Why Innovative Businesses Offer Coaching for All Professionals

Coaching Has Power

Competition drives businesses to innovative—but innovation isn’t just for the products and services they market. Innovation also includes how companies get the product to market. With “people operations” being a large cost to the bottom line, businesses are looking for ways to reduce pay or get more productivity from their employees. With change comes opportunities as well as challenges. With a changing mix of generational work preferences and soft skills, business leadership should be asking how the increase in remote working, competition for talent, and managerial coaching will affect their profitability in the future.

Remote Working

In more recent history, the open-floor plan with cubicles and few closed-door offices exploded throughout corporate America, touted by consultants as the next best thing to sliced bread as far as office design went. C-Suite took their bait on the selling points of innovation and productivity. How that concept passed any reasonableness test still baffles me today, but it’s easily explained as a cost reduction exercise in rent per employee under the disguise of collaboration. Open floors drove people to mediate their circumstances by either working from their home office or donning headphones to block noise and distracting hallway conversations. I would argue that employee collaboration took a step back, as technology allowed employees to work more remotely and independently.

Some employees who enjoy the freedom of working from a home office express feel less connected from their co-workers. Without face-to-face engagement, relationship bonds can weaken, and in many cases, remote employees never forge a relationship with new employees. Remote staff have limited opportunities for casual conversations in the break room while grabbing a cup of coffee or in the conference room before a meeting. Connection is built in small interactions over time and keeps the team accountable to each other.

Generational Work Preferences

Technology has enabled people to isolate themselves while working remotely. Even when a boss requires an employee to work in a cubicle, email and SharePoint allow one to communicate without a verbal conversation. Need to learn something new? YouTube probably has an instructional video.

Effective communication requires one to use all parts: words, tone of voice, and body language. Did you know that words comprised only 7% of the message? How much is lost in translation when one primarily uses email and other forms of word-based technology to convey messages.

A teacher recently shared that with every incoming 4th grade class, the students resist more and more when asked to work in groups. They beg to do the assignment by themselves. What happened to the days when the teacher announced a group project, and the kids responded by raising their hands and pleading who they could work with. Are soft skills under attack and underdeveloped based on the technology advances?

Managerial Coaching

Technology has also shifted the responsibilities of supervisors by pushing more administrative duties onto their plates. Managers had to make room for these tasks, and in some cases, even added work assignments to the mix for the sake of increased productivity. What would you think was prioritized out of their day? If you answered, “time coaching their team and helping their direct reports be successful,” you’d be correct. Managers would like to spend 25% of their time coaching, yet many have no time left over other than to make sure the work gets done.

A Professional Coach Is One Solution

How will businesses respond to the changing work climate? They can certainly restructure work and put coaching at the forefront of a manager’s responsibilities. Given the prolonged impact of technology, some managers have never developed the skill of coaching or perhaps need a refresher. A professional coach can help a manager learn to be a better coach for his or her team.

A second option is to make business and leadership coaching available as an investment for all professional employees. In the past, coaching has been reserved for top executives, but the benefits of coaching can be leveraged at any level so long as someone wants to be coached. Many employees like the confidentiality afforded in a coaching relationship and feel less vulnerable asking for help from a coach as opposed to their direct manager.

Coaching Can Be Justified

Companies offer tuition reimbursement, training, and other educational options as a benefit to attract talent. Many also budget for personnel development. How much does your company spend per person on employee education and training? Coaching can be a value-add to this portfolio. Personalized coaching is a win-win and can be a company differentiator in attracting top talent, because it sends the message that we value you and want to invest in you if you are willing to invest in yourself.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

 

 

Self-Leadership: Mental Muscle Goes Beyond Book Smarts

College student strugglingA recent survey (Morin, 2017) revealed that although students felt academically prepared for college, they expressed concern regarding their lack of emotional preparedness to take care of themselves, adapt to new environments, control negative emotions or behaviors, and build positive relationships.  What happened?  Did the cart get put before the horse?  Did well-meaning parents overinvest in the academic advantage before building a solid foundation of soft skills and competencies that would allow the hard skills and knowledge to flourish?  Unfortunately, many of these intelligent college students are turning to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain of uncomfortable feelings. Heartbreaking! What can be done?  My recommended solution is mental boot camp with a coach.

What happens when we don’t exercise our muscles? You would probably answer, “They get flaccid and lose strength!”  This concept also applies to our mental muscle.  You may ask, “What is mental muscle?” I define mental muscle as the integrated system of intelligence quotient (IQ), emotional intelligence (EI), and social intelligence (SI). It requires regular exercise to remain strong and available to solve problems.

You cannot strengthen a muscle by reading how to strengthen it or by observing someone else strengthening theirs.  The only way to grow muscle is to exercise it, which means that likely you will need to put yourself in challenging situations where you will struggle and sometimes fail.  No one would deny that everyone could benefit from a trainer when working out in the gym, and the same concept applies when growing your mental muscle.  Everyone can benefit from a coach, who will be your partner as you work through a life plan, overcome obstacles, and get up and dust yourself off to try a different approach.

Morin (2017) found that although the majority of college students were struggling with emotional preparation and mental strength, nearly half of them felt that everyone else had life figured out but them.  Little did they know that they were not alone!  I encourage all young adults to reach out for a coaching partner.

Reference

Morin, A. (2017). A Survey of 1,502 College Students Revealed This Is the One Skill They Wished Their Parents Had Taught Them. The Inc. Life. Retrieved from: https://www.inc.com/amy-morin/a-survey -of-1502-college-students-revealed-this-is.html


HE21118Davis_07-medAbout the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach and leadership consultant with an extensive background in business development.  She coaches individuals as well as designs and facilitates workshops that address her clients’ business needs.  She has a passion to help organizations fully engage all its employees.  Reach out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or 281.793.3741 to further the conversation and determine how she can help you grow your business.