Coaching is now widely acknowledged as a powerful developmental and leadership tool, rather than something purely used to ‘fix’ a problem or person. Moreover, it is the first step in creating a coaching culture in the workplace, as coachees experience first hand its benefits and are naturally keen to try out the approach with direct reports and colleagues.
The focus and purpose of the coaching can be determined entirely by the executive coachee or agreed in collaboration with the sponsoring company or a coachee’s line manager. An organisation may use coaching for a defined reason and period (such as supporting an employee when they have been promoted or to help them develop a particular skill) or as an ongoing strategic and reflective tool to enhance performance over time.
For example, executives may use coaching to:
- Focus on the less urgent but important aspects of the job
- Step back from the day-to-day to prioritise and strategise
- Talk and think through their most pressing or stressful concern at the time – and how to resolve it
- Optimise their own or their team’s performance, effectiveness and motivation
- Work on a behavioural or development objective set by the organisation, such as improving interpersonal or management skills or preparing for a promotion
- Manage stress or overwhelm and create a healthy, sustainable work schedule
- Build confidence or work through particular behaviours, beliefs or patterns that are holding them back
- Reflect on how to manage a difficult conversation, person or project
- Acknowledge successes and recognise lessons for the future
- Take a strategic approach to networking or influencing others
- Develop coaching skills that can be used immediately with their own reports or colleagues
- Take time to gain new insights, learn, reflect and become a better leader and individual