Coaching – especially leadership and wellbeing coaching – can play a really important part in improving our awareness and confidence, as well as our ability in dealing with challenging scenarios in the workplace.
It’s been found that 80% of people who receive coaching report increased self-confidence, and over 70% benefit from improved work performance, relationships, and more effective communication skills.
Workplace coaching shouldn’t be reserved for those moments when you feel like you’re at rock-bottom. It is something that will benefit you, no matter what stage you are at.
Let Ruth and Tara talk you through the process of coaching, along with the key benefits they believe coaching provides for individual employees and organisations alike…
What is coaching?
It’s important to remember that there are a lot of different types of coaching practices out there. They typically stem from the medical model, such as cognitive behavioural coaching, or gestalt coaching.
Coaching is a collaborative process. The International Coaching Federation (ICF) recognises coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”.
It’s about working together to co-create a process of change. The coach will bring expertise in the coachee’s desired area of growth and together they will find the best path forward to helping the coachee achieve their personal or professional goals.
Coaching is having someone walk side by side with you to help you look at areas of your life (such as work, family, or relationships) and identify what you would like to change. Your coach should then help you recognise how you will achieve that change.
It shouldn’t be about the coach telling you what to do, or being the expert. We’re all masters of our own life!
A coach is there to ask questions from a perspective we may not be used to, to be a mirror and reflect back to you what they see, and allow you to notice things you may not have noticed otherwise. A coach is there as your support as you take the steps you want to take in life.
For me, the coach is slightly behind the client but at their side. I’m more of an intuitive guide than the actual sat nav!
The coaching session is generally led by you, the coachee, so you might need to speak to a few coaches to find someone who resonates and clicks with you. I always ask my clients in our first session what it is about me that they connected with, and it often goes back to either a referral or something I’ve said or written that they have seen online, which taps into what they feel would support them.
What makes coaching different from other types of workplace support?
Coaching differs from mentoring, counselling, and other types of support. Coaching can be more performance-driven, and helps you harness your personal and professional potential. Sometimes though the coach is there to simply hold space for someone whilst they reflect and detangle the proverbial ball of knitting wool inside of their head!
In a coaching environment, your coach holds the process. They will help you identify and clarify goals which are often unclear at the beginning, or change as your coaching progresses.
Coaching has a few similarities to on-the-job coaching, but the overall balance is different. This type of coaching may often be more directive than facilitative, as it’s about providing people with information, knowledge, or skills to develop.
You can still expect to be asked questions on how you think you can approach a situation rather than being given all the answers, but with on-the-job coaching, the coach may draw on their expertise and experience to help you.
Mentoring, on the other hand, tends to be a person of seniority providing guidance and advice to help a developing professional. Meanwhile, counselling is often a more retrospective approach where the counsellor will help an individual work through problems they are experiencing.
It’s important to note that while coaching can be therapeutic, it is not counselling and therefore coaches have boundaries as to where the coaching stops and it is moving into counselling or psychotherapy terrority – this is where a coach should signpost and/or refer the coaches to the right type of practitioner and support.
I position myself as a trauma-informed coach, because of the types of clients I often work with; those based in the humanitarian aid field and those who have experienced domestic abuse and violence. This doesn’t mean I practice psychotherapy/counselling, but it does mean I’m more sensitive with navigating those conversations.
I’m very much the advocate that all coaches should have some trauma-informed training as part of their professional development. We have collectively gone through a pandemic, which is traumatic on so many levels. And in our increasingly complex world, we’ll all likely face our own trauma in life such as, a relationship break-up, job loss, and a personal bereavement.
What are the benefits of coaching?
Coaching has many benefits for individual employees (at all levels!) and organisations as a whole.
Not only does coaching support your employees to unlock their potential, but it also helps employees become more valuable to their organisation by developing and enhancing their skills. Employees grow in self-reliance, gain more job and life satisfaction, and take action to achieve their goals.
As for organisations, coaching can serve as an effective means in executing an effective global mental health strategy, and demonstrates a company’s ongoing commitment to the personal development and wellbeing of employees. By addressing workplace wellbeing and mental health on a global scale, organisations can ensure that they are doing more to support each employee on an individual level.
If employees are healthier, happier, and more confident in their skill sets, the more productive and engaged they become. Coaching allows employees to feel empowered and contribute more effectively to their team and organisation, which means that performances improve, revenues increase, and workplaces thrive.
When investing in coaching for employees, it’s important to remember that this practice isn’t just for early careers or people who are new to the business; instead, think of it as a need-to-have for all employees to help support their wellbeing and ongoing development.
Tara’s top benefits of coaching:
- Increased self-awareness
- A commitment to a change you have identified and created
- Increased motivation and productivity
- Increased wellbeing and happiness
- A sense of purpose and greater meaning in life
- Increased self-confidence and self-esteem
- Creates a space for exploration and mindfulness
Ruth’s top benefits of coaching:
- Becoming clear on your meaning and purpose
- Being able to navigate difficult situations such as changing your career
- How to become ‘unstuck’ and create your energetic flow
- A safe space to air difficult thoughts and feelings to help you move forwards
- Creates self-awareness and self-development
- Building your tool-box of interventions for the future
- Being challenged on your thinking and decisions (in a fun way!!)
Takeaway thoughts on the benefits of coaching
The benefits of coaching are almost endless. For us, we see the overarching benefit of coaching being the impact it can have on our personal mental health and wellbeing. All of the individual benefits of coaching band together to create one super-benefit: Mental Wealth.
Coaching really can benefit anyone and everyone. To close this chapter on coaching, here are some parting words from Tara and Ruth about their experiences with coaching…
One of the biggest challenges when starting out with coaching for the first time is knowing what to talk about. But try and trust the process as much as you can. Learn to tune in to what your body and mind are telling you, to what pops into your brain when you are asked a question, and let this out without filtering or wondering what your coach may or may not want to hear.
The coaching sessions I’ve got the most from are those that I had no idea on what I would talk about, but then found myself amazed an hour or so later when the session ended. I felt like I’d only just got started!
One of my clients used to say to me that in every session, I asked him a question that landed with him in a way he couldn’t ignore, and stayed with him for a long time afterwards. He couldn’t necessarily answer it- but it made him think. That’s what a good coach does in my mind.
I often find that clients come to me having gone through therapy and found it had worked, but they need ‘more’, or they didn’t find it helpful because it didn’t feel forward thinking enough.
I feel there’s an outdated view that coaching is about the future, and that therapy is all about the past. Sometimes in coaching, when we look at how to navigate a difficult situation, or learn that there’s a need to change careers, it’s useful to understand parts of the past to unlock those repeated behaviours or patterns. It can then be useful to demonstrate this to the client.
As a coach, I tend to work with people on a scale from 0-10 rather than -10 – 0. That’s where I think therapy works from getting some from the minus to the starting point.
Our expert CHAMPS team offers coaching packages at all levels. Whether you’re after performance-related support, an opportunity to build personal development for leaders, or need a helping hand in managing your wellbeing, Team CHAMPS coaches have a wealth of different backgrounds and skills to ensure that you’re matched with someone that works perfectly for you.
Feel free to reach out, or find out more about our services.