Coaching: making sure it's seen as a positive internally and with all stakeholders

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Coaching can help employees to make profound improvements in their performance. It helps them see things differently and acknowledge the changes that they need to make, but also helps them to implement that change. Many people struggle with one of these two steps. Helping them through both will accelerate their ability to improve greatly.

How does your organisation see change?

Some organisations have a culture of improvement. They think that everyone, from the CEO down, can improve and this attitude permeates the organisation.

Coaching and training are therefore viewed as part of life and part of working for a high-performance organisation.

Some organisations view coaching as something that is fundamentally remedial in nature.

Everyone has things that they could improve and so working on those areas is viewed as a positive thing.

Other organisations view coaching as something that is fundamentally remedial in nature.

You would only be offered coaching if you have some failings that you need to address. Therefore if you are having coaching you must have some failings. It is a sign of an underlying issue.

Unsurprisingly coaching and training in these organisations is generally not well attended and also less effective.

Thankfully organisations that take the later view are increasingly few in number but they are still out there. Making sure that coaching is seen as a positive in an organisation will help to maximise the benefit that if provides.

Let’s look at how you can do that.

Executives should be involved

An effective and visible method of ensuring that coaching is viewed as positive is to involve senior staff. Many companies choose to have their executives both visibly participate in and also speak out about the benefits that they derive from coaching.

Executives are people of influence. Naturally more junior staff will model their behaviour on that of more senior individuals and assume that what they do is the best way to progress within an organisation.

Having senior executives involved in a coaching scheme will demonstrate the company’s commitment to personal development and make it far more likely that junior staff will participate both publically and enthusiastically.

Coaching should be offered to everyone

Singling people out for coaching is a poor idea with one exception.

Training and mentoring should be made available to all staff members, regardless of their position or performance.

Rather than being reserved for top performers to improve their skills, or being seen as a necessity to help bring less skilled employees up to speed, training should simply be available to all and attending training seen part of everyday business.

Training and mentoring should be made available to all staff members, regardless of their position or performance.

The only exception to this might be when introducing a new program. In order to ensure that it is seen as attractive some organisations have initially restricted it to a small number of people who are acknowledged as high performers.

This then drives interest and adoption when the program runs again in future.

Show rather than tell

Generally it is better to show employees that coaching is seen as positive, rather than tell them. People are usually more susceptible to an idea if they can see results first-hand, rather than being told about them as part of a Powerpoint presentation.

We have already covered the role that senior executives can play in this process. An alternative (or additional) way to ensure that coaching is viewed positively is to establish several ‘champions’ within the company.

An additional way to ensure that coaching is viewed positively is to establish several ‘champions’ within the company.

These will typically be employees who have themselves who have benefited from coaching and are happy to answer questions and act as case studies for other employees.

They act as reminders of the benefits of training and the potential everybody has for personal development.

They will naturally be enthusiastic about the process and keen to tell others about what they have achieved – thereby helping to spread a positive training culture throughout the wider business.

Use success stories

A final way to improve awareness of and enthusiasm for coaching is to prepare several case studies.

They are not dissimilar to ‘champions’ – they tell the story of specific employees who have been mentored or undertaken a training programme.

Other employees will see the benefits of training and therefore be more inclined to get involved themselves.

Nick assists on multiple management and leadership courses from either of Acuity Training’s London or Surrey training centres. 

About Nick Williams

About Nick Williams

Nick Williams works at Acuity Training, who provide hands-on instructor led training from their two UK offices.

Nick assists on multiple management and leadership courses from either of Acuity Training’s London or Surrey training centres. 

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28th Sep 2016 15:08

"some organisations view coaching as something that is fundamentally remedial in nature."

IMHO when this happens it's a sign of:

- Lack of keeping organizational capability up to date and hopefully better than competitors.

- Lack of keeping up to date with new technology etc.

- Reducing the capability of the organization to be able to continuously build and gain value from clever competitive advantage factors.

Thanks (1)

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