How is Coaching being used in Industry?
Many of us would link the term ‘Coaching’ with Sport and would be surprised to hear if any team or top athlete did not have a Coach. So why therefore should business not be the same?
This is exactly what some of the Sports Coaches and Business Leaders thought and so the relationships began to emerge. In addition, HR and Training Managers were finding themselves in a similar position to Thomas J Leonard – who in the early 1980s as a Financial Adviser in Seattle was finding that his clients were asking for more than financial advice. They were seeking help with career management and life ambitions and as a result he set up the first ‘Coaching’ Practice outside the sporting world in 19822. Likewise HR and Training Managers found themselves in full-time Coaching roles. (Harris, G:Life Coaching, The Origins, Connecting your Inner Wisdom. 2002; 1:3.)
Within the pharmaceutical industry it is beginning to develop with some of the blue-chip, medium-sized Companies and Agencies recognising the value. It seemed to start in many instances with the services of a ‘Coach’ being offered as part of a Senior Executive package to help top management integrate into the organisation.
Thereafter the Coach acted as a sounding board, facilitator and motivator as the person developed in the role making high-profile, strategic decisions. These relationships could last for years and as it is beginning to be recognised as a valuable induction and organisational development tool, it has started to filter down through organisations in a more time-framed, structured way. For example: helping to settle in new recruits, individuals and teams improve performance and leaders develop more effective skills.
A company that has successfully completed a Coaching programme is Safeway. Becky Ivers, the HR Director describes it as being “a waterfall effect” and further goes on to say that “it can be painful sometimes, but it helps people to understand how to grow and find themselves” “Coaching builds confidence, gives courage and helps individual creativity” .
At the lower level, some readers may have heard of ‘Springboard’ which is specifically aimed at Women to help them recognise their specific value and contribution (I believe now there is also one developed for men!).
At all levels, the underlying reason for Coaching is to manage ‘change’ and create a less stressful environment for ourselves and those around us. The Coach in Organizations is there to help individuals, teams and organizations in doing this.