Who needs a coach?

In sport having a coach is fact given for granted in order to guarantee performance, focussed effort, attention to details and continuous stretching of your personal motivation to succeed.  Many of the top performers in the show business or in politics are using more or less regularly the expertise of a professional personal coach.  A growing number of large companies and organizations are instilling a coaching culture as a definitive turn from the classic regimented management style based on control and command.

A survey, run by the International Coaching Federation, has revealed a number of highly positive results out of a sample of over 200 business owners, professionals and managers that used coaching.  The main role of the coach was: 84.8 % sounding board, 78.1% motivator, 56.7% friend and 50.5% mentor.  Among the outcomes of coaching we can see:  67.6% higher level of self-awareness, 62.4% smarter goal-setting, 60.5% more balanced life and 57.1% lower stress levels.  The typical issues addressed by the coach we can list: 84.5 % time management, 74.3% career guidance, 73.8% business advice and 58.6% relationship / family issues.

In business people have historically used various sources of education and personal skill to fill the gap between what is expected from their employer or clients and what their natural performance is.  There are obviously many multi skilled people that can plan, organize, manage, sell, invoice, recover credits and grow their business all alone.

As their business grows also the need for more and more specialized skill increases and the single business owner or the partners involved in the business tend to run out of their personal skills. From time to time we all acknowledge the need of a:

  • Solicitor to prepare and check business contracts or to manage some unfortunate litigations with clients and supplier
  • Accountant to prepare the company accounts and tax return
  • HR expert for employment matters
  • Marketing expert for PR, adverts, promotion
  • Computer support to guarantee an efficient and smooth running of our computer systems

The list can be a lot longer depending on the circumstances: it is accepted and common understanding that for a large number of specialized services you will ask for the expertise of a person or company that offers and guarantees success in a particular area.

At the same time when it’s about personal performance, organization, time management, motivation and people management there is a general assumption that these skills can be learnt in the field, with little or no formal preparation or training. A professional executive coach can help you focussing on the two or perhaps three areas you would like to boost or improve in your current job and support you to achieve excellence.

So as a conclusion to this post I would suggest the following.  If we are asking “who needs a coach?” the answer could be: “most people that want to excel in what they are doing”.

Posted under Articles

This post was written by massimo on 24 April 2009

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Improve your business performance and get paid for it

Wouldn’t be great to have the possibility of improving your business and get funded to do that? If your organisation has between 5 and 249 staff, you may be eligible for a Government grant of £1,000 to spend on leadership & management training, coaching or mentoring.

Business and Executive Coaching are excellent tools to boost your business performance and they have proven record of delivering an absolute minimum of 200% ROI.  Coaching helps your company to be more profitable while ensuring a smoother running of your day-to-day business and ultimately delivering higher morale among employees.  It is now possible, for a broader range of companies, to get the Government to fund part of this investment.

Have you ever asked if:

  • The senior managers in your company are role models that are inspiring and motivating staff through changes?
  • Anybody in your business could be helped with their management style?
  • Is your knowledge or your business skills up to date?
  • Are you holding your business back by not delegating and following the old rule that states: “If you want to do something right, do it yourself”?

The Train-to-Gain scheme was recently reviewed and it is now extended to all organizations that:

  • Are private, franchise, public and voluntary bodies.
  • Have between 5 and 249 employees. This is for the whole company, not an individual site.
  • Did not benefit from Leadership and Management grant in the last 12 months.

While the train to gain scheme is applicable to a broad range of coaching, mentoring and training services available to employees in any position within their organization the Leadership and Management section states that:

Train to Gain can help your business:

  • get the essential skills to boost your business performance
  • improve your business efficiency and increase profits
  • help your staff grow in motivation and confidence

To benefit of this service, once checked your eligibility, simply identify a suitable provider for the service you are interested in and then contact the local train-to-gain office.

MaGa Coaching offers a broad range of coaching service to business owners, senior executives and teams.  Please enquire today and check how we can boost your business performance.

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This post was written by MaGa Coaching on 5 February 2009

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Is your team performing at its top?

Is your company using teams as part of the development or sales organization?  Are your teams operating at their top performance level?  A group of people working together are not necessarily a team, particularly when they all do the same, or very similar, job in parallel with each other.  Often people introduce themselves as members of a team: but what is a team?  The book “The Wisdom of Teams” from Jon R. Ketzenbach and Douglas K Smith (Harvard Business School Press) defines a team as small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they are mutually accountable.

If we think about a football team each member has a precise role that operates in various positions on the pitch (complementary skills), have a common aim (scoring in order to win) and are mutually accountable (the team wins or looses, not the individual).  In the working environment a well performing team delivers results that are well beyond the sum of each individual.  Members of a team tend also to be more motivated, effective and focussed.

A new formed team can sometime fail to take off, particularly in the current economic climate, when the morale in many companies can be below average.   In some cases small groups of people are taken from various companies being downsized, they are put together and asked to operate as a team (for development, design, marketing, sales) from one day to the other.  In other cases a team becomes dysfunctional, due to politics, personal conflicts or friction among members: this can waste precious energy and resources causing long lasting damages for the companies where it operates.

Team coaching can offer a helping hand to ensure the prompt and effective start for a new team or the smooth continuity for a dysfunctional one.  The coach’s role is to manage and control the process and stay as much as possible out of the content, regardless of the kind of team being coached.  Fundamental steps to a successful team coaching is to concentrate and work on the team as an organism per se, avoiding details such as what should be done by each member of the team.  The output of a successful team coaching session will have to establish, to an adequate level of details, the following key factors:

  • A common purpose or mission for the team
  • A common performance goal
  • A commonly agreed working approach
  • A commonly agreed mutual accountability

In those cases when a team is run by a leader the approach to team coaching can take two fundamental directions:

  • The leader is coached together with the team as an integral part of it and for the duration of the coaching he/she has equal rights in the development of the above key outcomes.
  • Team and leader are coached separately: the latter can provide input to the team coach before hand, while following an executive coaching program to help him/her focussing on his/her key goals.

The team coach is usually an individual external to the organization although some larger companies are recruiting their own coaches or training internal personnel to be a coach.

Team coaching uses the same basic techniques and methodologies to other coaching practices while being distinct in two ways:

  • It works on the team as a whole: in some cases each individual or at least the ones causing difficulties might require one to one coaching in addition to the team activity.
  • It operates in 1-3 sessions lasting half day to a day instead of a larger number of shorter sessions.

Coaching can substantially improve the team’s and individual’s performance, having a track record of absolute minimum return on investment of 200%.  Can your company afford to keep its teams operating under their top performance?

Posted under Articles

This post was written by massimo on 15 January 2009

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