By Carole Gaskell

It’s 10 years since Coaching entered the corporate arena as a developmental tool. Initially viewed as a fad, it is now recognised as a fundamental aspect of leadership.

Coaching, which is essentially about getting the best out of someone, inspires and empowers individuals and organisations to unlock and achieve their full potential. Coaches apply emotional and intellectual intelligence to the multi-facetted elements of life and work. In essence, coaches connect people to their internal strengths and enable organisations to enhance performance and develop their people and their business.

How can your business benefit from coaching?

1. Increased Performance and Productivity
Inspired leaders communicating a compelling vision, clarifying goals, roles and responsibilities and empowering people to take responsibility, work to their strengths and optimise their contribution, energise people and align them with the bigger picture.

Highly effective leaders and managers setting smarter goals, operating at high levels of personal performance and coaching their people to do the same streamlines and maximises productivity. Cohesive, synergistic team-working boosts morale, job satisfaction and individual and group performance.

2. Improved Staff Retention
Inspired, effective leaders command trust and respect, make people feel valued and recognise their contribution, so people know they make a difference and want to stay and thrive in a positive, creative environment.

Coaching stimulates growth. People feel they are expanding their capabilities; being supported and encouraged to develop this heightens their sense of personal fulfilment. Greater clarity of purpose and synergistic team-working bonds people together, makes work enjoyable and the organisation a great place to belong to.

Inspirational leadership styles allow people to take ownership of projects and initiatives, thereby promoting proactive, responsible individuals, who make better decisions.

3. Increased Profitability
A positive, motivated workforce, means lower staff turnover — resulting in cost savings on the bottom line. Inspired people with powerful interpersonal skills create stronger customer/client relationships thereby increasing business volume from current clients and creating fresh business opportunities from new clients, enhancing turnover whilst minimising above the line expenditure.

Motivated individuals take less time off sick, reducing costs incurred in lost productivity and sickness benefits. Coaching leverages learning and ensures new skills are embedded and retained, thereby making better use of training budgets and resources.

4. Positive Culture Change
Coaching creates employee buy-in and ownership of new initiatives, so people play a proactive part in co-creating positive change. Culture change is championed, fully embraced and celebrated from within the organisation, which ultimately generates a more profound impact externally.

How can you benefit from coaching?

1. There’s a Collaborative Partnership
Coaching works because you've got a collaborative partner in your coach. Someone who is by your side as you grow. Someone who understands the creative and achievement process and knows when to pull, when to push and when to shut up. Someone who helps you to focus on your strengths and minimise your weaknesses. Someone you can share your ideas with, knowing that you will be heard and respected, no matter what. Finally someone who comes to know you and helps you focus on what matters most to you.

2. You Agree Regular Sessions
Coaching works because you're connecting frequently. Many coaches speak with clients once a fortnight, sometimes more, sometimes less, either face-to-face or by telephone. Having that consistent structure provides a supportive framework. If your coaching appointment, for example, is 2pm on the first Thursday of each month, you'll probably find yourself naturally getting more done by 1:59 than you would have on your own. With a coach, you tend to have a tighter focus, generate more commitment and take the actions you know are needed to reach your goals, no self-talk or willpower needed.

3. There’s a Personal Focus
Coaching works because you focus on YOU, not just the goal and the business. There are two parts to sustainable success - the ‘Who’ (you) and the ‘What’ (the goal). To work exclusively on the ‘What’ can make you one-dimensional, thus limiting your opportunities to develop and evolve, which are key to long-term fulfilment.

At the end of the day, it’s not the attainment of the goals themselves that brings fulfilment, but rather YOU, your feelings and your connection with yourself as a person. Coaching develops your awareness of this. The focus is up to you, but can include your needs, values, strengths, the things you love and enjoy and many of those other elements that simply get lost in the busyness of life.

Click here to read How to Find a Business Coach

Click here to read How to find a Coaching Firm

Carole Gaskell, CEO and Founder of Full Potential Group (www.fullpotentialgroup.com).