There is no doubt that the business world has changed. The traditional hierarchical structure has now broken down to such an extent that an authoritarian management style, based on discipline and instruction, is not only ineffective but can actually be counter-productive. Employees are no longer content to quietly work their way up and do as they are told.
In this environment, what differentiates a successful executive or manager from a less successful one is not so much their business skills or knowledge, but rather their ability to understand and manage other people, as well as their own behaviour. Unlike hard skills, this soft skill set cannot be learned in a traditional classroom environment.
The self-evaluation and personal development involved requires a safe space, where the individual can examine their own behaviour and vulnerabilities, without fear of being judged. This process of unlocking internal resources happens through exploration, discussion and practice, both within and between sessions. The opportunity to feed back on progress and adjust action plans on an on-going, one-to-one basis is far more valuable than a once-off training intervention.
As the individual realises and is able to maximise their own potential to think creatively, find solutions and be confident enough to present them in a constructive way, their productivity and effectiveness increases. As they examine their interactions with others, and learn how to plan and commit to measurable outcomes, they begin to trust their own ability to work with and manage others, and not just to adapt to changing circumstances but to actively thrive in them.
When employees are given the opportunity to grow in the personal as well as the career aspects of their lives, they feel valued and appreciated. They are also happier, more productive and more loyal to their company. The resulting enhanced collaboration between all members of the team increases the number of people actively engaged in supporting each other and in building the business.
In short, the return on investment comes in two ways: as employees are empowered to take their coaching experience and make big changes in their lives that benefit themselves, so too do their companies benefit in multiple ways.
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