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For clear thinking, add coaching

For clear thinking, add coaching

How good do you want to be?

Do you use a coach? Do you give your first line team leaders, mid-level leaders, high potential leaders access to coaching? Perhaps you encourage team coaching or coaching for executives. Or you may find coaching a great way of  embedding  learning and learning transfer.  We work with organizations who use coaching for some or all of these situations. They experience a worthwhile return on their investment. 

Possibly the most important benefit of coaching is that it helps people to look at things differently and think more clearly.  Coaching often asks people to step outside of their own view and take another perspective. When you want to make sense of why a team works the way it does, how to change or develop relationships, or how to apply your learning to a specific situation, coaching is a powerful tool. As the short TED talk extract below explains, coaching isn’t about how good you are now, it’s about how good you want to be.

That’s why we like to incorporate coaching in our leadership development programs. How well those first line team leaders, lead their teams has a real impact every day on productivity, wastage, motivation and retention. If you want a high-performing team it starts with those team leaders. 

That senior team who are key to delivery, maybe across several departments? When their working relationships are running smoothly, the organization thrives. Not only that, but they develop resilience as a team, help to create an environment for new ideas and a more integrated approach to delivering KPIs.

When operational teams receive coaching, they develop strong psychological safety, strengthen diversity & inclusion and increase productivity. For adaptable teams who have the resilience and agility to deal with local and global changes, team coaching is a great place to begin. Team coaching goes beyond team boundaries too. It has a profound impact on all the relationships the team has, throughout the organization. Team coaching for leaders on a development program can have the same impact, at a different level. Not only does it build relationships, it’s an active tool to transfer learning for immediate impact at work and builds internal peer support systems.

Coaching helped me develop good strategies to re-shape my thinking and approach situations differently. Now I ask challenging questions and pull the conversation, rather than pushing

Sometimes you need a very specific kind of coach. Most of us just need a great coach, your “external eyes and ears” to help you see things differently and find a different way of work. 

This 2 min extract tells you why one surgeon tried using a coach. You don’t have to be a surgeon to want to be better. All of us want to be better at what we do and respected for it. 

Better decision making

Everyone hates change. Of course there are some changes we enjoy. A holiday perhaps, getting a pet, a promotion.  Yet all changes – even nice ones – require us to make adjustments and they can be tiring and stressful. Changes at work can cause the most stress and often people resist it.  When change occurs – COVID, going from based at work to WFH and back again, an internal reorganization – we make decisions about what to focus on and how to deal with it. It’s our way of having some control over the situation. So how does coaching fit into that? 

Coaching is a way to find answers and put yourself in control. A leader who uses a coaching approach with a team member, helps that person find their own answers and be in control of the situation. A coach who asks the team to look at the whole situation, enables them to understand the basis of how they work and explore the ways they can become the best version of that team. A leader who feels overwhelmed at understanding the range and diversity of the groups they work with, can use coaching to focus in on what matters most and how to engage effectively with everyone. In short, coaching gives people the chance to reduce the stress, understand the opportunities and make clear, appropriate decisions. 

The coach is great - a real expert. He helps us find the answers we don't even know we have!

Any coach can coach, right?

If you want good quality coaching that has the right impact, and is cost effective, you need a good coach. 

Most managers are trained to use a coaching style and it’s highly effective. But it’s not coaching. It’s a great approach for managing performance, encouraging development and understanding someone better. However, the manager isn’t a replacement for a coach. 

We specifically use qualified, accredited, experienced specialist coaches who understand the sector they work in. Whether its  coaching for learning transfer in a manufacturing environment, senior team coaching in the NHS, individual coaching for first line or mid level leaders, we  use coaches with the right skill set and the right background. 

If you want to spend your budget wisely, make sure you find the right coaches. We place a high value on formal training and qualifications, set in an  international framework of practice & ethics, to quality assure our work.

We also prefer to use people who have expertise in the sector, so they have direct understanding of the issues our cohorts deal with. Someone with a background in manufacturing for example, can focus on encouraging a manufacturing team to look at practical solutions because they have understanding of the work environment. 

It is important to have coaching in your thinking language too. Most of our clients are global organizations, who routinely work in English. Yet your thinking language may be French, German, Spanish,  Italian or something completely different. We select coaches who coach in the languages you need.

And of course, we also agree what the outcomes should be. For an individual that may be a combination of what the person wants and the HR or L&D team want. For a team, it could be as complex as, we need to work together better, more effectively. For a cohort, it may be around solving real work problems by applying their learning. 

I have been amazed at the shifts I made. There was a significant difference in my outlook and approach. Both were far more positive at the end of the coaching sessions

Where next?

If you think that coaching has the potential to improve the way your people work, the next step is to think what outcomes you want to have. The impact you want will shape the coaching.  It may be part of an overall leadership development program or it could be a stand alone activity for specific teams. If you can talk about the changes or improvements you want to see, the positive benefits you want to realize, then we are better able to help you achieve your amibtion, by using the right coaches in the right way. 

We all need a little less stress, a bit more ownership of our work and improved decision making. Add those things together and your workplace becomes even more productive, energized and resilient, able to handle everything that global change decides to throw our way. 

When you are ready to talk through the results your organization needs, do get in touch. We have been helping leaders at every level develop and grow since 2007. 

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