Q&A with The Entrepreneur’s Source Franchisee Susan Strong on the Human Resources and Coaching Connection
Franchise Friday hose Brendan Major was joined by AdviCoach and The Entrepreneur’s Source franchisee Susan Strong. In this podcast, Susan addressed some of the skills that she has acquired during her past work experiences in corporate human resources and how they have helped her clients succeed.
About The Entrepreneur’s Source Franchisee Susan Strong
Susan invested in her first franchise almost five years ago. Before becoming a franchisee, Susan worked for over 20 years with Fortune 500, growth and start-up companies as a Senior Human Resources professional. Among the more well-established companies Susan worked for included Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo Bank and Pacific Gas & Electric.
During her time as a Senior Human Recourses professional, Susan coached executives in all areas that revolved around business development and creating a successful team environment. Throughout her human resources career, Susan coached thousands of employees and helped them to set career goals and identify long-term career paths so they could excel.
Today, Susan is a happy franchisee and utilizes her past experiences as a human resources professional in coaching entrepreneurs.
The HR and Coaching Connection – Q&A with The Entrepreneur’s Source Franchise Susan Strong
Q: What are some of the qualities that you need to have to start your own business and how do you match those two things up?
A: I think one of the biggest things that you really need to be able to do is look at yourself and look at what your goals are and really put them down on paper. Start thinking through what you want your life to look like. Many of the people who I work with have been either downsized, in some cases have been fired, they retired or they are just plain burnt out. If they don’t take control of their destiny, chances are somebody else will. It’s really important to understand what a client has done in the past, workwise, and what they’ve been good at. These transferrable skills and their past likes and dislikes are extremely important to identify.
Q: Are there any tools or strategies that you use from your past corporate HR work in your coaching sessions?
A: One of the tools that I used in the corporate setting and continue to use with all of my clients is called DiSC, a personality assessment. I’ve used them over and over and found this to be a test that resonates with most people and they are able to take what they’ve learned and apply it in real time. Understanding someone’s style tells me how they might show up to meetings, how to coach them through perhaps their blind spots. It helps me to understand how they will look at information.
In DiSC, the:
- D is for dominance
- I is for influence
- S is for steadiness
- C is for consciousness
Generally, each individual has a course style that resonates with himself or herself. For example, what I find, the D personality, these are generally people that are very direct. They generally have been in control of the other businesses in the past. I have found that they sometimes are very excited, very enthusiastic, but go from A to Z during a process and get bored fairly quickly and don’t wanted to do the deep dive and really think about what’s important in a business.
Q: Tell me about what in your past, in your corporate experience helped you in your entrepreneurial experience.
A: My role as an AdviCoach career coach was to help employees uncover what they were meant to do and find a career direction and discover what direction they wanted to go in. Once they discovered that, we started looking at the possibilities in the company and identifying a career that would allow them to make good use of their talents. Then, we would start to think of a development plan for what they need to do to be able to put themselves in the best possible position to get the job. If done right, they begin a life long journey involving a lot of change in growth and development and reinvention.
In my franchise, I wanted to build something beyond being just an HR consultant, but really being able to offer clients a more rounded variety of expertise. Really looking at coaching my clients as opposed to just consulting and giving answers is what really attracts me. I see the difference between the consultant and a coach is a coach really ask question versus providing the answers, you need to be a strong listener, an observer, building trust is critical.
Q: What’s the biggest takeaway you can offer our listeners today?
A: As an AdviCoach coach, the most important thing you can be is an active listener and really hear what your client is saying. It’s really about gathering as much information as possible. You do start to create a story in your mind about who this person is and what businesses would be a great fit for them. It’s really about constantly keeping your ears open to what they are saying.
Find out what their goals, needs and expectations are and really talk about that constantly and go back to those every time you meet with them to make sure that you’re on the right track. Ultimately, this is a huge decision for their life and it’s important to me that they feel really comfortable and the lead that they are making.
There are certain businesses that are just not a good fit for all individuals depending on their characteristics. Really, diving into they’re back around. What they’ve done in the past, what they are good at, what they don’t like and how they see they want to spend their future. It’s critical to going from a corporate job into business ownership.
For more information about how you can join the entrepreneurial world, consulting with an E-source Coach is a great way to help you explore business opportunities.
Don’t forget to tune in to Franchise Friday every Friday at 10 a.m. EDT to learn more about small business ownership, franchising and entrepreneurship.