Unprecedented, uncertain times require close support
Why a professional coaching is a must-have in corporate culture.
We are living and leading in times in which nothing is predictable. Uncertainty, anxiety, frustration – these emotions define our days more so currently than optimism, future-orientation and looking into reaching new heights with our lives, careers and plans. To fight and win, all of us need to find ways to access the best in ourselves. It is true for individuals, teams, organizations and larger systems alike.
I think we would all agree that here is nothing, or very little, appealing about any crisis.
However, crisis often gives ways of looking at things differently, doing things differently or, as Albert Einstein famously said: “The questions may be the same, but the answers have changed”.
That begs the question – how those individuals in charge can resource themselves to provide leadership, especially in times of crisis.
Resilience is something that comes to mind. Clear communication, competence, calm and empathy are other skills and traits that could be of tremendous help. This is where professional coaching is proven to making a remarkable difference.
Coaching is defined by the International Coaching Federation as “a thought-provoking partnership that supports the client reaching their fullest professional and personal potential”. A coach is a thought partner, an accountability partner and a catalyst that supports the client in reaching the clarity of their goals and helping them through mapping out the way to achieve them. A coach can work with an individual or with a team and help walk through the natural states of fear and lack
of security, towards seeing opportunities and possibilities.
Coaches can help with another important potential outcome of crisis and chaos – learning. It is a unique time for the organization to examine its actions, acknowledge the journey and decide which behaviors, attitudes, beliefs and actions will be important to continue to bring to the future. It is equally important to
consciously determine what can and should be left behind. Professional coaching certainly helps with distilling this learning and making sure it informs the strategy and actions of the organization moving forward.
But is coaching just for the C-suite decision-makers? Who is the leader nowadays? In this delicate moment in which we live, there are many people who, facing the same problems as the rest of us, make themselves available to help.
In our work with Human Capital Institute (HCI), we learned that organizations with a strong coaching culture are enjoying much greater engagement of their employees and therefore realizing much better financial results. But what constitutes a coaching culture and why would an organization decide to invest time and other resources to build one?
It truly is a business proposition – better results mean happier employees, more satisfied stakeholders or shareholders, more attractive offers to customers and potential, future employees alike. We know that millennials are already becoming the predominant generation in the workforce – and even more so in some
geographies where the overall demographic is younger. It seems prudent to hear what they have to say about organizations they want to share their talent with and leaders they are willing to follow. And they do value professional development and coaching as a means to become a modern leader for modern, if challenging, times.
There are six elements of a strong coaching culture:
• Senior executives value coaching;
• Employees value coaching;
• Coaching is a fixture in the organization with a dedicated line item in the budget;
• Managers/leaders (and/or internal coach practitioners) spend above average time on weekly coaching;
• Managers/leaders (and/or internal coaches) received accredited coach training; and
• Everybody within the organization has access to coaching.
What the research also points to is that internal coaches, external coaches and leaders/managers using coaching skills together can create an environment of curiosity, creativity, innovation and value added, that is so important for a successful business.
We asked a question earlier: Is coaching just for the C-suite? Clearly not. The importance of coaching being available to all people within the organization is crucial. So is the introduction of team coaching competencies.
Team Coaching is one of the fastest growing disciplines in the coaching profession and is becoming increasingly important in organizations, including private corporations, government agencies and non-profits.
To define and guide this growing discipline, there is a new ICF Team Coaching Competencies model. This model forms the foundation for development of a specialty designation that will enable coach practitioners to set themselves apart in a crowded marketplace and demonstrate their value for organizational purchasers of coaching.
Team Coaching empowers teams to work toward continued high performance and ongoing development, requiring innovation, flexibility, adaptability and goal alignment – all traits that coaching helps support.
CF’s Team Coaching Competencies model provides a clear, concise definition for Team Coaching – partnering in a co-creative and reflective process with a team on its dynamics and relationships in a way that inspires them to maximize their abilities and potential in order to reach their common purpose and shared goals. This model is designed to build upon and integrate with the ICF Core Competencies in team coaching contexts.
Teams are the way most of the work is being done these days – and not any easier due to a virtual nature of a lot of our recent engagements.
What is critical about adopting and engaging professional coaching in organizational work are standards – when a skilled professional, trained and evaluated in engaging with an individual or a team or a larger system, one can expect short-term results and long-term outcomes that ultimately lead to getting the organization closer to reach its mission and vision, for itself, for the clients and for the society at large.
Professional coaching helps. Because coaching changes lives.
Cover story of HR Future digital magazine of November 2021.
The publication of this article written by an ICF member does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author
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