchanging and conveying information, ideas, concepts, thoughts, and feelings through the use of a shared system of words, signs, and semiotic rules via a medium.
  • Learning difficulties: The learning disorders some students face in an academic context, especially Specific Learning Difficulties such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and concentration deficit disorders.
  • Teamwork principles: The cooperation between people characterised by a unified commitment to achieving a given goal, participating equally, maintaining open communication, facilitating effective usage of ideas etc.
  • Leadership principles: Set of traits and values which guide the actions of a leader with her/his employees and the company and provide direction throughout her/his career. These principles are also an important tool for self-evaluation to identify strengths and weaknesses, and seek self-improvement.
  • Business knowledge: A firm’s functions, the processes and tasks which are employed to accomplish those functions and the relationship of those functions, processes and tasks to each of the functions, processes and tasks performed throughout the firm.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of business coach. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Motivate employees: Communicate with employees in order to ensure that their personal ambitions are in line with the business goals, and that they work to meet them.
  • Teach public speaking principles: Instruct clients or students in the theory and practice of speaking in front of an audience in a captivating manner. Provide coaching in public speaking subjects, such as diction, breathing techniques, analysis of the space, and speech research and preparation.
  • Teach intercultural communication methods: Advise individuals or businesses on their intercultural communication. Explain methods and ways to facilitate communication between people of other cultures.
  • Teach digital literacy: Instruct students in the theory and practice of (basic) digital and computer competency, such as typing efficiently, working with basic online technologies, and checking email. This also includes coaching students in the proper use of computer hardware equipment and software programmes.
  • Analyse goal progress: Analyse the steps which have been taken in order to reach the organisation’s goals in order to assess the progress which has been made, the feasibility of the goals, and to ensure the goals can be met according to deadlines.
  • Perform planning: Manage one’s time schedule and resources in order to finish tasks in a timely manner.
  • Identify clients’ needs: Identify the areas in which the client may require aid and investigate the possibilities for meeting those needs.

ISCO group and title

2424 – Training and staff development professionals

  1. Business coach – ESCO
  2. Becoming a Business Coach: The Ultimate Guide – Evercoach
  3. Becoming a business coach: the ultimate guide | Zella Life
  4. How to Become an Online Business Coach: 9 Steps to Success – Thinkific
  5. Featured image: Photo by cottonbro studio
Last updated on August 28, 2023