Change is constant and inherent in all living and non-living systems and change today is becoming faster, deeper and more complex as environmental transformation increases pace.
This is a particular challenge for professionals and organisations, which need to develop the capability to manage in order to remain effective. Human change is at the core of what coaches do and they are well placed to support professional and organisations in managing unprecedented level of uncertainty.
Coaching enables the client to be the best he can be in the areas he chooses to focus on.
A confidential partnership where the client chooses the focus of the conversation and the coach work with him by listening and contributing observations and questions to help him clarify his understanding of the situation and move into action to progress towards his goals.
The client brings the content, the coach provides the process, which can apply in any context.
Coaching accelerates the client’s progress by helping him to focus on where he wants to go, become aware of blocks, attitudes and aptitudes that affect his choices and by supporting him in developing strategies to achieve his goals. Ownership of the content and decisions remain with the client throughout.
Coaching is a personal service and is always tailored to the needs of the individual. It is flexible, immediate, and focused on a specific requirement. Coaching only works when the client has chose this form of support for his personal development.
An organisation or individual may select coaching as a development tool to:
- Identity talent and potential leaders and support their growth as part of a retention strategy
- Improve communication, where the blocks are not technical but personal
- Solve problems and improve decision-making
- Suport culture change
- Develop Leaders
- Improve management style
- Achieve successful Merges and Acquisitions
- Fast-track performance
- Support individuals to raise their perfomance to the next level (e.g. about to or having promoted them)
- Improve individual’s performance in certain skills, especially where the blockage is not technical but personal
- Support team development and cohesion
- Support career change and transitions
- Support exit from the organization
For coaching to flourish as a means of development it needs to encourage learning. For example the following elements indicate a learning culture:
- Learning environment – share knowledge and experiences to learn from each other and this is recognised and rewarded
- Not a ‘blame’ culture – can make a mistake and share experience so we all learn from the feedback, people actively seek feedback
- Actively encourage creativity, ideas generation and innovation – it is desirable to think of new and better ways of doing things and try them out
- Respect for the individual – appreciate diversity and difference as a means of encouraging creativity and change
- Coaching style of working – managers use coaching to encourage performance growth, a coaching structure exists, external and internal coaches are accessible to all, there are strong role models of good coaching practice
- Clear core values of learning, ownership, results orientation, relationship-building are lived every day
- Clear understanding of the benefits
- For individual – Improve self-awareness and flexibility, greater confidence, improve relationships with others, improve managerial and leadership skills, improve ability to deal with change and support others through change, develop clear goals, improve ability to solve problems and make decisions, acquire new skills, improve performance and productivity, learn a process to self-coach and to identify and act on learning need
- For organisation–improve performance, productivity, quality,business results, improve morale and employee commitment (retention), demonstrate commitment to learning in the organisation and reinforce learning culture, develop coaching capability in the organisation, support organisational change, support other learning and development activity and reinforce the new ways embedding them quickly, support individuals through a personal change (eg promotion).
Contacting: it is important to agree in some clear rules and boundaries for the coaching process. This will ensure that all involved can focus on achieving results.
Relationships and commitments:
Coach: Committed to client’s goals and supports him to ensure alignment.
Client: Sets goals aligned with organisation and with personal needs.
Organisation: Agrees goals with client and ensures fit with organisational goals.
Coach: Provides the process to help client change. Maintains own knowledge and skills at high standard to offer client most effective methods of change.
Client: Wants to learn and change and is committed to the process.
Organisation: Wants to help client learn and change and supports implementation.
Coach: Keeps confidentiality on personal issues and respect the organisation’s Non-disclosure Agreement.
Client: Keeps organisation confidentiality as appropriate, shares information in confidence as he prefers.
Organisation: Does not ask for confidential information.
Coach: Attends all sessions promptly and ready.
Client: Arrives in time and prepared for all sessions.
Organisation: Makes it possible for client to attend sessions.
Coach: Develops appropriate plan with the client, agrees budget, outcomes and timing with organisation.
Client: Commits to plan of learning and change.
Organisation: Agrees outline plan and budget with coach and client
Coach: Respects client and organisation and is non-judmental.
Client: Respects coach and organisation.
Organisation: Respects client and coach.
Coach: Agrees where client is now and measures for growth/goal achievement with client.
Client: Agrees current position and measures for growth with coach and in outline with organisation.
Organisation: Agrees measures/evidence for progress with client.
Coach: Coach helps client with process.
Client: Client makes decisions and owns the results and takes responsibility for own behaviours.
Organisation: Accepts client decision and makes organisations decisions.
Coach: Creates leaning environment for client in the sessions.
Client: Establishes goals and seeks change with his/her control.
Organisation: Creates no-blame environment so client can address issues and make mistakes as part of learning.
Coach: Builds rapport with client and members of the organisation. Establishes permission-based working relationship with client.
Client: Develops honest working relationship with coach and facilitates contact with others members of the organisation as appropriate.
Organisation: Creates effective working relationship with coach as needed to support client and maintains open and honest relationship with client.
Coach: Ensures he has relevant knowledge of the organisation as well as maintaining theirs coaching knowledge and expertise. Is highly self-aware and disciplined in managing the coaching relationship.
Client: Brings appropriate knowledge of the organisation to the sessions. Develops self-awareness as the foundation for personal change.
Organisation: Provides relevant knowledge on the organisation to coach and client.