Creating Superior Performance With Coaching
By Jonathan Farrington
Most sales and executive leadership programs are too general to provide opportunities for intensive, personalized work on self-development. Coaching, by contrast, enables individuals to gain insight into their own motives, interests, and concerns. These link explicitly to the challenges they face in their leadership or management roles.
One of our largest clients used to run its business from manuals. Staff who wanted to know how something should be done would be directed by a senior manager “to look in staff manual 108" for the answer. It was not a motivational style of management, and had become unsuitable for fast-changing modern business conditions.
So eight years ago, based on our recommendations, the company created what it called “the ultimate service provision” by merging all the information technology (IT) and back-office functions. Management broke with old habits and traditional training and decided to improve the leadership skills of the senior managers through coaching.
The outcome has been a resounding success, producing far better results than conventional development training. The evident superiority of coaching explains why more companies are taking the same route and making it a priority.
The Growth of Personal Coaching
We believe that coaching’s rapid growth will continue. Forward-thinking organizations are looking for alternative ways to lead and manage staff. The business world has experienced more upheaval in the past 10 years than in the previous 50. It’s no accident that this period of unprecedented change has witnessed a boom in executive coaching.
The signs are that the boom will continue. A recent survey that polled HR professionals from Europe, America, Australia and Asia found that 88 percent of the respondents were planning to make more use of professional coaching. A little more than half of the respondents had introduced the practice in the past 18 months.
Like our clients, 70 percent of those polled said that coaching has an edge over conventional development techniques, and they would choose it to change the behavior and performance of senior people.