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What actually are the more useful direct benefits of coaching to the organisation?

Organisational Benefits of Coaching.

Before we dive into the benefits of organisational coaching let us begin with a definition of what coaching is. The International Coaching Federation (ICF) define coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

This provides a very nice definition of how a professional coach would approach setting up a coaching relationship. This is quite common in large organisations where executive coaching, highly specialised niche coaching reserved for top members of an organisation, takes place in a one-to-one coaching process. Although leadership coaching is the best known, an individual coaching culture is starting to emerge as an approach to improving work performance for which I’ll expand on later in the article.

Now having said the above, a client is not necessarily an individual. In the last decade, organisations have begun to heavily adopt team-based ways of working for which group coaching is becoming commonplace. Of course, senior managers and leadership teams have perhaps benefited first from this coaching practice, but we have seen a team-based coaching approach adopted with roles like Agile Coach and team mentor supporting front line staff.

Organisational coaching is the next level up beyond a team or business unit and focuses on the wider system of individuals. Terms such as a team of teams or companies as an ecosystem have emerged over the last couple of years and describe a whole organisation interaction. Specialist professional coaching, provided by a certified organisational coach, is moving the coaching conversation forward toward a new learning culture focused on employee engagement and employee experience.

In this article, I’ll take the concepts introduced above and discuss the benefits you can expect from each.

Individual Coaching

Individual Coaching in an organisation can appear in many different forms. As mentioned in the opening paragraphs executive coaching is the most well know individual coaching.

An executive coach can help a senior leader improve their skills by gaining self-awareness, clarifying goals, help them achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, and act as a sounding board; becoming that person’s objective ally in obtaining all the said benefits.

Another form of individual coaching that operates in a similar fashion to executive coaching would be the career development of a promising VP/Manager. Senior management may wish for their direct reports to experience the same benefits they have had from coaching and wish to help those individuals focus on enhancing their career goals and professional development with a coaching programme designed to keep them accountable on a regular cadence or to the agreed coaching outcomes.

HR professionals can support organisational performance outcomes, personal development, professional development and work performance by sponsoring a coaching programme, those outcomes are heavily aligned.

“Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player. We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” Bill Gates.

Team Coaching

There are many articles and studies that show us that the idea of group intelligence, and how it directly impacts performance and corporate culture, is a real tangible organisational challenge, not just for those that notice and focus on it, but also for those that do not and suffer the unintended consequences.

Modern progressive tech companies, like Google, have promoted the idea of creating psychological safety in their teams because studies, including their own project Aristotle, have shown the better performing teams are the ones who have a high degree of psychological safety. This is easier said than done with many team dynamics and personal agendas at play. Google themselves determined it was more about how a team worked together than who was on the team and this means bringing a team together as a unit is not solely dependent on the team members, a group of high achievers may not a great team make.

Team coaching sessions are designed as an insular container for a conversation, inviting the unspoken into the group’s focus with the goal of raising self-awareness, and establishing more trust. As Patrick Lencioni put in his bestselling book “The 5 dysfunctions of a team” the absence of trust was the base layer for all other dysfunctional behaviours in a team through which team coaching, using external coaches, or indeed internal coaches, to run a coaching session or two can really help teams jump start or correct their trajectory towards high performance.

Organisational Coaching

Organisational Coaching focuses on collective work, how do you develop a culture to facilitate information flow, decision making and space for everyone to be heard. It is incredibly difficult to gain a wide set of responses from people within an organisation, let alone process that information and utilise the data to make necessary changes or improvements within that organisation.

Our team are Organisation and Relationship Systems Coaches. This is an innovative and powerful coaching model based on Relationship Systems Intelligence. A ‘relationship system’ is any interdependent group of people, sharing a common identity or function. Psychologists might refer to a ‘collective consciousness. Business consultants might talk about a ‘corporate culture’. Therapists would likely address ‘family dynamics’.
If you suffer from dysfunctional or toxic communication patterns, low group morale, conflict avoidance, or poor conflict resolution, compounded by ineffective or confusing communication and role confusion, the results will be high attrition and poor performance.

So how do you keep the talent you have? One way is through coaching, the benefits of coaching to individuals and organisations can help your people feel valued and heard, it shows compassion from leaders that they are not only concerned about the output of individuals but rather their whole selves in how they show up to work every day. Modern leaders need social currency to engage their people as they do the authority to make decisions.

Our team of coaches at 1ovmany are experienced Organisational Relationship System Coaches, (ORSC) we use this form of coaching to work with any size of system from an individual to a whole organisation. ORSC coaching is an integrated and robust coaching model based on Relationship Systems Intelligence™. Beyond Emotional Intelligence (relationship with oneself) and Social Intelligence (relationship with others) is the realm of Relationship Systems Intelligence where one’s focus shifts to the relationship with the group, team or system. This approach creates sustainable and resilient teams, organizations.

Summary.

There is a common thread amongst the different types of coaching, progressive development and increased self-awareness, which will ultimately lead to improvements in organisational impact metrics. Coaching can feel like a luxury, but as I have seen at one of our client’s organisation in the past year, relationships have never faced tests such as we have seen and the organisation has been able to support their people, not just financially but also to their wellbeing, strengthening the bond of their people, their employee experience and productivity. I feel fortunate to have been able to play a part in helping them as we look forward to a brighter 2021.

Why not get in touch with us to find out more about how our Coaching services could help your people and teams in your organisation.

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