Coaching is often seen as a personal development tool; however, it is much more than that. The techniques and approaches used in coaching are incredibly powerful in helping teams and organisations positively adapt to and bring about change.
There are two ways that coaching can do this in an organisation. First, by the leaders being coached and second, by the leaders being coaches.
Let’s explore how this two pronged approach works and why.
Coaching as problem solving
Coaching is about problem solving and helping someone move from a current reality – which they don’t want – to a different reality which they do want.
Coaching helps people:
- set goals
- identify barriers that impede progress and development
- reflect on their own well-being, career, development, and ability as a team player.
Essentially, it’s about helping people manage change.
So, in a coaching environment, leaders and managers will be talking about two types of change:
- Their own change – how can I change to be more effective; or
- How can I help people change to be more effective
Being the best leader
The best leaders are those that are emotionally intelligent.
An emotionally intelligent leader has an awareness of themselves and others. They understand and work on their own personal development needs and know their own challenges and triumphs. They have a strong awareness of other’s needs, strengths and weaknesses.
Being coached helps increase and retain your emotional intelligence – as it is something that can diminish if not exercised regularly.
When working with individuals or teams, emotionally intelligent leaders know how to:
- be non-directive
- allow people to reflect
- understand a point of view and accept the emotions that come with it
These techniques and approaches allow great leaders to help their teams adapt to and accept change. These are coaching tools and techniques. Not surprisingly, some of the best leaders are also natural coaches.
Every leader should be familiar with coaching skills and techniques
Because coaching is not just about an individual. When used correctly, coaching can help an organisation develop for the greater good of all its members.
Coaching is essentially about listening to people, understanding them, being empathetic, knowing when to challenge and when to support, trusting people to make mistakes, and allowing people to develop in the way that suits them best.
Ultimately, coaching is an enabling tool. Leadership is all about enabling people to do the best they can to the benefit of all.
The organisations I’ve worked with that flourish, have coaching built into their strategy – the leadership strategy, the communication strategy – and all of their employees are familiar with coaching tools, techniques and fundamental principles.
They are enabling organisations where people understand and accept change and make the best from it.
Nothing is ever permanent
In life, nothing is ever permanent. Nothing stays the same. Change is part of who we are and to resist change is futile. Coaching is one way to help build strong organisations, full of people who embrace change and use it to enable positive outcomes.
P.S. Two of my previous blogs explore how Action Learning is a highly effective tool to bring about change and how key rules in Action Learning can help teams focus on the right actions and not the wrong ones.
Do read them all or contact me for my “Knowledge Pack: Everything you need to know about helping your teams to handle change”.