‘Who can help me?’

So, you have set up your own business.

You have a great product or service.

You have completed a Start Your Own Business course.

Now what?

It is a common complaint/worry that I see and hear about from Irish Entrepreneurs on an almost daily basis. Just look at the various SME groups on social media. You will see numerous questions from people who have set up their own business, have hit an obstacle and have nowhere to go to find an answer. While these social media groups are extremely useful and can answer many questions, I can’t help but feel that something is missing for small and micro-enterprises which would help them drive their businesses forward.

You see one issue that I am conscious of when I see people offering advice is that, while they have the absolute best intentions to help the person asking the question, they are offering advice from their own perspective not that of the person with the issue. This hits two problems:

  1. The advisor is generally not in the advisee’s business so the dynamic might be different, the problem might be slightly different. This means that the advice given has to be broad in scope to ‘hit all possibilities’ in the hope that there is a nugget of information that will help. I call this the Scatter-gun Approach. From the advisees perspective, they can run into further trouble if they blindly try to apply the advice received which can further drop them into despair and frustration in their business. I have no doubt that many businesses have folded, because the advice they received was wrong for their situation and, rather than resolve the issue, it drove them deeper into trouble.
  2. From a Neuroscience perspective, the advice might be offered in a format that doesn’t reach the advisee, for example “what’s your gut telling you?” will be harder to react to for a person who is driven more by their heart than their gut. It might sound silly, but it has been proven that we communicate differently and consequently the advice we offer will be based on our own primary drivers rather than those of the advisee.

So how can you, in your small or micro business get the help you want?

In short, I believe business owners of today need access to Coaches, Consultants or Mentors who can help them with issues that are individual to their organisations. The problem is finance. Most cannot afford to hire the services of a fully qualified and experienced Coach, Consultant or Mentor and even if they can afford it, the market in Ireland is so crowded with ‘professionals’ that there is a huge fear of the quality of service that will be received. Many of the ‘professionals’ out there today, do not provide a professional service. They have not been trained, are not insured and effectively have zero background, experience or qualifications to help.

Some time ago I wrote an article which offered advice on what you should look out for when considering the services of a Coach, Consultant, or Mentor. You can find the article here. But all that will give you is a guide to hiring a professional who ACTUALLY IS a professional.

So let’s assume you get access to the services of a professional Coach, Consultant or Mentor, what can they do for you?

As a one-person operation myself, I know how hard it can be to drive your business forward on your own. There are little or no back ups to your decision making process. Everything stops with you. You have to deal with the ups and downs on your own. Social media groups such as #IrishBizParty offer great support and a certain amount of help, but I believe a Coach, Consultant or Mentor would offer you so much more.

To begin with, a Coach will not tell you what to do; it’s not their job. Immediately, this accepts the fact that your business is YOUR BUSINESS. The coach is not a staff member. They do not work for you or in your organisation. They do not know the dynamic of you or your organisation, but they know one very important point; YOU DO!!

The role of a Coach is to question, challenge and help YOU to come up with resolutions to the issues YOUR business has encountered. Assuming they have business experience, a Coach (with your permission) can become your Mentor and point you in a direction to help you overcome the obstacles you face. The ultimate goal is to help YOU identify and overcome YOUR business issues in a way that is relevant to YOU and YOUR business, i.e. a tailored service to you.

Let’s look at the second issue highlighted above; communication. A properly trained Coach, Consultant or Mentor will already understand the importance of communicating with a client in the client’s preferential way. Applying the new Coaching process of mBIT (multiple Brain Integration Techniques) helps the client to access all of their body’s Intelligences/Brains to help them tap into the different abilities of each. You can find out more about mBIT Coaching here. (Remember, InnoChan Solutions is the ONLY company in Ireland currently qualified to offer mBIT as part of it’s Coaching, Consultancy and Mentoring services).

So what does all this mean to you, sitting in your office (or at the kitchen table), trying to overcome a business problem (or even a personal issue of motivation)?

Social Media groups are a great first step to getting an answer or support. However, if you find you are still ‘stuck’ or you don’t want to publicise your issue through Social Media, but you want to continue with your business, then you need to seek support. You need to contact a suitably qualified Coach, Consultant or Mentor. Just remember to check their credentials and ability first. Your business success depends on it!!!

For my part, InnoChan Solutions is teaming up with #IrishBizParty to offer its members the very facilities discussed above at extremely reduced rates to help SMEs and Micro-enterprises deal with the issues that they have encountered so that they can drive their businesses to success. Just to deal with an issue raised above in relation to being suitably qualified, you can check out my qualifications, experience and other credentials here.

Being your own boss, need not be a lonely journey. Many CEOs of the biggest companies in the world use the services of a Coach to help them with their decision making as well as business and personal issues so that they can stay focused and at the top of their game. Why can’t you?

CEOs have hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of people driving their businesses for them. You have YOU. Surely you need the support of a Coach in your corner more than they do.

