The Coaching Ripple Effect: could you be the start of it?


One of the primary benefits of a coaching relationship is having the opportunity to “step back and consider what the best option really is without the pressure of time or politics”. So why do individuals value doing this with an Executive coach? Because they simply can’t do it amongst the maelstrom of daily life within their organisation.

As independent executive coaches we are privileged to obtain an insight into many different organisations and how they operate. From this external perspective there appears to be themes which are common to many organisations, regardless of sector or maturity. With the pace of business today there seems to be an inordinate pressure to make decisions quickly, professionals are paid to have a view, to take a position and to propose a way forward almost “on demand”. Most organisations seem to value the activists amongst us – with the mantra of “do something, anything – then we can say we are working on it!”. Those individuals who are more reflective or more consensual need to exert all of their assertiveness to take the time to “think it through” or to “see what others think”. So does all of this lead to good decision making and to good leadership? Some of the time it probably does – being “fleet of foot” and agile in today’s economy can be essential when competitors are nipping at our heels.

But is it the only style of working? Probably not. Most of our coaching clients readily attest that the primary value of a coaching relationship is having the opportunity to “take time out” to “find out what they really think” and to “consider what the best option is without the pressure of time or politics”. And why do they value doing this with an Executive coach? Because they simply can’t do it amongst the maelstrom that exists within their organisation.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Imagine the potency of an organisation that has the flexibility to take both approaches – the ability to make good decisions in the moment and the ability to pause and consider both past and future actions in a constructive manner. Organisations we know which have cracked this duality have the skills of good coaching at its very core – genuine respect of others, appreciative listening, generating options, scenario planning and encouraging ownership and accountability at the individual level.

So how can you start to create this kind of shift in your company culture? An executive will truly need to believe that they don’t have the monopoly on good ideas, if they are to let their ears do more work than their mouths.

What does it take to start? What’s needed in most organisations, is a catalyst for change – this could be an external event that causes the organisation to revisit its approach. It could also be a spark from a single individual who, regardless of their status, has the courage to lead the organisation towards a new way of working.

Read the full article here

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