Coaching has been shown to have particular benefits at three levels:
By working with coaches at specific points in their careers, coachees are challenged to ‘think harder’ and more broadly about workplace challenges and opportunities, and how to achieve their performance targets or objectives within their specific context.
Coachees will therefore be more accountable for delivering on their plans and the goals they have set themselves, and take greater responsibility for achieving meaningful results.
Coaching helps to increase coachees levels of confidence and self awareness.
It increases the application and practise of skills and knowledge they might be gaining through formal learning programmes, or ‘on the job’ training.
The experience of being coached remotely (common for participants on our programmes) is an excellent learning opportunity for coachees, enhancing interpersonal skills for global working.
Following opportunities to learn the elements of a ‘coaching approach’ during workshops, and having experienced the benefits personally, it is hoped that coachees can practise coaching skills for themselves with their peers within their organisations, and further afield.
For the organisations
Many agencies are talking at this time of building up coaching expertise within their organisations. The widespread use of coaching will help to build a critical mass of coaches working within organisations and communities.
People who receive coaching will be able to reflect on that experience and to use those same skills in their work as team leaders and managers. This builds a wider repertoire of management styles.
For the coaches
The opportunity to practise and hone coaching techniques during various coaching relationships, and to reflect and receive feedback after doing so, is invaluable in improving coaching confidence.
It helps to develop more general management and learning and development skills. Coaching has been found to be an effective way to work with partners as well as within teams and with staff members.
The longer term goal of our work is to develop a critical mass of coaches working locally, regionally and globally who will be available to help build leadership capacity and skills to address a range of personal and professional issues.
The availability of coaches within organisations, and independent of them, will encourage coaching skills being applied outside of formal leadership programmes with individuals wanting to talk through issues that affect job performance, and organisational and community initiative successes.
Theory to Practise: How some of the coaches we trained described the benefits:
A ‘Coaching the Coach’ team member told us:
“It was exhilarating to hear countless stories from managers around the world of the immediate impact of their coaching interventions. The outcomes were wide ranging. From transforming specific performance elements of their staff members’ work (for instance, a field project officer within two coaching sessions moving from being the last of his team to submit their monthly reports to being the first).
“To being asked to facilitate ‘team coaching’ sessions for staff and parents at their children’s school for pupils with special needs, as a new strategic plan was devised and implemented. To noticing positive and unexpected changes in the communication style of community and spiritual leaders, as these influential people began to adopt a ‘coaching approach’ themselves, having absorbed the techniques simply by being around and talking with some of the coaches we had been working with.
“As new coaches recounted these and many, many other stories – together with the positive feedback about their own behavioural changes that they were receiving from colleagues, friends and family – there was both humility and joy. All I was doing was asking them simple questions and, by listening carefully and feeding back to them what I heard, giving them the space to think aloud and find their own solutions to problems. Thousands of miles away, I would sit with my headphones on and a huge grin on my face. Every new story helping to build a stronger and stronger case for the value of coaching.”
Questions for you:
- From your own experiences, how might you bring to life for others the benefits of coaching?
- Whom might you need to talk to about coaching?
- Will you be simply providing information, or trying to persuade or convince them of its value?
- How confident are you at the moment to do this?
- How might you prepare to ‘make the case’ for coaching before having these conversations?