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New Economy Leadership

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New Economy Leadership

Inspiring changes take place in organisations that embrace a culture of coaching: relationships improve, creativity flourishes and organisational resilience and capacity soar.

Today’s business climate compels companies to ask employees to do more with less, creating additional responsibilities that elevate stress levels. An effective way to ease this anxiety and create an environment conducive to managing workload is to develop the coaching abilities of managers. Coaching in the workplace spurs organisations to achieve their specific business results and visibly demonstrates commitment to employee growth and career development. In pursuit of results, it says that knowledge alone is not enough. Additional skills to teach and motivate are also needed.

It makes sense that executives are required to coach as part of their key performance indicators (KPIs) and to them it should become second nature.

Coaching’s focus is on a personal disposition to deliver on skills that already reside in the individual: the improvement of existing skills and the development of new ones. It’s also about facilitating optimal performance. While coaching demands dexterity and time, it is indispensable to the kind of employee development that achieves long term results, “which is why it is fundamental that managers address skills development consistently.

When managers are unable to coach, it’s generally because they don’t yet understand its value or long term importance; they do not have coaching skills or; they lack the necessary time. Usually, it’s a combination of all three. Specialising in coaching and talent management, have five steps in transforming managers into coaches:

Evangelise the concept of coaching: It is unlikely that a culture of coaching will flourish if it is forced on managers who are already swamped and don’t grasp its relevance. To build a case for coaching, the longer term benefits in terms of efficiency, time and performance need to be taken into account. When key resources and top talent are operating optimally, it reduces demand made on executives. Part of successful leadership is the ability to inspire, motivate and grow those around you. If managers can see that successful leaders are also accomplished coaches, being an effective coach gains personal relevance.

Clear outcomes and deliverables are critical: Any coaching relationship or progress that is not outcomes driven is a futile exercise. Outcomes need to be measurable and benchmarked with sensory-based evidence and indicators.

Developing coaching skills: Coaching is a skill that may not come naturally to some, especially managers previously rewarded for getting tasks done on their own or through a directive approach. While it is accepted that coaching should ideally be facilitated by an external and independent professional party, organisations are becoming aware that the use of basic coaching skills are an ideal management tool. Classic management styles of command and control have become archaic. There is an increasing awareness and demand for new economy style management for which coaching is a catalytic tool. Fundamental coaching skills – the ability to listen, question, build rapport and constructively feedback, empathy, supportive encouragement and accountability are often not explicitly taught but are all skills that can be enhanced. Basic coaching skills can be taught and rewarded as the most appropriate management style in an organisation. This means being alert to moments when coaching opportunities arise, and implies allocating these moments time as well as actively creating them, such as delegating tasks whose success requires the intervention of coaching.

Engage a coach yourself: Experience is the best teacher and it’s unlikely that managers will effectively use coaching as a skill if they haven’t personally experienced transformation through coaching themselves. It is now accepted as best business practice that executives personally access coaching from time to time themselves. It is also an example of how managers can provide this valuable service for others. Organisations that have skilled coaches within their workforce should consider hiring external coaches to work with key executives.

Recognise those who embrace coaching as a core leadership skill: Managers who manifest strong coaching skills are likely to become an organisations' most effective leaders. By placing these people in key roles and crediting these assignments – at least partially – to their coaching ability, sends the message that coaching is a crucial skill if you’re aiming at being a successful manager.

Mark Holthousen

Mark Holthousen

Mark has been involved in the field of human potential for over 15 years, and is currently regarded as one of the leading Executive Coaches in South Africa. His education and experience include both ministry and business, with an impressive international track record as a conference speaker and author. Utilising this experience Mark transitioned into the field of Executive Coaching, and was soon sought out by Cycan.

Cycan is a leading transition and acceleration enterprise which help individuals to define the ideal route and vehicle for their journey to success and significance. The success and sustainability of businesses and communities depend on the calibre and strength of leaders and individuals that form them.

Website: www.cycan.co.za

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