Should I ask for a coaching program? Recently, a lot of articles appeared in the professional and management magazines -like the Harvard Business Review– dealing with mentoring and coaching. Now more than ever, it is vital for an organization to evolve and stay ahead of an ever-changing global market. The new “must have” trends for business success are digitalization, shorter go to market cycles, agile project management and new organizational models giving more responsibilities and freedom to employees.
All these topics need to be tackled urgently, but managers can’t handle all these changes alone: this explain the “fashion” for coaching and mentoring.
Bob, a manager of a small business unit, is just thinking about that right now.
Since he joined the company 5 years ago, as Business Unit director, he felt he was efficient and skilled, and more than able to drive the business. He kept more or less the same organization. But everything goes too fast now. And there is no-one he trusts enough to discuss the topic with.
Should he have a mentor or ask for a coaching program? And if he needs it, his team members may need it too?
But he also sees a risk.
Andrew, the CEO will ask him why he needs a coach.
“Don’t you think I am a good mentor”, will he ask him. “Why don’t you share your thoughts with me either?”.
Bob knows Andrew well. He wants to control everything and won’t see a good thing to have someone between him and his branch managers. Because he could question his management, with reason, as he has an “old style top-down pyramidal” management style, and doesn’t want to change 3 years before retiring!
Unfortunately, he doesn’t want to see the world as it is, but rather as it was…
Another risk, is that the CEO would impose someone as a coach, in order to have “his man” in the place. And may be ask for a debriefing: “what are the weaknesses of my managers, which one should I get rid of?”
Indeed, Andrew already has a coach since a few months, coming every month and helping him. He accepted to be coached when the HR head said that every CEO from this level has a coach.
But if Andrew has a coach, Bob could argue that he also needs one. He will use the HBR article to show him that it would be a professional mistake to refuse. And will ask the HR head, Sheryl, to put the topic on the agenda of the next board members steering committee. She will show the advantages of launching a coaching program.
What are the main benefits of a coaching program?
Sheryl will explain at this meeting what are the benefits for the organization, and why every manager should think about it, for her/him or the team members.
First of all, a coach helps people make decisions, set and reach goals, or deal with problems.
For many people, it’s also a life changing experience that dramatically improves their leadership skills.
Indeed, coaching improves productivity such as work performance, business management, time management and team effectiveness. It also impacts people with a better self-confidence, improved relationships and communication skills, as well as personal and professional life balance.
Many companies have realized it is an effective tool to achieve their goals. According to the International Coach Federation, major corporations from a variety of business sectors have turned to coaching to improve their businesses, including IBM, Nike, Verizon and Coca-Cola Enterprises.
Coaching helps dealing with complex job shifts and leadership performance.
Whether its adjusting to mergers and acquisitions, bringing in new hires, or managing executive career transitions, the effects of coaching are invaluable.
Coaching helps facilitate executive education and training and helps integrate innovation and technology into corporate learning.
It’s helping close the gap between younger employees and experienced business people by empowering employees and encouraging creativity and collaboration. This increasing engagement with millennial employees is essential for corporate cultures to move forward with industry trends such as social media.
Coaching contributes to creating a new corporate culture that increases productivity by changing it from command and control to collaboration and creativity.
Written by Cyril OGEE