In her blog, Institute of Leadership and Management Fellow Penny Sophocleous, of Corporate Alchemy, discusses why coaching is important

This is the question that we often asked. Coaching makes all the difference between mediocre performance and achievements, and outstanding achievements. 

It is most evident in sport. Every Olympic athlete, every top-flight tennis player, every professional golf player uses a coach to fine tune their performance, identify bad habits, and address every psychological and emotional imbalance that stops them performing better.

Andy Murray is a good example of what can happen when you have a good coach; whilst another player at Wimbledon this year demonstrated how a top player can self-sabotage themselves out of the tournament because they didn’t have a coach!

In the arena of work, people always benefit from coaching. Whether it’s their manager doing the coaching or an external coach, people thrive when they are coached well. They will perform better, be more strongly engaged, energised and grow in their skills. An example concerning one business leader we worked with, was to increase their new business by 1,250% of the initial investment.

And it need not always be one-to-one coaching – we are seeing more group coaching programmes, that lead teams of people into greater engagement, cohesiveness, commitment and exceptional performance. In a group coaching programme, the increased sales of the marketing and sales team created 12,000% over the cost of the six -month coaching investment.

If people are important for the delivery of your services, providing coaching to them is the fastest route to expediting your business’s revenues and profits. Developing valuable people is key to igniting their innate talents and enabling them to perform at their best. Y

Addressing the needs of your staff

Coaching can improve:

  • Communication skills, and increasing personal profile and presence.
  • Strategic influencing skills in order to have greater impact with your clients, peers and senior leaders.
  • Emotional intelligence for better people interactions.
  • Networking skills, marketing and entrepreneurial competencies. 
  • Management skills, to better motivate their team and tools to manage change with enthusiasm.
  • Leadership qualities, to set direction using strategic thinking, innovation, creativity and decision-making.
  • Confidence and deeper self awareness in order to transition to more responsible roles in the organisation and be promoted.

Addressing your needs

Other powerful reasons for specifically using external coaches are if you are a CEO, executive director or partners, where it’s vital to have a confidential expert, trusted advisor and external sounding board with whom to discuss, clarify and decide on strategic, confidential matters (where it’s difficult to find internal peers or others who are not conflicted if you speak to them).

Our coaching programmes foster powerful shifts in self-awareness, increasing levels of confidence, improved attitudes and behaviour that inspire others, unleashing the leadership capability of individuals.

Executives’ personal productivity and effectiveness are improved when objectives are proactively agreed and pursued. In a collaborative coaching relationship they set better goals, take more action, handle stress better, and more fully develop their natural abilities.

When successful, such leaders provide a role-model for development of others.