Professional Development Coaching
In most organisations, coaching is seen as a resource made available only to senior managers and executives.
The truth is, though, that coaching can transform the professional and personal development of smart, ambitious individuals in the early and middle stages of their careers.
Coaching is about transformation and personal change, and the best time to encourage and support change is when change is already underway: when a personal and professional life is emerging from new experience. When there is more to be learned than unlearned.
If it is our beliefs, values, habits and capabilities and indeed our sense of identity that define our performance now, and shape our path into the future, then the earlier in a career these things can be nurtured the better - for the individual, certainly, yet the benefits for the organisation are clear: they are reflected not only in obvious performance, but in initiative, resilience, self-assurance, fulfilment and ultimately in concrete results, longevity of tenure and, most important, mental health.
And in a world where stress is reported as a major contributor to absenteeism, depression and worse, the business case for early- and mid-career coaching is, I believe, clear.
To read more about how professional development coaching can accelerate the effectiveness of your rising stars, click here...
Now this might be heretical, but I've never been a fan of 'teambuilding'. Here's the thing: I have yet to see a team's performance enhanced by a day spent building bridges out of barrels or a night at the bowling alley. In fact most people I have spoken to cringe at the thought: not everyone is outdoorsy. Not everyone is hands-on practical. Not everyone works best in a group. Not everyone enjoys games. Not everyone thrives in social situations.
None of which, of course, makes them any less valuable as a member of the team.
And, for the most part, the structure of these experiences fails to match the structure of the situations, challenges and opportunities faced in day-to-day professional life. They are, in fact, largely irrelevant and unlikely to create any meaningful learning, let alone personal transformation (except, perhaps, to alienate the more sensitive, creative and thoughtful. Joking? No. I've seen it happen.).
True team development happens when a whole team is supported over time in their real-life working context, in a way that honours the personal attributes of each individual, so that each individual understands how they can make their best personal contribution, understands how to work with each colleague to elicit the most effective working dynamic in any given situation, and feels genuinely motivated to do both.
To that end, having a skilled, trusted and experienced coach work with an entire team, from the manager downwards, allows situations to be unpacked and addressed in real time and in real life while maintaining confidentiality and organisational imperatives, yet respectfully honouring the personal attributes of the individual.
To read more about how team development coaching can work, click here...
Management and Executive Coaching
As a career progresses, so the challenges change.
We are faced with uncomfortable yet exciting - sometimes overwhelming - transitions.
Away from being 'one of the team' to being 'leader of the team'.
Away from being focused on day-to-day operations to being involved in business strategy.
Away from having work delegated or assigned and towards being expected to create work: opening up new business relationships on behalf of the company, building relationships with new clients, standing up in front of senior decision makers to deliver a professional, credible and persuasive message.
And away from dealing with challenges within the team to being the one who has to deliver bad news to the board without getting shot.
On top of that, it's not uncommon for a senior executive or business owner to find their position uncomfortably isolated and lonely with no-one impartial to turn to when they want to talk something through objectively.
It's important for both the business and the individual that the path is navigated resourcefully and healthily. And when the personal and professional stakes can be so high such support needs to be based on complete openness and trust.
For the organisation wishing to offer such support to their senior managers and executives, it's hard to foster such a level of openness and trust using internal mentors or coaches given the risk of conflicts of interest and personal privacy when navigating such waters. Engaging an external coach is often the most effective, and cost-effective, way to provide the skilled, experienced, confidential and objective support you want to offer.
To read more about executive coaching, click here...