International Coaching Week is celebrated April 29-May 5. Professional coaching has gained additional exposure over the years and continued growth is estimated to be a $2 billion global industry.
The 21st century of work continues to present more rapid change requiring companies and leaders to develop skills that result in greater agility, resiliency and creativity. Creativity not necessarily in the sense of art and design, but the ability to problem solve and quickly develop solutions.
Leaders can acquire these skills with greater efficiency through experiences, coaching and mentoring. The definition of coaching in this context is: partnering with coach(es) in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential (International Coach Federation [ICF] definition). Using coaching to lead an agile culture is correlated with greater confidence in employees’ capabilities in planning and executing change.
Recent research suggests a disconnect between what organizations are offering leaders (employees) for their learning and development and the desire of leaders. High-potential leaders rank personalized learning experiences and coaching from outside sources highest on the list of developmental needs, while organizational leaders are ranking coaching near the bottom of learning offerings.
Knowing what the leaders in your organization desire for their development can influence the organization’s strategy, positive outcomes and company growth. Moreover, leaders are wanting less coaching from managers due to managers not being very good at it. This could be due to a need for formal instruction, training and/or coaching certifications of managers. In addition, leaders can develop a coaching-style leadership approach for greater engagement of their team.
There are several behaviors that are needed to switch to a coaching-style leadership such as using question framing to guide employees through a critical thinking and analysis process to solve problems, transferring the ownership of the solution back to the employee and holding back providing the answers or solutions to the problems.
Setting expectations and holding people accountable are also part of a coaching-style leadership. Coaching-style leadership is not easy. Moreover, proper training can decrease frustration for managers and result in better experiences and outcomes for everyone involved.
Coaches credentialed by the ICF are required to follow a set of core competencies that include setting the foundation, co-creating the relationship with the client, communicating effectively and facilitating learning and results. In addition, each coach is trained to follow a code of ethic and professional standards. Anyone can give themselves a title of coach. Doing your research on coaching credentials could save you time and money.
During the International Coaching Week, the Arkansas/Oklahoma International Coach Federation chapter is hosting two virtual events. One will provide an opportunity for coaches to receive continuing education units. The other will include a panel of ICF credentialed coaches. The format will be a roundtable, and the topics will include why people hire coaches, the top five things to look for in a coach and the outcomes you may encounter by hiring a coach.
We are inviting everyone to attend and learn more about the coaching process. Those interested in attending either event can send an email to the contact information below or visit the ICF Arkansas-Oklahoma Facebook page.
Editor’s note: Rhonda Ellis is a leadership coach in Fayetteville and the director of external relations serving on the board of the ICF Arkansas-Oklahoma Chapter. She can be reached at [email protected] The opinions expressed are those of the author.