Coaching and the Transformed Workplace

A man and woman are sitting talking and discussing something.

By Julie Weber

Based on numerous studies and experiences the 21st-century workplace requires a different kind of atmosphere than what it used to be even a decade ago. The generation joining the workforce now thinks differently than their parents did.  This new generation has distinct desires, and they do their job differently as well. Work culture has gone through a major change.

A man and woman are sitting talking and discussing something.
Coaching and the Transformed Workplace

There appears to be a shortage of newly hired experts of talent or if they are available, they come at a great cost. More and more companies are looking to fill these positions with existing team members and upskill them for the task at hand. Adult learning has become an empowering experience for many, it is an excellent investment on behalf of the company, and it is often a win-win solution for both the business and the employees.

Apart from learning specific skills, there are a plethora of online courses that can be taken for personal growth and development. With people becoming more self-aware these are in great command, and the workplace can do a lot to accommodate this growing interest.

Learning about personal growth is not the same as going through personal growth. One of the great ways to do it is by enlisting the help of coaches. Having a live, trained coach is a truly transforming experience, where the coach relies on the clients to be experts of their own lives. That expertise is tapped into with the aid of an intense and highly attentive presence and carefully crafted, skillful questions. These questions, in turn, evoke not only answers and also solutions to the clients previously agreed-on goals or issues. This is where the great difference is between coaching and counseling: the answers come from the client, not the coach. Coaching relies on the very resources the clients have even though they may not be aware of having them.

Coaching has become a sought-after and highly regarded method and profession with outstanding personal development and life-changing results. The beauty of coaching is in taking advantage of the creativity of the human mind simply by asking the right questions. After resurfacing from a pandemic-ridden world where people wish to be listened to and heard after months and months of isolation and loneliness, coaching proves to be a brilliant way of changing lives for the better.

Companies quickly discovered the potential in coaching, and with the changing landscape of both the workplace and the workforce, many enlisted the services of certified coaches. The outcome is astounding and eventually leads to greater profit. The International Coaching Federation has seen a significant increase in the number of coaches and external coaches contracted by companies. Coaches change culture, and companies today are paying top dollar to achieve that.

What Does Coaching Do?

What does coaching mean for the workplace? It can be the first step in discovering what an employee can do or learning to do given the opportunity. Certified coaches are held to high ethical and professional standards, requirements and guidelines. Some of the essential steps of the coaching process are as follows:

  • Establishing trust and intimacy with the client
  • Actively listening to the client and supporting their self-expression
  • Asking open-ended questions thereby creating the possibility of new learning
  • Communicating directly from another perspective what the client wants or is uncertain about
  • Helping the client to gain awareness and discover the new thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, emotions, moods, etc. which strengthens their ability to take action and achieve what is important to them
  • Creating opportunities for ongoing learning and for taking new actions by planning and goal setting
  • Managing progress and accountability towards the goals while reminding the client of their responsibility to achieve these, and complementing them for steps taken in that direction

In order to establish a coaching culture in the workplace, the leadership recognizes its benefits and train managers responsible for teams of people to become good team coaches. This is called internal coaching. The essential skills can be learned relatively quickly and if focused on and practiced enough, things like active listening, asking the right questions, goal setting, and accountability become second nature and part of the daily operations of the team.

Naturally, coaching can be accomplished individually or in a group setting, focusing on individual strengths and potential capacities while enhancing the productivity and success of the team. The point is for effective, solution-focused conversations to be happening several times.

In our next blog, we look at Coaching for Company Leaders. To explore further about coach training or coaching and coaching certification, check out the Center for Coaching Certification.

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