There is always one more game you must win,
One of the serious problems faced by top managers is a sense of isolation, the so called "loneliness at the top". These people can be very sociable, but still remain lonely. Uncertainty about confidentiality, hidden internal competition and precariousness of the "corporate ladder" often prevent executive from discussing their work directly with someone of their colleagues.
Besides, in our so called "knowledge age in business" a key competitive advantage is how good and fast the company management can learn and grow professionally. But there are "hidden rocks" here. Firstly, the process of learning is often perceived by executives as a kind of threat to their image. Secondly, in an avalanche of daily operational tasks and issues the top managers are sometimes unable to find time for trainings.
Moreover, what kind of training is offered by the market today? Basically, group trainings, where one has to sit at the desk again and solve someone else's problems from the "business cases" or play virtual business games. Such techniques certainly provide additional theoretical knowledge, but are rarely used later in the real work of an executive.
And what if the leaders are offered a balanced technique, in which temporary status of student and image of "chief" and leader would not enter into a conflict? What if the leaders can enhance their skills and learn new approaches, management styles and business strategies, solving real problems of their company during implementation of their own corporate projects?
Exactly the coaching has become the best today's way to achieve harmonious combination of all these reasonable needs for development and learning of leaders of the companies.
Coaching of executives is a confidential, private partnership between client, top manager and professional business coach. The purpose of this partnership is development, learning of the client and raising efficiency of his/her activities. In fact, it is a series of conversations with a personal "coach" aimed at achieving of a specific goal of the client within his/her business and strategy of his/her organization.
Coaching is a powerful tool for personal development of top managers, aimed at raising the efficiency of their businesses. It reveals human capacity at most. It does not teach, but helps to learn fast.
Coach is an expert who can ask powerful questions. Such questions reveal the essence of the problem, help to apprehend it and encourage learning and acting.
Often, executives just need to talk about their problem in order to find the optimal solution. And with those who are not personally interested in the company issues - with an outside person who is not under the pressure of the corporate principles and culture. It is important here that one is listening, showing interest, encouraging to understand the essence of problem. And when the executive apprehends the existing problem, he/she is ready to take the challenge and find own resources and capabilities to solve the problematic situation.
It can be said that an independent coach is the third element in the system (in organization, business) - the invisible participant of situation or problem of the executive. Being at the epicenter of the problem, the coach, however, is not charged by the anxiety of his/her protégé (executive). On the contrary, he/she assesses the situation from the outside calmly and impartially with all its strengths and weaknesses, and often in different way compared with what the executive sees. In addition, the coach has sufficient competence to move leader from "dead point" - help him to quickly plan and implement changes.
The coach is a skilled catalyst for change, constantly maintains and monitors development of the situation, accompanies executive on the way up to the target. It's kind of an expert on how to plan and implement this development.
However, the main advantage of coaching approach to development and training of leaders is indissoluble connection of this process with solving the actual business problems, as they say, "without interrupting professional activities" in the course of implementation of current projects.
The objectives of executive coaching refer usually to one or more of the following categories:
From the corporate point of view, coaching of executives is a way to demonstrate the true interest in the person, employee of the company. If the employer provides coaching services for his/her personnel, it shows his/her real value as a leader.
You may wonder: what kind of investing to development can be discussed during the crisis, when serious budget deficit compels organizations to "tighten their belts". I note that coaching is indispensable for the goals and role that is critical to the company exactly during the period of crisis. Here are some specific examples.
• Coaching will reduce duration of cycle or product.
• Coaching of executives will help to increase revenues, market share and client base.
• Coaching will help to hold key players.
Respondents of survey of Manchester Consulting Group were executives of the largest companies from Fortune 100 list. The survey showed that the average return on investment in coaching is almost 7 times higher than the costs of coaching services.
The study of large telecommunications companies from Fortune 500 list conducted by MerixGlobal, found that the result of coaching of top managers became ROI of 529%. In addition, when financial benefits of keeping the people in the company were calculated, the total rate of return on investment in coaching increased to 788%.
Metropolitan Life Insurance company arranged for some of its retailers intensive coaching programme, which resulted in increased productivity of the staff by an average of 35%. Along with that 50% of retailers identified new markets for development. And what is more important, MetLife was able to hold all sellers that passed coaching programme, having saved at that considerable resources. According to what CEO Anna Fisher told to Fortune magazine, the programme that cost to MetLife about 620,000 dollars earned for the company 3.2 mln. dollars of measurable profit.
Study of trainings and development conducted by International Personal Management Association showed that combination of trainings and coaching resulted in increase of productivity by an average of 88% compared with 22% in case of only trainings.
The results presented demonstrate that the rate of return on investment in coaching can be calculated.