I was recently asked by a new coachee why I was a coach and why I was so passionate about the benefits coaching can have for both an individual and for an organisation.
My story starts a long time ago. I was fortunate enough at a relatively early point in my career to be part of a talent programme that included coaching. This was my first experience of coaching, both personally and professionally. Little did I know at the time the key role it was going to play for me going forward.
What I discovered quite quickly with this first coaching experience was that this was an important investment in me; providing dedicated time on a 1:1 basis to think, and to really talk through my career, development, and specific challenges and opportunities in both my personal and professional life.
As time moved on, and my career developed, I have continued to use coaching to support me, teams and the businesses within which I work. But importantly to also help me work through some of the challenging times I have had personally; helping me to keep all the plates spinning, to focus on the areas that needed more attention and to keep life in perspective, ensuring I had the right balance.
So, what can it do personally for you and for your business?
As a Senior Executive, it can be lonely at the top. Coaching creates a safe and independent space, where you can openly talk through the current situation, explore options, consider implications and create a well-thought-through way forward. The coach does not give you the answers, you work these through with their guidance and support. This has paid off for me on so many occasions, it also gives you the tools and approach to build in for yourself going forward.
For me, there is another very important aspect to coaching. It provides independent challenge. Often tough to get within an organisation or from a team, but really important. This really helps with thinking through business challenges and scenarios. It hasn’t always been comfortable, but actually exploring why a challenge doesn’t sit right can be really important to explore and understand.
Get the chemistry right between coach and coachee and you build a relationship of trust and confidence that really enables you to open up. I have often found that the personal intermingles with the professional discussion, which is a good thing and something that I now embrace and encourage. We need to bring our whole selves to work, be aware of the wider influences and impact of other aspects of our lives; and ultimately see how they can cross over.
As a result of my own experiences, I integrated coaching qualifications and techniques into my approach as an executive. It is a much more effective way to work with people and to achieve a result that benefits the business. It helps ensure that you fully explore options, think through scenarios and provide appropriate challenge.
I have also ensured that new executives appointed to roles have a coach before starting in role to support their onboarding and development, creating that safe place and opportunity to talk things through is really important as they build their role and profile.
Coaching has also proved to be pivotal for individuals developing their careers, for those with key areas that they need to enhance for performance reasons, and for working through challenging personal situations, managing exits through or as support for major transformation programmes when there are multiple demands on the sponsoring leader and their team.
I have also found Team coaching incredibly useful – it has been a great way of bringing new teams together, to integrate new leaders, to work through challenge issues or behaviours. As I have seen teams reconnect, embrace a new leader and enhance their overall performance and contribution.
So, in summary, there are many ways in which coaching can support an individual and enhance the performance of a team and organisation. As a coach, it is incredibly rewarding to be part of that, to share tools and approaches that can make a fundamental difference to someone’s career and to a team dynamic. For the coachee, it can be life-changing, provide much-needed support and create a life long relationship.
Want to learn more? Contact Annette:
Call Annette: +44 (0)7849 136293