How do I develop my skills to face challenges at work? How can I develop competences to grow within my organisation? How can I gain the confidence to carry out responsibilities I have never dealt with before? The answer to these questions for today’s executives lies in coaching.

Nic Paton writes that ” Coaching Is No Longer The Preserve of the Elite“. Apparently, as many as 7 out of 10 British employers use coaching in their organisations as compared to 2/3 rds a year ago. Nearly 8 out of 10 employers that offered coaching to all their employees used it for “general personal development”, with three quarters saying they used it for “helping poor performance”.

When organisations think about using external coaches, I urge them to:

  • prioritize where they would get maximum return on their investment.
  • use coaches for those whose performance is critical for organisational success
  • make coaching a part of strategic talent development, not a position related perquisite
  • involve the coachee’s supervisor in the review process so as to best assess results of the coaching

There are many individuals too who show interest in using coaches to develop their competences. To them, I would suggest:

  • Weigh the pros and cons before you use coaching as an option. It calls for a certain amount of dedicated effort on your part.
  • Recognize that coaching is not a panacea for all your problems. It cannot, for example, provide you with more resources you may need in your work. It cannot change the way your customers behave with you. It can- and will -change the way you approach these issues.
  • Make sure you go to the right coach. Assess your comfort level with him/her and make sure that they bring to the table the capabilities to help you succeed.

As a coach myself, I believe coaching can bring about substantial changes for the better. What is required is attention and commitment on your part with an equal amount of attention and commitment from the coach.

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This is the 133 rd of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success