“We have an extraordinary strategic plan. It’s called DOING THE THINGS.”
No pretense. No defense. Just dedication, strength, pragmatism, business experience and listening. Business coaching can be summarized as follows. An approach that requires commitment to the “flawless and demanding” relationship with the manager, in which it is necessary to bring all one’s resources to bear alongside the manager in often difficult situations. Add to this the ability to grasp the determinants of a person’s environment and professional life, a proven track record of knowing the merits of corporate and business dynamics, being recognized as trustworthy, and remarkable communication and listening skills, and the profile of the coach, the “relentless hound,” is complete.
One fact is firmly established: just now there is a need to turn to the activities of thinking that reflects on itself and the actions put in place, that pauses and analyzes as much the emotional aspects of a situation as the relational ones, even to the point of requiring the support of specifically dedicated professionals. I have often wondered why. What moves us toward this need to better understand what we do, how we do it, and why? What deep motivation makes us feel the need to integrate action by giving more space to moments of cognitive processing, creative exploration, and opening people’s mental and emotional horizons?
Business coaching: what it’s all about
Business coaching today represents, in organizational innovation and development experiences, the most functional structured approach to produce, within a short time frame, important results in terms of activating, engaging and supporting the manager toward business goals and the implementation of necessary changes.
It is a “ one-to-one” intervention, functional to individual growth and training, where the coach acts as a
counselor and guide for the person and where the needs of the individual and the situation they are in
manage are priorities.
The goal is to enhance business-decisive behaviors in management roles, not in the abstract, but in
direct and tangible way, in the daily conduct of activities. It unfolds through a personalized and flexible path, through meetings in which insights, ideas, provocations are applied to the concrete reality of the company, the development of practical skills under observation and the willingness/ability to apply them in the context in which the manager operates is aimed at.
Improve individual and group performance through comparison with reference models and
excellent practices, enhancing and developing skills, setting action plans and verifying the
realization, coaching for improvement are the guidelines of any intervention.
Success is in the results
Successful coaching is measured not only by mutual satisfaction or learnings
generic, but inevitably on the results achieved.
When is it really useful for a manager?
For example, in a time of crisis when, in a hurry, we need to rethink the business model, invent a new approach, evolve the organization quickly. Or when one is catapulted into completely new contexts, perhaps in faraway places, or even when a manager takes a top management responsibility but his or her profile is not yet complete. A period of disorientation may sometimes occur, because you do not quite understand what the real causes of the misalignments are, you cannot identify a clear path. In short, business coaching is generally used in particularly challenging circumstances where one needs that extra reserve of energy, ideas and skills because there is a high dose of unknowns and a real possibility of failure.
Depending on the role of the manager being followed, we start with the desired outcome, working in an integrated manner appropriate to his or her level, on questions such as: which direction to go? Do we really function well? Are the efforts disbursed bringing the desired results? Where to invest to stay competitive? Is there any other way to go? Do the collaborators trust and listen to me? Am I moving well in the relationship network? And so on.
How is a coaching course conducted?
Often the start of a course is stimulated by questions such as: What is your leadership role, what is expected of you? Can you give me a list of business goals for the next 12 months? What are two current opportunities that can enable achievement for the year? And the like, exploring all areas on which intervention is fruitful.
Support that only rarely exceeds 6-8 months, in order to avoid the establishment of dependency or substitution. An intense relationship, condensed into short meetings and diluted over time, that leads the coachee to “come to terms with his own personal characteristics and habits, to question them and change.”
And this is what happens during an interesting coaching intervention in a typical medium-sized, loosely structured family business in which one of the entrepreneur’s relatives takes responsibility for a nascent organizational unit with ambitious market prospects. The flat and unstructured internal organization, with frequent intermingling of business, personal and family matters, results in a sense of uncertainty in the manager in managing and distinguishing work, organizational and relational aspects.
Coaching is thus aimed at developing more autonomous and purposeful leadership, understanding and implementing ways of operating at a critical and start-up time, and engaging the team. Business success is decreed by compliance toward business plan data, consolidation of organization and activities, and accelerated professional maturation.
5. Inclusive, plural, motivating managers and organizations
Thus, the call on organizations (see, for example, the Europe 2020 Societal Challenges) is to succeed in becoming a place of nondiscrimination, inclusiveness and effective cooperation. Variety of backgrounds and ideas is an indispensable ingredient for innovation. The prospect, therefore, is for autonomous, balanced, self-aware leaders to work in enterprises, capable of aggregating and not falling victim to old logics related to internal opposition and guerrilla warfare (the “us vs. them”). People who, with flexibility and a sense of their own value and limitations, are able to act openly and without preconceptions. Social and technological innovation are not disjointed, they go hand in hand, but one does not necessarily imply the other. Such an ideal of personal presence is not achieved without making an investment in terms of working on oneself and becoming aware of how one impacts others and the organization.
Executive Consultant, Psychotherapist & Coach