• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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BusinessDay

Business coaching benefits in the corporate suite (1)

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The year was 2004 and we had just completed the consolidation process of CEED International Limited (“CEED”), which emerged from the fusion of a training company and a management consulting firm. Going forward, the management decided to include executive and business coaching among the services being offered by CEED. Coaching was just gaining acceptance and relevance within the corporate business suite in South Africa at that time, so doing it right was critical. In stepped Dudley Peacock, a South African born business and leadership coach who at that time was resident in Britain. Dudley became our coach and mentor as CEED sought to establish itself in the marketplace.

One of the first lessons that we learnt from a coaching and mentoring Guru like Dudley was that coaching was fundamentally an interactive process that unlocks peoples’ potentials. He impressed it upon us that coaching must help people find from within themselves the ‘how to do’ solutions and that as coaches, we dare not impose the ‘what to do’ solutions from our own personal knowledge. What he was teaching us in other words is that even if the coach is the wisest person in the world, when he or she is coaching, the client must be credited with the possession of the greater wisdom. Coaching thus comes from a philosophy where it treats the client with the utmost respect because all the answers and solutions are to be found within him or her.

This was initially tough for us to embrace, especially because of our background and experience as a training and management consulting company. We were used to being the teachers, trainers and ‘experts’ who provided needed information and imparted knowledge when we were consulted by clients in need of solutions. However, with time we came to understand that coaching, whether it is applied to life issues, business, leadership, or business management was all about creating the right and best platforms for mutually beneficial engagements to unlock and unleash potentials.

Several years after being coached and mentored by Dudley Peacock, we have been privileged to gain more knowledge and experience about the power of coaching in supporting people and organisations to achieve their goals. We are still learning and continue to be grateful for the leadership insight, coaching techniques and correct mentorship we were exposed to in the early days. Today, as it was back then, coaching remains for us a must-have lifestyle and business accessory. We understand it to be a practical solution to both personal growth and workplace development.

Over the years, the benefits of coaching in the business arena, especially in the corporate business structures have been evaluated in two ways. The first relates to the benefits of business coaching to the employees. The second aspect concerns coaching benefits to corporate management. The summarised benefits to the employees include: improvement in personal self-worth, passion, awareness, energy, joy, enthusiasm, learning, trust, goal-orientation, performance, fulfilment, desire and inspiration. The summarised benefits for management include: improvement in productivity, empowerment, stability, communication, delegation, stake holding and skills monitoring.

There is therefore the much desired two-way benefit of coaching in the workplace in terms of both employee and management benefits. The power and benefits of coaching in this regard are attributable to its impact and influence in facilitating a generally less toxic workplace environment. In other words, because human beings are emotional beings, they often bring their feelings and beliefs into the workplace. This situation, which has to do with the level of their Emotional Intelligence (EQ) will of course either enhance or inhibit their performance and productivity at work. And, that is where coaching plays a huge part in compelling and facilitating the right belief systems for sustainable individual and team performance.

That is why one of the critical roles of coaching is to increase the levels of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Adversity Intelligence (AQ) in individuals and teams in order to induce better all-round performance. Specifically, coaching inspires and empowers a person to take personal responsibility for transformation, improved performance, increased enthusiasm, integrity and trust in the workplace. Business coaching in this regard deals with the core issues that inspire productivity and sustainability in the workplace productivity. It brings more humanity into the workplace.

Business coaching, like other forms of coaching always focuses on a measurable outcome. In the coaching process you set up a well-formed outcome or an end result that you can see/hear/feel and measure. The coach then becomes a friend and facilitator that will help you to attain that outcome. The power of coaching is thus mostly felt in business goal setting and operational systems’ development, as well as in change management and resources management.

A good coaching intervention would normally take what is working well in a business and elevate it to new levels of expertise. It would also assist to change what is average to superior, and most importantly transform what is mediocre in the business to a position of excellence.

The power of business coaching is therefore felt in its simplest form through performance enhancement and transformation. You can read more about the transformational power of coaching at www.ceedcoaching.com.

Emmanuel Imevbore