We are relatively new to the exciting world of coaching. That is, we are relatively new to why and how it should be done. Most businesses these days will talk about having a positive, people-first culture and probably think they are already providing coaching for their employees. But the reality is that to be a proper coach, training is needed.
Coaching is becoming a required skill among managers and senior leaders; because of that, employees are feeling that they are supported at the workplace. We have found this ourselves as we promote a supportive environment at Law At Work and encourage and help our clients to do the same. We aim to improve lives, relationships, and business performance through coaching.
We are providing our Continuous Professional Development service to our clients, and it is producing good results. It means we have reassessed how we listen to our clients, but also how we respond to them. One client Heidi works with has set a goal of becoming a director by the end of the year. Thanks to Heidi’s coaching, her client now has a clear idea of what would benefit her and her current organisation. With a planned approach to her development and excelling in her career, she is currently on course to achieve her ambition in an organisation she loves.
Lorna has also seen the impact her coaching has had on her clients, including one who was considering options on the way toward retirement and what that was going to look like. They now have a plan to work to that gives them clarity on what they want to concentrate on for the next couple of years and are assisting their employer with succession planning.
In both examples, all we did was provide the support our clients needed to forge ahead on their own; we didn’t tell them what to do. We find that the process works because, as coaches, we are invested in the ongoing development of the people we help rather than solving the issue for them.
Ideally, coaching should become an integral part of how an organisation functions. It infuses conversations, meetings, presentations, practices, and processes and is part of business as usual as opposed to something that managers must do ‘on top of’ their roles.
The benefits that employees are seeing — and in some cases demanding — would not have seen the light of day five years ago, and change of this magnitude must be carefully managed. Leaders need to embrace bottom-up thinking where staff feed back ideas that will transform the way the business operates and performs.
Speaking as coaches ourselves, we both agree that coaching brings out a much more positive and productive outlook on the way we work. Workplaces that have a positive coaching culture as standard tend to be the ones where people stay and where others want to work. The word spreads quickly in a competitive employment market.
Bringing a positive coaching culture into your workplace doesn’t have to mean wholesale change. Getting trained as a coach was an enjoyable and personal development for both of us, and we recommend the learning and support provided by Coach Advancement. We have both completed the accredited training and are now working towards full credentials with the International Coaching Federation (ICF); at the same time we are happy to help others to understand the ethics needed to be a credible coach in this growing market.