Updated: Dec 10, 2019
Most of the coaching I do is with senior executives or leaders in a wide variety of sectors. These clients are in C-Suite roles (CEO, CFO, CIO etc.) usually in large multi-national corporate environments or in the case of small and medium sized businesses, managing directors and / or business owners.
However, coaching is a powerful approach and skillset that can be applied in many areas resulting in game-changing goal-based outcomes or profound transformational shifts and changes for clients where they are able to move to a different level in their work and personal lives.
Here are just a few examples of where coaching can be used beyond the C-Suite within a workplace setting and with great impact:
Coaching for Performance – Often, coaching for performance is associated with remedial intervention to address a “poor performer”, but this is not what I am addressing here. For me, coaching for performance is about helping people who are already performing well to become even more effective in her or his current job role.
Typically, I work with people who are newly promoted into a management or leadership role or who are early in their leadership career. The areas of focus are typically around providing confidential and independent support and encouragement to people who need to make the step change required when moving into such a role and to ensure they accelerate towards becoming fully effective and fully performing as soon as possible.
Coaching for Development – Developmental coaching can also be introduced for those newly promoted or early in their leadership careers. It can also be hugely beneficial in preparing someone for a planned job change or job progression that has not yet happened. Enlightened organisations understand this and prepare employees well in advance of making the change so, to some extent, they “hit the ground running” rather than starting from scratch.
Coaching for Succession – Regrettably, in my experience, whilst some organisations spend a lot of time talking about and holding succession planning meetings and reviews, the follow up actions are often sadly lacking. As a result, the succession plans are no more than a collection of paper and PowerPoints and, it is only when the need for succession arises that organisations realise their succession action planning is not fit for purpose and not based on current reality.
Coaching for succession really should be part of a succession strategy. What I mean by this is that it should be directed towards a “pool” of talent within a succession planning pipeline and not just one “high-flyer” (reliance on one “Golden Egg” is a high-risk strategy). This helps to support the creation of multiple succession candidates and, in addition, if this is then integrated into development planning and development actions it can really help accelerate the progression, readiness and preparedness of the succession candidates.
So, whilst many organisations invest their coaching dollars, euros and pounds at the top levels of the organisation, they should perhaps consider investing deeper into the organisation to support and cultivate internal talent development, which is good for the business and good for the individuals concerned.
Clearly the ROI (Return on Investment) of investing in coaching and development of internal talent is far more cost-effective than having to buy-in talent from the outside. This is not just in absolute financial terms but in terms of the benefits derived from employee engagement, employee retention, culture of promotion from within and so on.
Managing Director and Principal Executive Coach
Bondgate (Scotland) Ltd