Stressed? Shaking in your boots? Just a little bit? I think most of us are. If you are not concerned about the economic crisis, environmental catastrophe, war in Europe, and ongoing extreme uncertainty – then I’d like some of what you have please!
I’d like to advocate coaching as an intervention that only only helps to identify what happiness looks like for you and steps to reach this – but also as the tool that can support people to thrive in challenging times, find their potential, deal with change, rise to challenges without sacrificing their health, find fulfilment, and be successful. For these reasons, coaching is a direct investment in the success of your most valuable resource, your people, and as such, is an indirect, yet very powerful impact on business success.
However, coaching is rarely the first solution that occurs to leaders.
Have you recently been told – “times are tough / we need to work harder, faster / we need to absorb colleagues’ absences or a bigger workload / there is no extra resource coming / costs are rising you must do this!” I work with many people facing such challenges and I notice two things.
- We do work harder, we try to meet the load, we try harder, we try to be strong in the face of challenges. Indeed, many people love periods of extra pressure and for a while this works.
- An elastic band only stretches as far as its breaking point, then it snaps.
Invest in people, reap the rewards
Coaching is powerful at any time, often given to the most senior people in an organisation. However, I strongly believe coaching should be more widely available to all employees. Yes, it is an investment in time and money, yet a very clever one which more and more organisations are waking up to – invest in people, reap the rewards.
Why is coaching so powerful?
As humans we spend a lot of time in our own heads with the beliefs, values and habits that served us well in the past but may be holding us back in current situations. Having a safe space to explore our wants and needs, our capability and our thoughts can unlock creativity, help us to overcome what holds us back – it is a great ‘allower.’ Even more so, building our self-awareness and having the confidence to be who we really are unlocks our potential to be the best we can be.
Who can benefit?
Everyone! As I said before, and as an Executive Coach working for many years in career transition and people development with people from all career stages from early career starter through to retirement and beyond, I know coaching can be an extremely powerful intervention for absolutely everybody. But let me identify a few scenarios that you might recognise in these current challenging times:
- Middle managers navigating the delicate balance of managing up and being on the ground implementing strategy…. being the sandwich in the business and never really being able to do right!
- Employees at any level under pressure to perform where resources are tight, and deadlines or targets seem impossible.
- Leaders accountable for organisational success who use the ‘times are hard, crack the whip’ strategy and want a better understanding of human motivation and to develop themselves as outstanding leaders.
How can you offer coaching in challenging times?
When every cost has to be scrutinised to survive challenging times, it is tempting to brush coaching off the table as being too costly and time consuming.
Let me share a secret! All coaches know that amazing breakthroughs can come from anything from a short conversation, through to a multiple coaching session engagement. It can work on an individual 121 basis and can also work in team settings. Knowing this, how can you utilise good coaching practice and allow as many people to benefit as possible?
I suggest challenging assumptions about what ‘good’ coaching looks like and look for creative solutions. Committing to coaching is the first step, then exploring all the different ways it might be introduced for your people and throughout the organisation is the next step.
A few ideas:
- Bring in external coaches as required, working with a trusted coaching provider.
- Offer creative coaching solutions customised to your people and organisation, to allow as many people to benefit as possible.
- Train internal managers and leaders to use a coaching approach in their leadership style.
The power of coaching is:
Resilient, engaged people enjoying personal success, able to manage change and grow their capabilities and skills that impacts organisational success.
Get in touch
If you’d like to speak with us about how we can support you and your people and leaders, visit our coaching services page, or give us a call on 01491 414010. Alternatively, complete the form at the bottom of this page to request a call back.