If you’re considering engaging a business coach then odds are you’re looking for real change and real progress in your business. But just allowing someone else in to take a big picture perspective of your enterprise isn’t the end of the process.

To enable long-lasting change and the rewards that follow there are a host of things a business owner can do to assist their mentor. Here are five ways you can help a business coach help you.

Be open

No-one said it was easy to open your books and reveal your business’ inner workings to an outsider but this is an essential part of receiving comprehensive help.

The key is to select the right coach whom you trust personally and professionally, and then furnish them with the information to do their job.

This includes allowing them access to all the areas of your business, from the way you operate to how you handle staff and the revenue you receive.

Be accountable

Your employees aren’t going to call you out when they think you should be doing something differently, and chances are your spouse may not either. But a business coach can and you should give them permission to do it.

The right coach will always be in your corner but true progress can only be made when you recognise what you could be doing better and find long term solutions to change it. So let your coach tell you and find ways to move forwards.

 Be honest

If you’re looking to make progress quickly, there’s no point painting a situation in a golden light or being vague about where you want to go.

Be honest about what you want, where your business is at, how you could do better and any mistakes you have made or successes you have enjoyed.

This allows your coach to quickly ascertain what works, what doesn’t and what should be done next.

Be ego-free

No sporting coach stands on the field consistently congratulating a player on their footwork.

They’re not there to stroke that player’s ego.

Instead they’re looking for areas of improvement, moves that can be corrected and techniques that may not be working. In business it’s the same.

Allow and expect your coach to analyse and correct your game play, and resist the urge to get defensive when they do.

Be proactive

Coaching is a two-way street where business provides information and a coach furnishes them with techniques.

And this should be an ongoing process that you proactively engage in. It’s about sharing information and updates, so make the time to do it regularly and note down what you want to discuss including what you feel is working and what isn’t.

Proactive sharing allows you to make progress quickly.

Business coaching allows operators to see their enterprise in a whole new light and find innovative techniques and methods to propel their business forward. But like any relationship, the interaction between a coach and operator needs to be built on honesty, accountability and openness. With the ego out of the way and the cards on the table, the slate is clean for a whole new level of success.