During the last decade, corporate leadership coaching has made significant inroads as a resource to transform corporate culture in the pursuit of the optimal work environment.
In 2008, The Center for Creative Leadership (CYLENT) conducted a study to determine coaching trends in corporations in North America. The survey revealed that, of the companies surveyed, more than 80 % of them maintained or increased coaching to create a leadership culture during the referred period.
Corporate Coaching Trends
Coaching was utilized at the highest level of organizations, with 43-57 % of the coaching being implemented at the C-Suite level and 31 % done at the “normal management and influencers” level. The coaching culture implementation had the purpose of generating a work environment where the optimal working scenario would be attained.
Desired Optimal Enterprise Work Environment
- Leaders contributing to the development of others
- Every interaction within employees became a developmental experience
- Knowledge / Utilization of a shared experience
- Shared / Transparent decision making
- Truth / Openness environment
- Learning / Development a priority
- Innovation / valued and supported
The above goals were successfully achieved in a significant majority of the cases surveyed.
What is it about coaching that changes and transforms existing work cultures into successful environments?
Although corporations spend most of their training resources on the hard skill set (i.e., technology), it is the soft skill set that enables the engagement of employees.
It is here where coaching has its major impact and where we want to focus to find the answer to the proposed question.
The reason may not be obvious but it is easy to be discovered. The solution resides in the comparative analysis between the soft skill requirements of a leadership position in the corporate environment and that of a properly certified leadership coach.
A properly certified coach, as defined by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), requires the coach to meet the following competencies:
- Setting the Foundations
- Co-creating the Relationship
- Communicating Effectively
- Facilitating Learning and Results
From the above table, we can conclude, that most of the Core Competencies a coach brings into the coaching process, perfectly match those basic corporate soft skills required in any leadership position.
In terms of the competencies required, the coach is a mirror image of the executive. The coach must, however, be only a role model facilitator who raises the executive's level of consciousness.
The higher level of consciousness allows the executive being coached to recognize:
- the value of the desired leadership soft skill set; and
- the importance of integrating those attributes as part of his/ hers personal and professional development
The previous description may be called, “The Coaching Content” of the Coaching Process. Another driver of the coaching success in the corporate environment is the coaching process itself, “The How”, that is implemented during the coaching practice.
“The Coaching Content” may be readily mirrored, but the “The How” is the key unique ingredient that is not easily reproducible. Each coach, “The Who”, has a unique personality, style, and skill set which makes every coaching experience a very singular event.
Therefore, coaching talent selection is a very important step in achieving the corporate coaching expectations.
The coaching experience aligns the executive’s personal and professional behavior in a solution where everyone benefits: the development of the executive and the mission attainment of the corporation.