Today’s coach also has reference to an experienced person, teaching, training and guiding another in a particular field or sport, for example, in tennis, golf, football etc.
Another dimension of today’s coaching or executive coaching or corporate coaching refers to a coach guiding the coachees (persons who being coached), in their corporate organizations by offering them a different and new perspective to the coachees’ current employment situations and encourage them to think independently out of their situations and in the longer term, encourage their personal development.
One of the better definitions, which is derived from the Hong Kong International Coaching Community’s website, is that executive coaching is:
“a client driven partnership focused on creating positive change, expanding possibilities and unleashing potential through skilful communication, creating awareness, exploring, clarifying and sharing insights, tools, resources and experiences”.
Executive coaching is rapidly gaining popularity all through the world especially in Asia and China. Together with mentoring, coaching is becoming one of the more preferred high work performance practices in learning organizations. As highlighted in their paper by Aston and Sung (2002), high work performance work practices is “not a quick fix” for organizations to turn around their talent development and in the longer run, the organization’s profitability. In the same paper, Aston and Sung (2002) suggested that there are four main categories to be worked on for high work performance practices to be viable and effective in any learning organizations. One of the four categories is “Employees mist be provided with learning opportunities through training, mentoring, coaching, appraisals and practice”.
Flaherty states three conclusive reasons for coaching in learning organizations:
New and innovative ideas for new products
Downsizing and reengineering of organizations
Geographical mobility of today’s talents.
Hence, learning organizations are adopting coaching as one of their preferred high work performance practices.
In his latest edition, Whitmore expands that coaching is a skill which comprising “a depth of understanding” with experience and practices, can unleash “astonishing potentials”. He further illustrates by application of the GROW model (Goals, Reality, Options, Will), to maximise potentials and thus leading to enhanced work performance and individual development.
In “The Fifth Discipline”, Peter M. Senge accords that the five disciplines for talent development in learning organizations are “systems thinking, personal mastery, mental modes, building shared visions and team learning”. “Personal mastery” is to nurture with “personal motivation” which leads to continuous learning on “how our actions affect our world” and that “people with high levels of personal mastery are continually expanding their ability to create the results in life they truly seek”.
Senge also points out that “people learn most rapidly when they have a genuine sense of responsibility for their own actions”. This is the crux of coaching. Coaching is about helping individuals explore possibilities or looking out of their horizons into new territories, by listening and questioning. Coaching is about “helping the coaches in their thinking and get them to where they want to be”, without telling or suggesting any ideas or representations to them. Coaching is to help coachees to take ownership of their thinking and thus be responsible for their relative actions and sequential results. Coaching is about getting the coachees “to be ready when the opportunities present themselves and not to start getting ready when such opportunities arrive”.
In another book, A Dance of Change, Senge cited two main reasons that hinder their transformation into a learning organization. The first reason is time, which employees and management in an organization are not willing to commit themselves to. The second reason is the lack of proper training or development. Senge suggests that “as a solution, a mentor or coach who is well versed in the learning organization concept may be necessary”.
In 2005, Senge has given accolades to Evrim Calkavur, a learning organization practice teams master consultant coach: “The (coaching) work of Evrim Calkavur and her colleagues is one of the best examples in the world of he evolution of practical tools for building learning organizations”.
As such, it can be seen that coaching is greatly encouraged as a preferred high work performance practice new methodology. There are many benefits of using coaching as a methodology. These benefits can be classified into personal benefits and benefits for the organization; and tangible and intangible benefits.
As executive coaching is about coaching in organizations, below is a table on the tangible and intangible benefits of executive coaching.
Tangible Benefits of Coaching
Intangible benefits of Coaching
Increase sales / revenue
Increase in customers coming in
Increase of new accounts
Improved quality of services
Improved quality of products
Less customer complaints
Less employee dissatisfaction
Decreased production costs
Decreased employee turnover
Decreased sick leave
Employees are more engaged
Reduced conflict at work
Increased job satisfaction
Improved customer service
Improved employee development
Better morale at work
Better employee relations
Below are interviews with some of the better executive coaches.
Professor Sattar Bawany, EMBA; FPMA, FCIM, MMIS, MSIM, MMDIS, MSHRI, Managing Director & Country Head, Singapore at DBM, Honorary Academic Advisor, IPMA UK, Adjunct Professor of Strategy, PGSM
In a email interview with Professor Bawany, he states that as a Executive Coach delivering Coaching engagement, he is in a position to embark on an ongoing learning and working relationship that takes place in a safe environment designed to build management and leadership strength. He is able to guide or focus coaching clients (coachees) on taking actions towards the realization of their values, visions, goals and desires. Some of the greatest tangible benefits as an Executive Coach is that he is able to impact on the client’s organization bottom line and ensure that companies achieved improved productivity, better quality work, productivity and greater organizational strength. Some of the intangible benefits are that he is able to develop his client’s (coachee’s) better relationships with his/her direct reports, supervisors and peers, improved teamwork and greater job satisfaction, which helps organizations position themselves as employers of choice and gives them a great competitive advantage. Over the years, after embarking Coaching Training and delivering Coaching engagements, Professor Bawany has been able to develop Coaching relationships that are designed to empower managers, supervisors, executives and business owners to learn, grow and produce the results they want. Through the process of coaching, he is able to ensure the clients deepen their learning, improve their performance, and enhance their quality of life. Personally through the development of coaching skills and competencies, Professor Bawany has enhanced his relationship with family members and friends.
Sharon Good, New York’s Life Coach
In a phone interview, it is obvious to hear the passion in her voice. Sharon feels that life coaching is to help an individual to set clear goals, get focused and take actions to get results with greater ease and in a shorter time. She also believes that achieving personal goals will increase a person’s confidence, strengths and skills. Sharon roots on the fact that
Clarity + Focus + Action = Results
For Sharon, one of the intangible benefits of coaching that many people particularly enjoy is having someone there who is totally focused on you and your needs, without running her own agenda. A coach can listen to you like no one has ever listened to you before! For many people, this is very healing and a real confidence-builder.
On a more personal and friendly note, Sharon reiterates that a person should have a focus at any point and any time in his/her life. This focus or vision will help keep the person going forward despite the obstacles or challenges that will come in the way. Coaching acts as a reminder to keep this focus in view.
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