Waste collection goes wrong? Maybe THIS organisation didn’t think that coaching their staff was important. Look what happened! You don’t want to end up with roses in YOUR lorry now do you, so please read on to learn how coaching can help, whether you are employee or employer:
Coaching – What’s In It For Individuals?
In a nutshell, it’s no exaggeration to say that the skills you can get from coaching can make or break your career. Let’s find out why this is so:
Now, you probably know that you can categorise skills into hard skills and soft skills. Basically:
- Hard skills are what you do with things.
- Soft skills are what you do with people.
Coaching aside, you will know all about hard skills. They’re the nuts and bolts of skills and knowledge used in day-to-day work. You can’t do your job at all without hard skills. You won’t be able to operate the CNC lathe, post the invoice to the ledger, graph the quarter’s sales, pack the buffalo chicken wings or connect the fire hose.
Until recently, soft skills were seen as “fluffy” and pet-like
People will soon know if you lack hard skills, because they are easy to assess and usually very visible. If you don’t have the relevant ones, you’ll be left standing in the ashes with singed eyebrows whilst your colleagues buzz around you putting out the fire.
You will quite likely receive “training” as opposed to “coaching” to learn hard skills – going on a course with other people, often away from your normal place of work. But if you’ve learned hard skills “on the job”, as part of your day’s work, this is a form of coaching, whether it was called that or not.
But what about soft skills?
Soft skills are used whenever you interact with people – communicating, cooperating, influencing, delegating, encouraging, motivating – and lots, lots more! Soft skills are not as visible as hard skills and they’re trickier to measure and assess. Until recently, soft skills were seen as “fluffy” and pet-like, a nice-to-have distraction from the “real” work. It’s quite likely that during all the years you spent at school, college or university, you were never taught any soft skills at all.
And yet, these skills are arguably more important than those nuts-and-bolts hard skills, especially when you become responsible for looking after some of your colleagues. This is because, as a manager, you will spend less time at the coalface and more time negotiating, influencing, delegating, motivating etc. – all requiring well-developed soft skills. If you’ve suddenly been promoted into a management role having come up “through the ranks”, you may find yourself looking around the table at the faces you are now personally responsible for, and realise to your horror that you haven’t the first idea how to serve them at all. It’s probably not your fault – you’ve simply yet to learn the soft skills so vital for your role.
a lack of soft skills could see you shut away in a dark corner like Quasimodo in his bell tower
If that wasn’t enough to persuade you, you need to know that the people with the best soft skills are the ones who tend to succeed in management and get promoted fast. They know how to play the game, how to enable their colleagues to give of their best, how to lead, how to influence. People without these skills may find themselves overlooked for promotion; kept out of the limelight. In fact, a lack of soft skills could see you shut away in a dark corner like Quasimodo in his bell tower.
Coaching can help you gain those valuable soft skills. Once you have them, you can take them with you wherever you go. Soft skills are “life” skills. Move to a new company and you may need to learn how to work a different kind of photocopier or prepare a different format of report for the board each month, but your soft skills – your attitude; your self-awareness; how you get your ideas across; how you “win friends and influence people” – these are yours to keep, forever useful.
And that’s what’s in it for you as an individual.
But what if your role is to arrange coaching and training not for yourself, but for your organisation as a whole?
Coaching – What’s In It For My Organisation?
Let’s find out why coaching needs to play its vital part, right now, in your organisation. More than this, if you’re considering coaching, you will find some powerful ammunition to help you justify the investment to the powers that be.
Put simply and somewhat coldly, coaching will give you a good return on investment.
In a survey conducted by the Institute of Leadership & Management in 2011, 95% of the 250 organisations questioned believed that coaching was worth doing. That’s a very high proportion of believers, and I can tell you now that I wouldn’t like to work in one of the other 5%!
like the pretty lettering in a stick of seaside rock, coaching needs to run right through your organisation
The numbers offering coaching are also impressive: An enlightened 52% offered coaching to all staff at whatever level and 63% offered coaching to management-level staff only. However, 20% admitted to not offering coaching at all, to anyone. Hopefully if your organisation is still in this last group, it won’t be for long, because nowadays we know that for best results, like the pretty lettering in a stick of seaside rock, coaching needs to run right through your organisation, available to all. Please read on to understand why…
These days it’s getting harder to differentiate your organisation from any other. Pricing is all over the internet, everything is commoditised. But the one single thing that can ALWAYS differentiate your organisation, the one characteristic that will always be unique, is your people. Your people are not their job titles. They are far more complex and every single one of them has something unique to bring to the party. Your people have the potential to make your organisation sparkle and fizz – if only you will help them to do so. Coaching can be that help.
your people are not their job titles
Growing a coaching culture first of all shows that you care about developing your people beyond their job titles, readying them for greater success and future horizons. It makes people realise that they belong to a very special club. It gives them control over their own destinies; enables them to bring ideas and creativity to the workplace; gives them greater autonomy and responsibility. It also frees management time to get on with management of the organisation rather than management of its people, because they will be quite capable of managing themselves thank-you-very-much!
Showing that you care, through coaching, boosts morale, and, in a very short space of time, can have quite a startling effect on sickness levels (£), productivity (££) and staff retention (£££!!!)
Pound signs aside, growing your people says a lot about you and your organisation. A reputation for being a “great place to work” soon develops – look at Zappos in America and Happy.co.uk in this country. I bet they never have much trouble attracting the very best people in their fields.
when you actively promote the development of your people through coaching, you can breathe the clean, crisp air of the moral high ground
On a personal level, when you actively promote the development of your people through coaching, you can breathe the clean, crisp air of the moral high ground, sleeping well at night knowing that you have played a valuable part in people’s lives, helping them to give of their best to the world. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Always Consult is, of course, an accredited coaching provider, so if you need some high quality help with you coaching needs, please do get in touch and we’ll soon get the ball rolling – no roses in YOUR lorry!