An article on the FT website highlighted the shift towards coaching and mentoring as a way of developing individuals, teams and wider organisations and reinforced my beliefs in coaching as an incredibly powerful tool. The article refers mostly to Executive Coaching and cites all of the major players in the coaching sector. It states that sessions with an Executive Coach are now no longer something that needs to be hidden from shared diaries (although that was certainly never raised as an issue on my Executive Coach training), and is instead the preferred development method for senior and high potential employees.
The article was an exciting one for me and the team at 28Quest to read as it supports our core beliefs about the value of coaching. Senior management from a variety of industries and market sector offer their take on how coaching is transforming the way they work, with almost 60% of companies surveyed by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council using coaching to support the transition of internal promotions. Close behind, and both over 30% of responses are supporting external management hires and under-performing executives.
External coaches bring a fresh view to any organisation and, free from any internal agenda, provide an independent sounding board and challenging voice that aids effective reflection and rapid development. The power for change, growth and high performance lies with the individual and an Executive, Leadership or Performance Coach is often the most effective catalyst for that process.
After the success of the coach development programmes that we have developed at 28Quest, the content of which we are especially proud of, it is also exciting to read that internal coaching structures are also well regarded. Whether an organisation sets out to develop dedicated work place coaches, or wishes to equip its managers with the skills to using a coaching style successfully, a programme such as ours can make a significant difference. My one disappointment from the piece is that in one major financial business, the majority of the 66 people trained to be coaches are directors or partners. While top down leadership is essential for a business to walk the talk of management change, it is just as important to embed the coaching skill set at all levels of management.
Coaching, whether Executive, Leadership or Performance is gathering increasing momentum as the latest, successful trend and my own experiences within local government, professional services and the oil industry have reinforced my long held position that the skill is essential for great leadership. We will continue to promote coaching and coaches in general and our coaching programmes in particular and hope to make a difference one group at a time.