What is Corporate Coaching? And why is it so important?
Corporate Coaching is generally defined as a professional relationship limited in time, whose aim is to develop and maximise an employee’s talent and potential, in consonance with the values and goals set by the company.
There is nothing to object to in this definition, but I believe it is too mechanical. It leaves out subtle yet significant nuances we think should be taken into account. First of all, Corporate Coaching is not a one-way process. Like any other kind of interaction, it depends on the two parts: the coach and the coachee. Given its very nature, if the person being coached is not fully willing to improve, then it doesn’t really matter how many hours he invests in it because it won’t lead anywhere.
Why you might ask. Well, it’s very simple: coaching is not about learning a syllabus or an online tool. It’s about discovering your own limits, abilities and potential. You have to be open to change and be prepared to make sacrifices over a period of time.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said “to see clearly, it is often enough to change the direction of your gaze,” and Corporate Coaching helps you to change that direction.
Corporate Coaching techniques
The Coach’s number one task is to hold up a mirror to the coachee. The reason is obvious enough. If you want to solve a problem, first you have to be able to identify it. In order to improve and reinforce a person’s skills, the first thing is to decide on the starting point, the ground base, which is his or her basic skills. The problem is that we are often unable to judge ourselves, and we need someone on the outside to do that for us. This is where the coach comes in.
Corporate Coaching techniques are aimed at developing an individual’s hidden potential. To this end, you can:
- Increase their awareness of their strengths and weaknesses
- Reinforce their skills in order to achieve excellence in their work
- Awaken in them a passion for their job
- Develop their leadership
- Inspire the people under them in order to align their vision
- Develop a strategic vision that allows them to make the most of market opportunities and benefit from them.
- Balance their personal and professional lives.
- Learn the abilities of a coach and use them to bring out the best versions of themselves
The last point is, together with the fourth, the most important for the group and the company. What’s the point in being a professional guru if you are unable to convey and share your wisdom for a common goal. The success of companies is not a question of individual talent, but the skills and abilities of the group which, as a whole, create the differential value.
That is why, to be a real professional, you must learn the coach’s skills to guide your team towards success.
Professional advice for good Corporate Coaching
Putting ourselves in the shoes of a Corporate Coach will show us that their job is by no means easy. They must be able to study, analyse, draw up action plans and motivate the individuals who have hired their services. Below, we have a number of tips which, if they are put into practice on an ongoing basis, will undoubtedly improve the Coach’s work.
Your body language has to be in consonance with what you are saying to the coachees. Saying one thing while transmitting another will only lead to conflict, and coachees will not believe what they are told. On the contrary, they will perceive a lack of assertiveness and of sincerity.
Ability to observe and to analyse
In order to help somebody you need to know his/her background. In this case, the background must be discovered on the ground. Observe and analyse body language, try to read what is not being communicated to you verbally. Once you have managed to detect certain patterns, analyse them and reach the necessary conclusions.
That information will make it much easier to get on the same wavelength as the coachee. In addition, when explaining certain aspects, it will be much easier for you to know what kind of examples to use and which to avoid. How will you be able to do it? Thanks to the synchronicity you have managed to create, you should be more in synch with the coachee’s ideology and attitude and this will help you to redirect them much more easily.
Ability to listen
The ability to listen goes hand in hand with the previous point. You must learn to listen to problems and to what the person is trying to say. Coaching is not a monologue where you do all the talking: it is a dialogue that adapts to the coachee’s situation. Therefore, it is important that you listen to him/her.
Keep your ideas clear and call a spade a spade
“Don’t go off on a tangent” is a watchword to bear in mind at all times. Avoid digressions and redirect the coachee in a clear and concise manner. Corporate Coaching is not some kind of magic with esoteric ideas. What is required above all is pragmatism and tangibility. Clients need to know what path to follow. They shouldn’t leave the session with any doubts about that. Your priorities must be to point them in the right direction and to transmit the actions to take.
Inspiration and motivation are the foundations for the task in hand
One of people’s most serious problems is lack of motivation and inspiration. The Coach must intervene there and offer the security people need so badly. We are not talking of the odd nudge in the right direction, but of proposing real role models that will help the client to keep motivated over time.
You could be that role model. Explain your own personal case and how you were able to overcome difficulties and succeed in doing the job you wanted to do. One last piece of advice: do not exaggerate your achievements, otherwise you could be taken as an arrogant person who, instead of offering themselves as a support or model, is simply reinforcing their own ego.
Aligning company goals
Last but not least, you must align the company goals with the path you outline for your client. The aim is to achieve their maximum development as professionals in the framework of the activities they carry out. You have to ensure that they reach 100% of their potential and contribute to the growth in productivity of the companies they work for. And always with a positive attitude and job satisfaction in mind.
Effects of Corporate Coaching
Very often, when we hear the word Coaching we are not able to see the real effect it has on individuals, which leads us to believe that it is just some kind of motivational talk to boost our spirits for a while. Nothing could be further from the truth. Once we have internalised that Coaching is the tool but the coachees are the ones to use it, you realise its power.
As soon as you start using that tool, you will begin to see little changes, at least in your wellbeing. Little by little, with work and perseverance, these changes will become more noticeable and their effects will have a greater impact on your work. Some effects of Corporate Coaching are to:
- Improve the performance of your team
- Develop your potential
- Reinforce executive/collaborator relations
- Promote leadership
- Boost motivation
- Increase involvement
- Strengthen self-esteem
There are many definitions for the work of a Coach, but there is a quote by Benjamin Disraeli that explains it better than anything else: “The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.” It is not just about learning, but about discovering what is hidden.