One of my favourite views on coaching is expressed by the British Journal of Administrative Management: “Coaching takes a holistic view of the individual: work, corporate values, personal needs and career development are made to work in synergy, not against one another.” We are not coaching an executive or a vice-president or a manager; we’re coaching a person. The benefits of coaching extend beyond the organization to the life of the individual. But they also extend beyond the individual to benefit the organization: a truly holistic process.
Those who engage in a coaching relationship see the following benefits:
- Fresh perspectives. Having an objective third-party come in can help you take a look at your job, your situation, your skills, and your challenges in a new way. Maybe a problem also offers an opportunity; maybe skills you own can be applied in a new, unexpected way.
- Thinking and decision-making skills. Knowing the right answers on the quiz is fine; but do you know the right answers in life? How do you apply your true knowing and experience as you make effective decisions? Do you make decisions in a purely logical manner, or do you allow intuition to have a voice? A coach can help you make room for both and develop your ability to make decisions that align with your needs and values.
- Interpersonal effectiveness. Your ability to communicate and to interact with those with whom you work is crucial. Your effectiveness can be severely limited if these skills are underdeveloped. Interpersonal relationships form the core of our work and personal lives; when we can handle these with more tact, grace, and confidence, we will see greater success.
- Confidence. It’s not measurable on its own, but, boy, is it powerful. It is knowing what you can do, and discovering, or uncovering, all the skills and knowledge you have. It is also being comfortable enough to say, “I need some help with this.”
- Productivity. According to a report from the Personnel Management Association, training alone increased productivity by just 22 percent. When combined with coaching, productivity jumped to as much as 88 percent.
- Personal satisfaction. Imagine being satisfied with work and your personal life. At the same time! The skills you develop through coaching don’t stay at the office; they translate into strategies for improving life outside of work. But again, those who are satisfied in their personal lives are more likely to bring that attitude back to work. There is wonderful synergy there.
We are often our own worst enemies. We forget what we are passionate about; we forget what we want to do; we forget the good within us and the good we can do. The real benefit of coaching is that we can stop fighting ourselves and shift from just surviving to thriving.