Coaching Today For A Better Tomorrow: Long Term Advantages of Organizational Coaching
When an organization is considering which approach to take when looking for guidance, the differences between coaching and consulting become important factors to consider. The decision about which path to take often comes down to an organization’s priorities. Organizations that want to advance their employees on an individual level are likely to find that the coaching approach offers many distinct advantages as it not only leads to short term improvements, but also, long term benefits. These benefits are often seen in improvements to individual decision-making, as well as the development of an ongoing coaching culture – which strengthens individuals and teams.
Dictating Solutions versus Building Roadmaps
One of the reasons individuals in particular benefit from the coach approach is because coaching starts from a fundamentally different place than consulting. The coach’s interest isn’t to hand out instructions on how to correct a problem, but rather to help individuals ask the questions that will lead them to the right solutions. There is lasting value to the roadmap approach because individuals can apply the coaching method not only to their current challenges, but into the future as well. The coaching approach offers individuals a chance to augment their decision-making on the whole.
Coaches are well equipped to bring these advantages to their clients because the basic principles of coaching involve an ongoing exchange as opposed to a one-way flow of information such as: “This is what you have to do to get you out of this specific problem.” Coaching Outside The Box, a group of coaching educators, provides five key coaching skills that illustrate how a coach-client relationship becomes a dynamic exchange: listening, encouraging, questioning, requesting and action planning.
Inspiring Better Culture
A company that is dedicated to their employees will greatly benefit from a coach because the coaching process can transform employees into coaches themselves. For example, a manager could fill the dual role of leader and coach to other team members in the organization. When a manager is familiar with the questions, goals, and methods of coaching, it provides one more tool that can be used to motivate employees. They now have the opportunity to speak to their team about personal growth as a coach, or can simply discuss the day’s objectives as their manage. Because managers are often expected to wear many hats for their organizations, exposure to a professional executive coach is one way to give managers the tools they need to succeed.
As an added benefit, organizations that engage coaches are likely to find that the exchange dynamic in which coaches bring to the table is likely to spill over into other employee interactions as well. Open dialogues lead to faster problem identification, creative problem solving, better conflict resolution strategies, and a heightened sense of personal involvement and responsibility for many employees.
While consulting makes a declarative statement such as, “This is what you should do”, coaching asks questions that encourage reflection and dialogue. Opening and maintaining new a channel of communication undoubtedly helps employees better fulfil their given roles, as well as unlock the potential to grow into new roles. Unlike direct instruction, coaching is all about teasing out an individual’s potential and nurturing it so that they, in turn, can nurture others. As organizations come to care more and more about the individuals who work for them, the value coaches add to any organization is sure to become more noticeable.