The History Of Coaching And Mentoring Management Essay
The learning, knowledge and change that coaching or mentoring bring can provide about transformation in organisations. This is where the coach shares his/her invaluable knowledge, understanding and their values, attitudes and skills. Where coaching takes place, there exists a mutual interaction between the parties to connect with each other (Connor and Pokora, 2012). Cooper, (2007) reported that as culture is changing within organisations, coaching is becoming rooted within them. An expectation has developed that managers and leaders be proactive and use coaching skills to inspire learning and development through the entire organisation and to increase efficiency as well. By developing such a business ethos, there is less reliance on external experts in the transformation process. In Robins (2008) experience, he found that positive approaches towards trainees were effective in bringing about self-actualisation, a state theorised by Maslow hierarchical model in which the person tries to achieve everything that they can be. This ultimate state creates the loyalty, devotion, commitment and entrepreneurship that can provide a firm a leading competitive edge. Furthermore, job satisfaction and job enrichment will also rate high amongst employees.
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There are differing schools of thought among couches whereby some think that helping should begin with asking the individual what their goals are – this is the ‘grow’ model (Whitmore, 2002). Others think that the individual benefits from telling their story and imaging their preferred future in order to arrive at a meaningful goal, as in the skilled helper model (Egan, 2010). The type of coaching should really be tailored to the individuals’ needs, learning patterns, strengths and weaknesses. The coach should be in a position to help identify these elements in line with the strategic direction of the firm. However, there are some people that are not ready or able to set substantial goals, even after more than one session. After each session there is an expectation that we that the person would perform in some way, whether that is a significant change, simply reflecting on the session, or taking a small step.
The cognitive behavioural coach declares that the way the person deliberates about certain happenings has an impact on the way they feel and how they behave (Neenan and Dryden, 2002). These ideas are useful in formulating individuals to self-challenge. Self-challenge is an extremely powerful tool as it allows the individual to explore beyond the realms of norms and expand into areas that stretch the individual. The individual rises to the challenge and seeks great benefit with the implementation of new systems, processes, methods etc. A person can question and reflect within themselves whether their thoughts and beliefs are warranted and whether they are aiding or hampering in the situation. Self-limiting and negative beliefs can be probed and replaced with ones which help rather than obstruct performance.
There is a propensity to discuss coaching as the avenue for change, while the real change takes place in the individuals’ world itself. It is the individual that must change so as to bring about positive effects within the firm. Hawkins and Smiths (2011) model of transformational coaching tests this view. They describe the change as a shift that is central to the individuals’ intellectual capacity, feeling and behaving. The emphasis they believe is on the here and now so that the individual is ready and motivated to change things "out there". Thus, these concepts help us to be courageous in challenging ourselves and the different individuals when things get stuck. Hawkins and Smith (2011) states that to accomplish things in this way may seem uncertain, but the effect is theoretically very compelling. Similarly, Gestalts’ (Petiot, 2010) approach describes the importance of increase awareness of the here and now. Gestalt theory of change offers that change occurs when a person is fully in touch with what is happening rather than trying to be dissimilar or denied parts of ourselves (Bluckert, 2010). Learning is not to be considered a side-effect of action, it is an equivalent and harmonizing force. The learning brings about new resourcefulness, expanded possibilities and a stronger force for change.
Transpersonal coaching has been argued to be especially useful in leadership development (Sparrow, 2007). It is believed to be a well-balanced approach to developing focused and enthusiastic leaders. Every firm needs leaders to shape the firm and the different divisions. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is not exempt from coaching. It can be used to develop an individuals’ psychological, cultural and spiritual needs. Leadership skills can be drawn and nurtured and developed as talents are identified and focused for the benefit of the organisation (Hunter et al., 1990). Hidden talents are sometimes difficult to appreciate and a reflexive approach to understanding oneself can greatly improve the individuals strengths and weaknesses. It provides a means to go beyond the barriers set in ones’ mind about what is achievable for that individual.
Many organisations have developed international links or employ individuals from different cultural background. With todays global links and international trade, it is absolutely essential that all managers and leaders who are to be involved with international assignments gain in-depth knowledge about the culture and business tarde aspects of the country they are about to trade with. A learning of intercultural matters opens the door to social and strategic competence for both parties concerned. They can work in tandem or even accentuate their competencies by joining forces so as to be more competitive in a global market. This catalytic effect can speed negotiations between business and countries and can also lead to preferential trade agreements between countries. There must be a willingness on the part of the manager or executive to accept the learning from another culture if it is to be sincere rather than with in trepidation. The global market is massive and trade with other countries opens new markets and increases profitability of the firm.
There are a number of definitions for coaching and mentoring provided by different writers. The definitions provided to differentiate between coaching and mentoring by Parsoe and Wray (2001) are that coaching brings about rapid surge in change and sustainability of effectiveness in peoples’ lives and careers by means of focussed learning. The ultimate aim being to bring out the best in people and all that they can be. On the other hand, mentoring can be less structured and may be summarised as a process that supports learning and development thereby improving performance of the individual, group or business.
If an organisation is to get serious about embedding coaching throughout the business and at all levels, then there is a need to change the fundamental business ethos. This must start from the top of the hierarchy. It is imperative to get the board to agree and uphold their commitment to a coaching culture within the business plan. Formalising the approach is required so it is essential to ensure that it be written and included in all business presentations.
To gain acceptance at all levels of the business and to make sure that the seriousness of the proposal is taken into account, go and talk as well as interact with senior managers regarding how coaching can be utilised to shape business results. This cannot be done from the office. The managers should physically go out and interact with the staff. It is important that they see your enthusiasm. In this way, they know that you are there to work with them. If you don’t interact and blend with the individuals concerned, senior managers will more than likely become sceptical passing negative comments that it is another HR invention that adds absolutely no value.
The next step is to put coaching as a measured element of competence within the appraisal process. It should be a Key Performance Index for all. So the manager should develop a few ideas that measure performance criteria and that can be used such as 'manager regularly engages with employees and inspire them to develop novel ways of behaving/working to achieve goals'. The measures should be kept practical and down to earth because often they can become too academic for managers. It should always be borne in mind that you want to win the hearts and minds of managers and employees so as to reap the benefits of coaching, thus, keep it simple.
Management could also formulate a model that is practical for coaching purposes. This should include core information required as well as the crucial coaching areas that have been agreed, the activities to be accomplished as a consequence of the coaching session and finally to complete the loop, review dates. As a matter of encouraging and entrenching a coaching culture, publicise internal successes so that they are visible to all. That is, cases endorsing and promoting individuals achievements more for themselves and the firm as a product of being coached.
As in many of the motivational theories and using Vrooms expectancy theory, rewards should be provided for great coaching practice. These rewards should be viewed as special and worthy of their attainment. They should also be linked to promotion and future prospects within the organisation should demonstrate the importance of coaching in the process.
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