Watching the incredible talents and achievements of the Olympic athletes this summer and reading articles on the importance of coaches and coaching in the world of sports, has confirmed my belief that, whatever world you are in, there are intrinsic benefits to working with a coach to improve your performance. Top sports coaches are tough and focused, coaxing their sportsmen using psychological and behavioural techniques to accelerate individual and team performances, to achieve the very best results. Business coaching works in a very similar way, demanding challenges and hard work, though, thankfully for my clients, without the ruthless and physically exhausting training demanded of a top-class athlete!
To be a success in business, you have to cope with competition and pressure in a way that allows you to win and, most importantly, carry on improving and winning, without pushing yourself so hard that you end up running on empty. So you need to gain sufficient self-awareness and knowledge to ensure you embrace the necessary changes and challenges while maintaining sufficient energy and enthusiasm to keep developing and widening your boundaries. Sportsmen and women are given strict training routines. A business coach works out with the ‘coachee’ a specific individual route to achieving their progressive goals, whilst working hard to maintain a reasonable work-life balance.
We use similar techniques for teams and organisations wanting to be high-performers but who find themselves up against stiff competition, shortage of time and more and more demands. Corporate coaching can and should be applied at all levels, whether to encourage grass-root team spirit, improved management skills, better communication across the company or, indeed, to support Chief Executives and help them to clarify their vision at the top.
So, whether you want to succeed at sport, take on a new career, manage your team or show confident leadership skills, emulate the medal winners by being supported by a coach – who won’t make you run a marathon before work!
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Our series of meetings with Caroline were exceptionally useful for us to get insight into the historical issues in the department. This is going to give us a common understanding and a firm base from which to build a working and productive relationship.