In this article we try to demystifying Coaching and help explain the benefits that can be achieved both personally and corporately.
We have a very experienced team of Executive Coaches who support our clients in a number of different ways, sometimes it can be around Stepping up into Leadership Responsibilities, sometimes it can form part of a Management Development Programme or it can be supporting someone as they make a Career Transition decision.
It is always an exciting process as you see the individual progress and blossom as they go on the Coaching Journey and of course, getting an opportunity to connect and form a bond with their coach can make all the different.
If this is an area of interest for you or if you are looking at ways to support your management or leadership team or if you are considering extend the support to an individual with the ability and potential, and just needs that little extra to make them successful, then do get in touch, we’d be delighted to share some of our success stories with you and talk to you about our outstanding team of Professional & Executive Coaches.
What is Coaching?
Coaching is a medium for professional development which is goal oriented, customised and delivered on a one to one basis. It is time set aside for reflection and personal decision making, facilitated by a qualified practitioner. Often referred to as Executive Coaching, it can be beneficial to people at any career stage.
Why might you engage a Coach?
Typically Coaching is used to bring about change at an individual or organisational level. That change usually concerns some aspect of professional development. Coaching gets to parts of your development other learning interventions don’t reach. It allows people to get to the root of issues either personal or interpersonal and to gain the clarity required to make decisions and bring about lasting change.
Who is it for?
Coaching is for everyone and when it is a company funded programme, it is often seen by participants as a reward or demonstration of commitment by the organisation to their further development. Coaching is delivered across a broad range of organisations in terms of size and sector and can align easily with most training budgets.
What does good practice look like?
Coaching is still somewhat unregulated, so it is important to know what good practice should look like. If you are seeking a coaching engagement for yourself or on behalf of your organisation , ensure the Coach is suitably qualified, accredited and brings relevant experience to the assignment. Coaching should be delivered in a professional and structured manner including a suitable venue (i.e. a private meeting room, not a hotel foyer), specified session duration and appropriate confidentiality. The engagement and fit between Coach and Coachee is important so hold off on a longer term commitment until after the first session or arrange for an initial meeting between the coach and coachee to ensure there is a good fit.
What is the difference between Coaching and Mentoring?
Coaching is different from mentoring in a few ways, most notably in that the subject matter expert in the room is in fact the Coachee – the Coach does not need to be a subject matter expert ie: engineering expert to coach an engineeer. The primary role of a Coach is not to give advice but to support and journey with the coachee as they arrive at their own conclusions and enhanced awareness. A mentoring relationship with another party can complement the coaching process, but the mentor is a subject matter expert and so you would expect an engineer to mentor an engineer.
When not to use Coaching?
It is not advisable to use coaching in the context of underperformance, unless the coaching is being provided to the line manager to assist them in managing the underperformer. This is for a number of reasons not least of all that Coaching is ideally viewed as a positive intervention in an organisation rather than as a final resort or gesture.
Coaching is not a substitute for poor people management. A line manager who lacks the people skills required for their role, might benefit from coaching themselves but should not be encouraged to delegate this aspect of their role to an external coach.
What are the benefits of Coaching?
Coaching is possibly the most customised form of professional development available. It is flexible in terms of its delivery and can be scheduled to fit easily with the coachee’s work schedule. People who engage in coaching benefit at both a personal and professional level and have an opportunity to address recurring and legacy issues which may have been blockers to career advancement. Coaching offers an excellent return on investment.
Michele Murphy, Voltedge Management Associate