Uncovering the Mysteries of Coaching

November 2, 2022
# min read
Doug Brown

Today the growing pressures of global competition fuel the demand for more-effective business leaders at every level. It is their responsibility to set the tone and style for their organization and affect any cultural shifts to meet changing values and expectations of the marketplace. Managers and future leaders must themselves change and be prepared to continue to change.

An organization would only develop a long-term strategic plan if it took stock of its current resources and historical data. The same principle holds for an organization's cadre of professional managers and why Coaching is so important.

There is a common assumption that those who reach certain positions no longer need personal or professional development. This is seldom the case. Personal growth opportunities for people at mid-level or higher levels are rare. One major drawback of being at these levels is isolation from meaningful feedback.

Coaching programs like ours are recognized as a valuable privilege and a powerful tool for star performers who wish to shine even brighter--akin to the world-class athlete who seeks a Coach to excel. Paradigm Associates' program is also applicable to the executive who has potential but, for some reason, is not delivering what is expected of them.

What is Coaching?

Coaching is a process through which managers and leaders get help to improve their performance and personal effectiveness. Our approach to Coaching offers the rare opportunity to stand back and take a fresh look at the experiences and assumptions of a lifetime. Our program:

• Facilitates the identification of inner resources

• Targets growth areas

• Promotes a healthy balance between career and personal life that sustains the vitality necessary for effective leadership

• Reveals the need to learn specific behaviors aimed at enhancing short-term or long-term performance.

• Challenges underlying beliefs and values and invite more fundamental changes.

The Coach offers direction and assistance, but the choice rests with the individual. Their revealed self-knowledge forms the foundation for continued growth.

The Coach

The Coach has no internal links with the company. Therefore, they can be confided in freely. The Coach fulfills the roles of supporter, co-creator, political confidant, and scrutinizer. Within each of those roles, the Coach brings specific skills:

• Supporter: Counselor, Advisor, Advocate, Listener

• Co-Creator: Problem Solver, Ideas Generator, Opportunity Organizer

• Political Confidant: Challenger, Influencer, Debater, Decision Facilitator

• Skills Developer: Innovator, Thought Expander, Trainer, Mentor

Having a mentor from within the company may appear to be a good option, but a Coach has particular merits that a peer cannot satisfy:

• Independence

• Impartiality

• Objectivity

• Wide knowledge and experience

• Different viewpoint

• Experience weighing opportunities, risks, andrewards

The Process

The Coaching process can take several forms depending on who the individual is and who is asking for Coaching.

There will typically be a briefing meeting to discuss the situation and to decide whether Coaching is the best approach to achieve the objectives.

A meeting is held between the person and the Coach in order fo rthem to become acquainted and for matters of confidentiality to be decided. The style of the program is formulated based on their discussions and the outcomes that have been agreed upon.

The Coach questions the person in depth and may give them questionnaires to complete. Depending upon identified needs, they may even watch the client at work and, in certain circumstances, will interview their bosses, peers, and subordinates.

Both participants review and then identify key strengths and weaknesses as well as developmental needs and put together a plan. They work together on the agreed objectives. This process generally ebbs once the executive has established a steady attitude towards continuous improvement of leadership abilities and has developed an organizational support mechanism for ongoing growth.

Outcomes

There are many benefits of Coaching depending on the precise form and style of the Coaching relationship.

Coaching helps people have clarity and well-ordered priorities. It can give them confidence in their position because they learn how to think matters through thoroughly. It is not just a silly adage to say that a "problem shared is a problem halved," which has nothing to do with devolving responsibility, just gaining clarity.

The Coaching process is used to identify the skill sets needed to develop the next stage of their career and the resources or actions required to achieve this.

The Coach also brings their experience of similar situations from other businesses. While people like to think that their problems are unique, they rarely are, and getting another industry perspective can be refreshing and enlightening.

The recipient of the Coaching process will gain the following:

• Greater Clarity

• Greater Focus

• Improved Decision-Making Skills

•Enhanced Creativity

• Improved Balance in all Aspects of Life

• Greater Effectiveness and Better Performance

Final Thoughts

Coaching for professional development is often the best way for an individual and an organization to grasp the nettle of change in today's ever-demanding atmosphere. The process of hiring a Coach is highly personal. The decision must be based on trust and commitment. Only when both are established can the relationship begin to move forward in a positive and successful direction.

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