Coaching delivers change precisely where it is needed most.
You may have someone in your team who could be so much more effective, if only their confidence and communication skills were stronger. Another person may struggle to promote their great ideas to the team because others resist their abrupt and un-collaborative approach. Coaching can provide a framework for individuals to assess their own skills and styles, and then help them to develop and adopt approaches that work best for them.
I can look back at moments in my own career when coaching support could have made all the difference. One experience in particular sticks in my mind. I was trying to implement an improved reporting process within my department. The new process would deliver demonstrably better time management and more accurate data, with the added benefit of pre-empting the constant demands for different data that we were experiencing. Despite all the work I had put in, and the obvious advantages, the response I got in the meeting to approve it was “I can completely understand where you are coming from, but I’m not going to do it”. I took the rebuttal personally and to add insult to injury, took offence when my manager told me I was too passive. My defences went up and this experience had a direct impact on my attitude towards working collaboratively. In hindsight, I recognise I probably was too passive, but instead of trying to understand what the issues were with my approach and viewing my pitch through the lens of the others in the room, I became defensive and withdrew a little. I believe having an external coach would have given me a completely different perspective, by helping me to assess this experience more constructively and by working with me on my own solution. I now realise some of the responsibility for the response I had, had to fall on my shoulders, but it is also clear that some of those managers who were not open to ideas or practices and acted aggressively, would have benefitted from some coaching too!
We all know that there is a significant direct cost to businesses when staff need to be replaced: advertising costs; recruitment fees; or the time and resources spent on training. There is, however, a greater hidden cost if you are not getting the best from your existing employees and they are not reaching their potential. Moral will be lower, turnover of staff is likely to be higher and their ability to be fully productive will not be realised. This will all impact on the bottom line of the business. Investing in your people and their development will help to unlock their potential, it’s quicker to implement and is more cost effective than repeatedly recruiting new ones. There is a saying, “People don’t leave jobs. They leave people”. An existing client has calculated that they are getting ”10% – 20% more from the people being coached, at a cost of much less than 10% of their salary”. Coaching means your people can be happier, more productive and is good for the bottom line too.
Whether you are a large company looking for the most effective way to spend your training budget, or running your own business and want to improve productivity, the focus and tailored results that coaching can bring will make a real difference to your team and your business’s success.