A shift from remedial to developmental
When I became qualified as a coach 18 years ago coaching and mentoring were viewed as ‘remedial.’
Today that view has shifted.
Most of the demand for coaching services come from:
- Recently promoted managers, or directors who are line for promotion
- Established senior leaders who appreciate the benefits of being able to discuss a wide range of issues, in confidence, with an experienced leadership and business coach.
This article summarises the benefits of coaching, the most common topics discussed and how coaching works. We hope it will encourage you to find a coach and learn about its potential when working with staff and clients.
The benefits of 1 to 1 and team coaching
We support our coaching clients to:
- Have an opportunity to think through issues in a structured way and in a safe, confidential environment. Many clients cannot remember the last time they were listened to without interruption or judgement
- Achieve or exceed their business and personal goals
- Raise awareness of their unique talents and strengths
- Learn new attitudes and skills. Continuous learning has long been recognised as vital for those who wish to progress
- ‘What got you here won’t get you there’ (Marshall Goldsmith)
- See themselves more clearly and recognise, for example,
- limiting beliefs,
- when they have a tendency to generalise,
- when assumptions are made, which may mask the truth
- blaming others,
- an addiction to the urgent,
- or to work itself!
- Improve relationships and create a high-performing, fulfilling working environment
- Explore why others behave differently to themselves, and how to handle difficult situations from fresh perspectives
The organisation and its clients also benefit. Coaching consistently results in increased performance of its people, higher staff retention, people taking on greater responsibility and increased ability to deal with problems, (which were traditionally the role of the manager!) With more and more potential employees valuing if not demanding development, staff recruitment is easier if coaching is available as a norm. Coaching offers a good return on investment.
Typical topics covered in coaching conversations
Personal effectiveness: work-life balance, identifying personal talents and strengths, increasing personal responsibility, resilience, reducing stress, creativity, patience, enhancing self-confidence and self-perception, gaining greater clarity over e.g. their role and priorities
Interpersonal skills: building credibility and ‘presence’, trusting others, motivating, influencing, listening, delegating, handling difficult situations, managing upwards, chairing meetings, leading and developing teams, departments or companies
Organisation: creating a shared mission, vision and values, strategy and planning, innovation, performance management, talent development, succession planning, being an effective board member, acquisitions, mergers, strategic alliances, flotations.
Big picture: Seeing the world through the ‘eyes’ of the business, or even the local team, and exploring problems and opportunities that emerge
How coaching works
Typically, a coaching programme is 4-6 sessions each of 1.5 hours, with a gap of 3-4 weeks between each session. Session can be face to face, by Skype / Zoom etc. or over the ‘phone. The client decides the coaching topics and outcomes / goals for the end of the programme. We discuss our fees, agree a mutually convenient place to meet and then confirm all the arrangements in writing.
During each coaching session it’s important to maintain a focused environment for learning. We listen carefully and ask questions to support the client as they think through their topic. We also support the client in overcoming any mental barriers which might limit their effectiveness and potential. We handle all aspects of increased self-awareness with great sensitivity, and absolute confidentiality.
At the Learning Corporation we have over 5,000 recorded hours of coaching. We have worked with start-ups to FTSE 100 companies, in the public, private and not for profit sectors, in virtually all industry groups, and in over 40 different countries.