Is Coaching Right for your Organization

We live in an era of increased competition, tighter budgets, smaller profit margins and downsized workforces struggling to achieve the goals of the organization while operating with fewer resources. These realities have caused executives and professionals to seek innovative methods of creating an edge that will help come out on the right side of the razor-thin margin between success and failure.


Many organizations are finding the investment in executive and professional coaching to be a prime “difference-maker” that has helped them build and maintain a culture of excellence.


Executives considering implementing a coaching program within their organization need first to understand exactly what coaching entails and how it can benefit their organization.


It is important to understand that coaching is quite different from consulting and mentoring. Consultants and mentors are expected to give advice and provide answers. In contrast, coaching involves collaboration between the coach and the client. In coaching, it is the client that provides the answers and the coach who provides the process that helps the client develop and implement change strategies in their careers. Clients that discover their own answers are much more likely to successfully act on the understandings they have developed as a result of the coaching relationship.


I think of coaching as an exploration, not unlike walking through a series of tunnels. The client establishes the agenda for the journey and the coach serves as a guide. Coaches have many tools in their tool box to help facilitate the relationship, but the two most important tools are active listening and powerful questions. Listening involves being able to hear beyond the words or the content of what the client is saying and recognize clues from what is unspoken. Some might call it “reading between the lines.” It is the ability to effectively listen that leads a coach into the powerful questions that often create awareness and understanding for the clients.


Coaches are trained to be non-judgmental, but will often challenge the thinking and actions of their clients in order to encourage them to go deeper into the exploration process. A key phase of the coaching process is helping the client design specific actions that help the client successfully strive towards their established goals, and building a system of accountability into the action plan to help ensure forward progress.


Coaching is used in many different ways within organizations. For some companies, coaching is utilized as a leadership development tool, particularly for peak performers. Many times organizations use a coach to help under-performers struggling to succeed. Coaching is also an excellent tool in individual and group settings for conflict resolution and improving teamwork. Many individuals find coaching to be an asset which helps them evaluate critical career transition issues, such as whether to seek a promotion, move into a new area of the organization, or pursue a completely different career.


Coaching has been demonstrated to be one of the most cost effective employee development tools an organization can employ. In fact, during these tight economic times, companies faced with cutting travel and education budgets, have found coaching to be an affordable tool that allows the organization to continue to offer growth opportunities to its valued employees.


Executives evaluating the prospect of instituting a coaching program in their organization inevitably want know one very important piece of information – what is the return on investment? That’s the ever important ROI. There are specific metrics that can be applied to coaching and ample research that consistently shows coaching provides a very high return on investment—in some cases as high as 200-400{1f3faf35ad902e1c8bc667ed071e030e0a3181199c51cdaf886ca87c43016336}!


The business of coaching can be good for your business. Coaching just might be the difference you’ve been looking for that can move your organization from good to great.


Ross Woodstock is an executive coach/consultant and public relations/advertising strategist with Kolt Communications, Inc.


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