Where Does Coaching Fit?
Over recent years the evolution of coaching as a skilled function has appeared within many careers and job functions. In addition, there is also the increasingly-chosen option of creating a self-employed coaching business. In the corporate world the great news is that some companies are exploring new coaching management styles to improve the opportunity to achieve key business objectives. They realize that we need to move away from top-down command-and- control management styles and rigid hierarchies that have dominated traditional management for over a century. The move has been towards a more participative and consultative approach, where considerations for workers form part of a centralised framework. The distant and authoritarian “boss” who evokes fear is no longer viable or successful. The manager-coach, a more supportive and caring figure, has emerged as a promising alternative.
“Coaching is about connecting with people, inspiring them to do their best and helping them to grow. It’s also about challenging people to come up with the answers they require on their own.” Ed Batista
Manager Coaches Are More Productive
Guiding and empowering employees rather than just telling them what to do has therefore, become the order of the day. Providing opportunities for growth, development and autonomy, is not only much more rewarding for employees, but far more productive. In their Project Oxygen, Google discovered that their employees ranked coaching as one of the most important competencies in managers. The management skills that were appreciated most of all were emotional intelligence and a manager’s ability to develop personal relationships with their staff.
Using coaching does not mean that managers should no longer direct and supervise their teams. It does mean therefore, that their management style will necessarily need to change to become proactive rather than reactive. As a result of this ‘professional people’ development shift, coaching is beginning to permeate other business areas. Coaching is becoming firmly established as the ‘go to’ framework for business success.
“To get the best from your employees, you need to be more than a manager, you need to be coach.” Michael K Simpson
Coaching is now being used as a fundamental tool in all sorts of unexpected places. An example might be the local dog trainer who proudly explained to me that he coached people not dogs. Conversely, one of the biggest computer manufacturers in the world also considers coaching to be a core competence. Coaches increasingly have the a great opportunity to positively impact the world.