PROGRESSION in your career, like in any aspect in life, may need the assistance of others. Some people have a personal trainer at the
gym to help them with physical development. Other people have spiritual advisers to assist with spiritual development. We have doctors
who take care of our health and advise us on medical matters and so on.
But how many people have a personal business trainer to help with business and work issues?

It is common for companies to hire mentors to help employees, managers and even directors with work-related issues. This is a form of
hands-on training and personal business coaching.

What is a personal business trainer?
Personal business training is a relationship where an experienced person is given an opportunity to share professional and personal
skills with a less experienced person.
If you consider your personal career needs and aspirations, you will admit that there are many areas in business where you sometimes
feel it would be useful to have someone to turn to for advice and assistance.
You should of course be able to talk to your manager or supervisor, but it is not always possible.
If you are serious about your career, irrespective of your level in an organisation, perhaps the answer is to invest in yourself and engage
the services of a business personal trainer.

Why go through your daily, weekly or monthly tasks floundering in the dark, afraid to make decisions and being unsure of yourself when
you could benefit from having a professional personal business trainer?
Over time, you will develop a relationship of mutual trust, openness and respect with your personal trainer or coach. His or her function
will be to encourage you, to be there to help you, to offer his/her professional opinion and constructive comments and to share business
experiences.
You will develop a relationship where your personal business trainer will assist with your career development outside of the normal
manager-subordinate relationship.
Companies introduced formal mentoring programmes to help key employees over the past few years, so the concept of mentoring
and coaching is relatively new.

It is time for the introduction of the concept of “personal business trainers” and there is a need for it in the workplace. Under normal
circumstances, it should not be at the expense of the company, but rather at the expense of the individual employee who has a desire
for career progression.
However, companies may wish to consider subsidising employees with the cost. After all, there are benefits to be gained by the
company.


What are the benefits?
 

  •  Increased skills and knowledge;
  •  A personal support system to assess success and failure;
  •  Personal empowerment; 
  •  Individual, one-on-one training; 
  •  Increased opportunities for career progression; 
  •  Increased understanding of self and personal role; 
  •  Potential for smooth transmission through management levels; 
  •  A powerful learning tool for acquiring new competencies; 
  •  Professional development and self-confidence; 
  •  Increased recognition and personal satisfaction.

How it works 

This will be a personal relationship between you and your trainer. The service will normally be conducted on a distance-learning basis.
Initially, there will be one or two face-to-face meetings to establish and develop the relationship.
During the meetings, you will agree on the terms of the association and how future contact will be made.
There should be a formal agreement to clarify the respective roles, costs involved and expectations. The agreement will determine the
framework of the relationship and the terms for termination of the relationship.
You should only enter into an agreement for an initial six to 12 months. That will ensure that you do not waste money and time dealing
with someone who cannot assist you or who does not have the necessary experience and business acumen.

How to choose one 

  • He or she must have greater experience and knowledge than you; 
  • Must have a good understanding of management, particularly people management; 
  • Must be trustworthy, ethical and be able to maintain confidentiality; 
  • Should be a person who enjoys helping others and willing to share knowledge and experiences; 
  • Should be a person who is prepared to act as counsellor, consultant, coach and personal adviser and confidante; 
  • Above all, be a person who can assist when you have a need, who is prepared to respond to your queries and deal with your problems
    within an agreed time frame.

Support in the first two months is critical as this is the period during which the relationship and trust are developed. Phone contact
during this period will be essential.
Expect the agreed programme to change as the personal business trainer gets to know you and identifies with your specific needs.
The agreed programme will become more effective with experience and ongoing evaluation.
One of the biggest advantages of a personal business training programme is that it takes place outside of a structured business
system. You will have the advantage of unbiased opinions and independent unique advice.

Des Squire is a managing member at AMSI and Associates. Call
082 800 9057 or email des@amsiandassociates.co.za.

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