I’ve noticed recently that certain UK business cultures are more open to investing in their people’s ‘soft’ skills; the mental and emotional skills that enrich a corporate environment. They include the ability to effectively communicate, openly negotiate, embrace change, respect diversity and have active and versatile team dynamics.
The 2 company types most likely to encourage maximum release of potential in their teams are:
- small businesses (50 people or less) with fast decision making abilities, ambitions expansion plans and the founder still at the helm; and
- super-large corporates (1000 +) with products and services in demand in most countries on the planet.
Executive coaching makes sense for leaders in these 2 categories because:
- it provides a confidential space to talk through the possibilities and to test how convinced an MD might be about the next 12 months of growth – and when they’re convinced, they’re convincing (streamlining buy-in from group heads and inspiring collaborative action taking)
- the more aware their leaders are the more likely they’ll make a smart decision first time round – saving time and money
- directors who are coached are generally more satisfied with work and life; and a business that invests in its talent is more likely to retain it
- coaching creates clarity which in turn creates confidence – and confident people inspire others to question the status quo and to push the boundaries beyond those of the competition
- it encourages leaders to question their assumptions and limiting beliefs and replace them with innovative thinking
- a regular conversation about what’s going well and what could be going better means that issues aren’t left unattended long enough to gather momentum
- there’s never a moment where a leader knows it all. Lifelong learning, with an aware and conscious coach, will expand knowledge, enrich communication skills and contribute to bringing out the best in colleagues and clients alike
You may notice that not one of these points directly has a dollar sign directly against it. And that’s because there’s an emerging new era for what defines corporate success. People come first. The money flows afterwards.
Executive coaching contributes to happy employees, who in turn do extraordinary work every day to satisfy clients and customers.
The knock on reward from happiness and satisfaction is repeat business and multiple customer recommendations. There’s genuinely no more effective a marketing strategy. From that starting point, you can (in the simplest terms) leave the financial bottom line to take care of itself.