At Learning Insights, developmental, solution-focused consulting takes a broad, strategic approach to making sense for you, rather than specific and detailed information as in skills-based consulting. This kind of consulting is often about who you are as a business, as a team, even as an individual. It asks questions such as: How do we work more effectively as a business, or in our teams as individuals? How do we overcome characteristic shortcomings of our type of business, or ourselves as a team? How do we increase profitability and retention of satisfied cliient?
For individuals it encourages such questions: How do I work more effectively myself and with others? How do I overcome my characteristic short comings? How do I work effectively with people I find it hard to like or respect? What do I need for the next stage in my career?
We deal with highly specific questions about the business, the way it works, it’s strengths and where vulnerabilities are perceived to lie. For individuals it asks highly personal questions about business, professional, career or life issues. This kind of analysis often leads to change and leadership development programmes. Driving a business through such change and learning often becomes a highly personal venture. It can be more effective therefore when supported by an outside consultant.
At Learning Insights our approach to organisational consulting is about asking questions, not telling. At the level of executive directors, senior management and specialist managerial skills, the consultant cannot tell an individual what to do. The task of the consultant is to provide a climate and a set of conditions that make for the opportunity to clarify the existing goals, see new and creative alternatives or identify solutions, explore their implications, help set an action plan, deliver on some of the skills to begin the implementation of the action and provide opportunity for review and evaluation.
If you have coaching or organisational challenges and you would like to talk about our services in this respect, CLICK HERE for COACHING or CONTACT US directly.
More about OUR COACHING APPROACH
Coaching is a collaborative relationship formed between coach and coachee for the purpose of attaining professional or personal development outcomes which are valued by the coachee (Spence & Grant, 2007).
Typically, the coaching goals are set in order to stretch and develop an individual’s current capacity or performance. In essence the coaching process facilitates goal attainment by helping individuals to: (i) identify desired outcomes, (ii) establish specific goals, (iii) enhance motivation by identifying strengths and building self-efficacy, (iv) identify resources and formulate specific action plans, (v) monitor and evaluate progress towards goals, and (vi) modify action plans based on feedback.
Coaching is a broadly-applied human change methodology and has been applied across many areas, including: workplace stress reduction business coaching; communication and leadership skills; career development; team building and group development; improving sales skills and performance, and coaching to improve performance in job interviews.
Coaching applications can be categorised under one of three main categories: 1. skills coaching, 2. performance coaching, and 3. developmental coaching.
1. Skills’ coaching focuses on developing a specific, designated skill set. The coach often models the required skills and behaviour, and coaching sessions then involve a rehearsal and feedback process. For example. skills’ coaching may be used for improving skills in areas such as: presentation, communication and sales skills, or preparation for negotiations.
2. Performance coaching is concerned with improving performance over a specific timeframe; ranging from just a few weeks to several years in workplace settings. Performance coaching focuses on the processes by which the coachee sets goals, overcomes obstacles and evaluates and monitors their performance over a period of time. Performance coaching is somewhat more strategic than skills coaching, and in the workplace may take place following a performance review or in relation to a specific workplace project.
3. Developmental coaching also takes a broader strategic approach and deals with the individual’s personal and professional development. Developmental coaching refers to coaching aimed at enhancing the individual’s ability to meet current and future challenges more effectively via the development of increasingly complex understanding of the self, others and the systems in which the person is involved. This kind of coaching may focus on facilitating perspective taking and meaning making, enhancing emotional competencies, and working more effectively with team members. Developmental coaching often involves the creation of personal reflective spaces where coachees can explore issues and options and formulate action plans in a confidential, supportive environment. The majority of leadership and executive coaching is primarily developmental in nature.
For performance coaching, the coach may need to more competent in root cause analysis; problem solving; action planning and goal setting skills, as well as being able to manage the coachee’s performance over a specific timeframe. Development coaching requires the coach to possess greater competence in the intra -and inter-personal domains, superior active listening and reflection skills, and the ability to help the coachee explore more personal aspects of their work or personal lives.
Executive coaching encompasses a vast range of services and specialties; coaching for enhanced strategic planning; presentation skills; anger and stress management; executive management team building, and leadership development. Much executive coaching is primarily developmental interwoven with skills and performance coaching components, and is most often delivered by external coaching providers, i.e., by professional coaches who are not part of the client organization.
Hall, Otazo and Hollenbeck (1999) identified a range of coaching behaviours, skills and attributes that coachees found helpful. These included core empathy building skills, particularly good listening skills. Other factors contributing to the effectiveness of coaches include the coach’s level of credibility and confidence, the coach displaying authenticity and integrity and showing a willingness to probe and challenge the coachee. In addition, many coachees find that the coach’s ability to use their own personal career experience to inform the coaching process to be a valuable skill, and this may be particularly important for coaches acting in an executive consultancy or advisory role.
Other important factors that have been identified include establishing clear boundaries with the client, acting to preserve confidentiality, and working flexibly to meet coachees’ needs. In addition some researchers have emphasised the importance of the coach being able to work from a psychodynamic perspective (i.e., with the client’s unconscious impulses and motivations
Exploring senior executives’ view on what makes executive coaching effective Passmore (2008) found that executives hold strong opinions about what works.
Key factors related to successful coaching outcomes identified thus far include a collaborative style of working, being friendly without becoming a friend, maintaining coachee confidences, providing candid feedback and fostering self awareness in the coachee and ensuring that the coaching conversation focuses completely on the coachee’s needs. Additionally highlighted has been the importance of the coachee’s commitment to the process. Also identified as valuable is connection between the coach and client, unconditional positive regard, the coach selection process, client accountability, openness and motivation on the part of both parties and the tacit knowledge of the coach.
In terms of the role of personality in coaching, conscientiousness, openness to experience and emotional stability were related to the transfer of developmental insights from coaching into the workplace, and it is suggested that personality measures may have value as a means of identifying coachees who may require support in order to make manifest the learnings developed in the coaching session.
According to Keyes (2003) mental health is far more than the mere absence of mental illness symptoms. It is represented by high levels of psychological wellbeing, including self-acceptance, purpose in life, positive relations with others, environmental mastery, and autonomy. Workplace or employee engagement is another important concept for organizational. Conceived as the positive opposite of job burnout, workplace engagement can be understood as a state of high energy, strong involvement, and strong sense of commitment to the performance of work functions (Maslach & Goldberg, 1998).
At Learning Insights we offer developmental coaching.
As above, if you have coaching or organisational challenges and you would like to talk about our services in this respect, CLICK HERE FOR COACHING or CONTACT US directly.