So here are some questions;

  • do you want your business to succeed?
  • do you want support to overcome issues specific to your business?
  • do you feel lost after completing the SYOB programme?

Then, as they say in the Ghostbusters movie; “Who you gonna call?”

Coaches/Behaviourists on Interview Panels

I was recently asked to join an interview panel and assist in the recruiting of a staff member for a local company. It was a full day spent interviewing a number of applicants for a full time role. Of the three members of the panel, I was the only ‘outsider’ and Coach/Behavioural Analysis qualified person.


So how did the day go?


To begin with, I got a real sense from the others on the panel that they were happy to have an ‘expert’ in their company. One even commented how it was great to have someone who knew how to talk to people on the panel.


I knew nothing about the company apart from what I researched before the interview day. However, this freed me up to focus on the interviewee. I was able to use my skills to build rapport, tune into the non-verbal communication from each candidate and ask questions that allowed the others on the panel to see a different side of the candidate. That’s not to say that I tried to ‘catch’ the interviewee out, but my non-involvement in the organisation allowed me to focus on the person beinging interviewed rather than the more traditional focus of interviewers on what they know; the job and the company.


I believe that such ‘freedom’ allowed us as an interview panel to access additional information about the candidate. I noticed that after each interview, during our discussion, the others on the panel sought my views on the interviewee as a person from a behavioural perspective before discussing their views in relation to the candidate’s ‘fit’ for the job. In many cases, I believe I was able to highlight things I had noticed from a Coach/Behaviourist perspective. I was able to better pick up on specific things that were said (or not said) during the interview. I was able to challenge the interviewee on these things in order to get a better picture of the person and how they might be a fit (or not) for the role.


Some companies outsource their recruitment process so that there is little or no involvement in the selection process (particularly at the early stages of the interview process). However, in general, when a candidate gets to the final rounds of interview for a position they very often find themselves in a ‘trial’ situation where the interviewers are all company people, often with little or no interview skills (or questioning skills). I believe that this can result in a poor interview and the wrong person being selected.


Having an outsider (and specificaly a person who has qualifications in working closely with people) provides additional valuable information to aid in the recruitment of the right person.


Here are some reasons why I believe a suitably qualified external coach/behavioural analyst should be on an interview panel:


  1. Impartiality/independant (ensures fairness in the process)
  2. Ability to ask more challenging general questions
  3. Ability to pick up on specific issues within the interviewee’s answers
  4. Ability to monitor Non-verbals accurately
  5. Frees up in-house resources
  6. Advisors to the others on the panel on aspects of Human Behaviour
  7. Coach to the others on the panel in terms of approach or questionning
  8. Valued support to managers of small businesses who may not be able to form an Interview panel
  9. Ability to put interviewees at ease through effective rapport building
  10. More cost effective than many other recruitment formats.


I believe that many of the techniques used in the Coaching session environment are just as easily used in an interview environment. In the Coaching session the Coach should:


  • Build rapport
  • Be present for the client
  • Listen to what is being said (and not being said)
  • Ask searching questions
  • Allow the client the space to express his/herself
  • Mirror and reframe what has been said
  • etc. etc


For an interview to be effective, I believe that the exact same techniques should be used:


  • Building rapport with the interviewee will put the person at ease and enable clearer communication
  • Being present for the client will ensure that the interviewer will pick up on any issues, nerves, hesitancy, etc. and be able to take the necessary action to deal effectively with it (rather than have the situation become emotionally charged)
  • Listening to what is being said (and not being said) will enable the interviewer to challenge effectively in order to elicit a fuller picture of the candidate.
  • Asking searching questions is always a goal in interviews because (let’s face it) there is a limited time to capture as much information as possible. However, very often interviewers don’t know what questions to ask and consequently can miss out on a valuable opportunity with the interviewee.
  • Allow the client the space to express his/herself. Coaches understand the value of silence. Allowing the candidate the opportunity to express themselves rather than face a barrage of questions as the panel focuses on getting through their list in the alloted time frame can very often bring forth skills and abilities that would otherwise have been missed.
  • Mirror and reframe what has been said. This is the ‘sanity’ check tool for any interviewer. If you don’t reframe what you have heard, you cannot be sure you heard it correctly. Some may argue that it is up to the interviewee to express themselves clearly and make sure that they are understood, which is true. However, communication is a two way system and I cannot be sure that you fully understood me if you haven’t communicated your understanding to me. This simple practice would allow me to clarify/correct any misunderstanding as well as improve my chances for employment.


Having gone through the process (and using my experience to reflect on occasions where I was interviewed in the past) I firmly believe that having a suitably qualified behaviourist on any interview panel has enormous benefits to the interview and recruitment process for both the interviewee and the company.


The next time you are thinking of interviewing for a role within your organisation, why not give it a try. The results might surprise you.


If you would like InnoChan Solutions to bring its expertise to one of your interview panels, please contact us on info@innochansol.com to arrange a no obligation conversation where we can discuss your requirements.