There is strong evidence that executive coaching is valuable in helping people deal with the uncertainty and challenges of change - whether organisational change, career change, life transitions, etc. Such change is the "new normal" and there is a growing expectation that people should possess the flexibility and resilience to cope with such change. For this reason, enhancing resilience and well-being in organisations is increasingly important.
Whilst internal coaching is increasingly popular and valuable when provided by line managers and internal coaches, external coaching was considered to be more effective and appreciated: "...somebody who wasn't linked to the organisation where you felt you could speak freely and say what you wanted to say. Just the dedicated time was valuable". And "...that safe environment where... I could say things safely that weren't going to be, if you like, used against me".
Self-reflection and self-insight are considered essential in establishing personal change and changes in behaviour. The ability of good coaches to help coachees achieve this is a critical component. Studies suggest that coachees particularly benefit from coaching which is independent, impartial and supportive. In whatever way your organisation is using coaching to support development, performance and well-being, whether through external or internal coaches or line managers, what consistently emerges are the qualities of good listening, understanding and encouragement. In all cases the quality of the relationship between coach and coachee is a determining factor of a successful outcome.
We recently received this feedback from a client on one of our career coaching programmes: "It’s funny how professionals often have little time to think at work and even less time to think about ourselves as professionals. This is an important lesson learned, that one needs to always take time to think about these things, for this is what makes for a very productive and happy professional".
Encouraging this space and time is beneficial for people and organisations.
** For the study details, see Exploring what clients find helpful in a brief resilience coaching programme: A qualitative study, The Coaching Psychologist, Vol. 11, No. 2, December 2015