By: Liz Sebag-Montefiore – Director and Co-Founder 10Eighty, and 10Eighty’s recently launched Coaching App ‘Flow
Business coaching and executive coaching have been around for a while now. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about coaching; who it’s for, what it’s for but we do know that it’s a powerful technique. The International Coaching Federation says that for every dollar invested yields benefits between 4 to 8 times the level of investment.
A study by a Fortune500 organisation found that after coaching, overall productivity and employee satisfaction improved, which in turn has an impact on customer satisfaction, employee engagement, quality, annualised financial results and more.
Increasingly we see organisations designing coaching into their leadership development programmes. Chief Executives report that coaching is a main focus for their human capital management strategies.
Invest in coaching
I believe that coaching is about objective challenge and providing a sounding board, to enable the client to push themselves. It’s about enabling people to become even better at what they do, giving them the space and time to think, about pushing to be better.
Clients tell me that they believe coaching has positively impacted their business area and that motivation and engagement had increased as a result. They also think that the investment in the provision of coaching demonstrates that the organisation cares about employee development.
The pandemic has changed the way we work and so it has changed the way we deliver training and development programs. Organisational clients now expect more online coaching using software like Zoom and MS Teams and they look to online coaching platforms as a mechanism for delivering large coaching projects.
Technology in coaching
10Eighty’s executive coaching application connects coachees to coaches and guides them through the coaching process; the application acts as a central hub for development which clients can access via mobile, tablet and desktop. Users can access educational courses, development materials, podcasts, discussion forums and coaching groups.
The dashboard which incorporates a diary/scheduling facility, allows coachees to book meetings and calls seamlessly, which can be facilitated via the message functionality or in-house video platform. We enable clients to use filters to search for a coach who aligns with preferred coaching goals, coaching style, client sector and more. In addition to online resources to support clients both coach and coachee can set goals and track progress.
The technology means that we can deliver coaching tailored to meet individual needs, aspirations and experience. Special areas of interest may include career planning, portfolio working, approaching retirement, business start-up non-executive roles and other work specific topics. Chemistry and matching are important because the right coach can help you learn new skills, become more self-aware, and set specific, measurable goals – both short-term and strategic.
Our approach to coaching is holistic, it is about your career path, not just your current role. Long-term employability means investing in oneself not only “on the job” but also thinking ahead beyond one’s current role. We work with individuals to help them understand what they need to do more of (or less of) to grow for the future. We have adopted a blended learning approach using online tools, remote and face-to-face delivery, combined with discussion forums and an educational hub.
In a fast-moving environment, I think that coaching can close talent gaps, create a high performance environment where team members thrive and build a more engaged workforce to deliver consistent and sustained performance. An experienced coach functions as a catalyst, enhancing performance as they work in partnership with the client, providing a non-judgmental safe space to build self-awareness and personal responsibility.
If you are offered coaching, the benefits to the individual include:
- Clarity around career path management and planning for the future
- Techniques to manage stress, change, challenge, conflict or crisis
- Enhanced personal performance, impact and commitment
- Potential solutions and perspectives around work-related issues and challenges
- Personal development, learning and growth
Coaching is for everyone
Not just the perk of senior managers, coaching can make a significant difference at all levels but is expensive so organisations tend to target coaching investment. There are a lot of myths around coaching, one of the most prevalent is that it is for people who are a problem, have a problem, or are failing.
I’ve found that coaching (which is about asking the right question) is empowering rather than corrective, and while it is not always rigid in its aims, the coach uses their experience to guide the conversation and the client’s thinking to move forward.
Coaching for managers, professionals and leaders helps them in finding their purpose, fulfilling their potential and making the most of opportunities.