The Importance of Coaching In The Workplace

Coaching can be best described as the ability to take someone from where they are now to where they want to go. Coaching has been around since the dawn of
19 May 2018 11:00
The Importance of Coaching In The Workplace
Mark Wager

Coaching can be best described as the ability to take someone from where they are now to where they want to go.

Coaching has been around since the dawn of humanity.

Ever since the earliest cavemen showed the younger members of their tribe how to hunt and gather food, the practice of helping people develop their skills and reach their potential is one of the reasons why we have evolved to where we are today and during this time coaching has also evolved.

In the business world, coaching is evolving into something that is a must-have.

If you want to be successful you need to know how coaching is changing the business world.


Coaching changes the business world

This is the brutal truth about the business world today.

If you are an ambitious individual and you do not have a coach or if you are an organisation that doesn’t have a coaching culture then you are not doing everything you can in order to be successful and to make it even worse your competitors, the people standing between you and your goals are very likely to have a coach as part of their team.

Coaching and it’s place within the business world is changing and you need to know about these changes before your competitor does.


Coaching: history background

In the first instance of the term “coach” came from Oxford University in 1830 when it was used as a slang word for a teacher who had to spend a lot of time with students who were struggling with their lessons.

The teacher was described as having to “coach” the students through the exam, effectively carrying them like the old fashioned coach and horses.

Coaching then was associated mostly with team sports describing the person who trained and guided the team, yet coaching evolved in the early 1970s.

It was then when individual athletes such as in sports like Tennis and Golf sought out specialists to help them improve their game and when other athletes saw the benefits of coaches the practice quickly spread.

This success caught the eye of the business world, so in the 1980s senior managers started seeking out coaches who became known as executive coaches.

In the 1990s, it became popular for managers to adopt the coaching methodology when dealing with performance issues in the workforce with varying degrees of success.


How companies viewing coaching?

Many companies think that they have a coaching culture because they instruct their managers to meet regularly with staff, yet this doesn’t always work as many managers are asked to deal with performance issues without the training and support they need to deal with difficult issues.

As a result a lot of performance issues are either not dealt with or even worse just ignored.

The performance issues stem from the lack of quality staff coaching in the first place.

Each of these situations are missed opportunities to improve productivity and as a result missed profits.

The biggest tragedy is that it doesn’t have to be this way.


Turning point

Coaching has changed a lot over the years and today the best coaches are specialists in understanding the psychology of success,what turns an average leader into an inspirational one and what turns a demotivated employee into a motivated one.

Wall Street, the financial centre of the United States, is the industry that has embraced coaching with an estimated one in five businesses hiring a specialised coach who on a regular basis meets with key staff working on strategies to improve performance.

Just like in the sports world when people see someone else achieving success they seek to copy what they are doing and this is happening with coaching in business.


Experience of coaching in the business sector

Personally I have seen a difference in the way businesses coach their managers.

The typical call I used to get is when a company would call me and say that they had a problem with a manager who was underperforming and they wanted me to come in and coach the manager.

While this still happens, there is a change in the type of requests I receive.

Today I get companies requesting me to coach their managers because they say “we want to increase our profits”or “we want to meet our targets.”

Coaching has stopped being looked at as a method to fix problems.

Instead it’s looked at as a way to make good people better, and better people produce great results and great results mean a more profitable company.

Research on coaching

One of the world’s leading firms, Price Waterhouse Coopers, studied the impact that specialised coaching had on performance and they found that these companies for every dollar they spent on coaching they received seven dollars back in increased productivity, a massive 700per cent return on their initial investment.


Advise to managers

As a leadership coach myself I’ve seen similar results with companies that I have worked with.

I visit some companies every month spending an hour with each manager,working with them on strategies on how to deal with difficult clients, difficult staff and even occasionally difficult managers.

I coach them with the skills to avoid potential issues that could cost managers many hours and businesses many dollars.

This is why businesses are starting to embrace coaching as an integral part of their business strategy.

If you are an ambitious leader you need to be aware of how the business world is changing because the most successful leaders embrace the old saying that “it’s the early bird that catches the worm.”

If you can embrace the changing nature of coaching before your competitors, then you will gain a valuable advantage which can be the difference between success and failure.




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