The Benefits of Workplace Coaching
Most successful people when they look back over the years can identify individuals who had a significant impact on their lives and careers. Today it is normal for successful people in all walks of life including CEOs and top sports personalities to have coaches. Bill Gates of Microsoft says that everyone should have a coach and get feedback on how to improve. People are happiest when they have a sense that they are improving and growing.
Coaching is different from other interventions where the emphasis is on teaching or training. In coaching the emphasis is on self-learning where the coachee is the expert and the skill of the coach is in the joint coaching process that helps the coachee achieve their full potential.
Self-awareness, accountability and learning are key factors and outcomes in coaching. This is achieved by the coachee considering questions which hadn’t previously been raised; realising that they have choices; being gently nudged outside their comfort zones and trying out new behaviours to improve their performance and achieve their goals.
Coaching as a learning and development intervention results in more effective employees, better work and customer relationships and overall improved organisation performance and wellbeing. It is also used to support organisational change programmes. Individuals use coaching to achieve their goals and to have a more satisfying life.
It is easier to experience coaching than write about it. If you have never been coached imagine what it would be like to take time out of your busy work schedule on a regular basis to work with a coach, in a safe learning environment, to review where you are, figure out what you really want and work on your goals or areas where you want to make changes.
One of the key effects of coaching is increased awareness and focus and a sense of being in charge of your personal and work life. Learning to choose your response rather than reacting to events and others. The process involves identifying the areas of your life and work you want to focus on and how making even a small change in one area can have major positive impact on other areas.
Coaching takes place at different levels where positive change can take place. These levels are:-
Environment - Where and when
Behaviour - What you do and say, habits
Capabilities – For example leadership, communication, technical skills etc.
Beliefs and Values – Particularly limiting beliefs and values both conscious and subconscious that drive behaviour
Identity – Who I am
Issues can present themselves at any of these levels. However it is not straight forward. For example sometimes what looks like a capability issue can be an identity one.
We can see the behaviours, actions and results of others. What we cannot see are the thoughts feelings, beliefs and decisions that create these actions, results etc. This is sometimes referred to as the inner game. Timothy Gallwey, a tennis coach who first used the term inner game said “The opponent within one’s own head is more formidable than the one on the other side of the net.” Changes in the inner game through coaching results in improved performance and wellbeing.