Coaching for success

, , , ,

We must not lose sight of the importance of coaching for success, regardless of whether someone is home working, or back in the office. We’ve all seen some drastic changes to our work routines over the last two years. As of February 2022, 20% of workers across the UK have not returned to the office full-time, while in London the figure is nearer 50%. But with the introduction of greater flexibility and hybrid working models, especially where office-based staff are concerned, have we seen a sea change in how careers develop also?

Productivity and success

Some things aren’t going to change. Even if we are going to be working from home, we are all going to undergo training and attend meetings. Our work still needs to deliver quality and we need to rise through the ranks and achieve greater responsibility and recognition, higher earnings, and more senior roles. And Coaches will still have a crucial role to play in that development. A Coach will help you improve your performance and enhance the skills you already have, to allow you to play to your strengths to become productive, informed and successful.

Unconscious learning

There’s really no substitute for working in an actual office in some respects.  We all know how much we absorb unconsciously in a work environment. It’s much easier to ask a quick question in person, rather than type out a lengthy email. It’s important that that element of work – the quick tip, the hive minds group chat to crack a problem – which is very difficult to replicate with remote working with quite the same spontaneity and efficiency, is not lost. We learn an awful lot from our colleagues, whether we realise it or not. But the need remains for external guidance and specialist knowledge too.

Navigating the new landscape

In other words, the role of a Coach is unchanged in this new business landscape. The methods and the media for delivering this learning and coaching to clients may change – it may be that the remote working model will remain, inasmuch as coaching sessions can be caried out remotely. But this is actually a positive. It means high-quality coaching can be beneficial to anyone, regardless of their location, and can be delivered to that location, without losing its impact. And of course, where possible, face to face coaching sessions and mentoring will quickly become the norm again, as there’s nothing quite like actually meeting someone in person, to understand their true personality – their strengths, weaknesses, their confidence and demeanour. But whether they are working from home, or in the office, it’s imperative that everyone’s needs are recognised, and their career goals addressed.

Speak to our team if you are in need of our services.

Find the right space

, ,

I often give my outplacement clients advice to find a space in their home which they can use exclusively as an office and one that they feel content using.  This means they are in the right frame of mind when working on their campaign and then being able to close the door as well as the computer at the end of the day.

Those clients who know me on Zoom sessions often comment on my background space (bright green walls, a series of black and white photographs showing Manchester landmarks and an Andy Warhol-esque picture of David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust). In front of me I have a print of David Hockney’s Splash, a print with the words from James’ Sit Down, and a small statue of the Superlambanana. My calendar depicts Irish writers, so I have the quotes of W B Yeats, Jonathan Swift and Maria Edgeworth to give me classic inspiration, thought and humour.

It may go against the grain when I talk about non-fussy backgrounds for virtual interviews, but it works for me and I like being in my office space.

My latest addition is a black and white lino cut which my youngest has made and given to me as a Christmas present.  A mole looking at the stars.  A thoughtful, humorous gift based on a family joke at my expense, involving a hotel room in Nairobi, three naughty children, and my actions when I couldn’t find my glasses…

Speak to our team if you are in need of our services.

Getting your message across

, ,

Regardless of whether you are networking in real life or on Zoom, interviewing for your dream job, presenting your message to a room full of people or just in a one-to-one with a direct report or your line manager, it’s important to remember that what you are saying is just one part of a much bigger story.

Everything from how you hold yourself, to your facial expression and level of eye contact all have an impact on the message that your audience hears. In fact, it might surprise you to know that findings from some studies show that up to 93% of communication takes place via nonverbal cues. The validity of this percentage has been questioned over the years, but the fact remains that whatever the actual figure is, nonverbal communication forms a significant part of understanding what is being said and the meaning behind it.

What does verbal communication cover?

Even verbal communication is not just the words that you use. It also includes your tone – serious or informal, its pitch – high or low, how fast you talk and how loudly or quietly, also the clarity of the way the words are spoken and the overall tempo. Each element provides clues to the listener about the content of the communication.

Nonverbal clues

However, the nonverbal cues – or body language – that you share consciously or subconsciously helps provide the rest of the story. These cues can include many things from facial expressions, eye contact and posture, through to gestures, body movements and the physical cues such as space and touch – handshakes and hugs for example.

Remember to smile

One of the most powerful and positive nonverbal cues is your smile. Indeed, it is often stated that people can usually hear a smile in your voice even if they can’t see your face. When they can, a natural smile and good eye contact can have a huge impact. But don’t feel like to you have to maintain eye contact continuously though, it might start to become unnerving for both of you!

It is also important that your verbal and nonverbal communications are aligned, as if the words being spoken are not supported by the way you present yourself, you are providing your audience with a mixed message, which will ultimately hinder their understanding. So next time you are preparing to engage with someone or a group of people, think about the message you are trying to convey and ensure you give yourself the best chance of being understood.

Speak to our team if you are in need of our services.

A return to Coaching

, , , ,

After numerous false starts, there now is a real optimism in the air that the end of the pandemic is in sight. With the return to the office now allowed, many people are finding their feet in the new working landscape. For some working from home remains the answer, while others have returned to the office – or in many cases, embarked on a new hybrid working pattern.

Coaching for the future

At this crucial moment in time, executive coaching is more important than ever. Managers are still faced with managing teams in situations which they have never had to deal with before. Particularly where hybrid working has been introduced and they need to ensure a consistent approach in how their teams are managed and communicated with. Thankfully, the standard and availability of technology has made these new working practices a lot more feasible than they would have been 15 or even 10 years ago.

Leading by example

But whether staff are working onsite or from home, the pressures and behavioural issues are still increased. Executive coaching provides essential reflective space and much needed clarity of thinking in times of change. Managers need the opportunity that executive coaching provides, to deal with their own challenges, before they are able to help their team deal with theirs.

Engagement and development

For people that are working from home or have adopted a hybrid working pattern, there is a real fear of being overlooked for things like promotion. Coaching for success regardless of the location of the employee should be paramount, and this should be built into the team development plans.   Coaching and the coaching process is essential in helping to provide a thought process for problem solving and personal development. It’s also a reflective space with structure. Engaging with a Coach is a vital part of developing yourself and aligning success from your programme with business needs.

At this time, different sectors face different challenges, and different roles face different challenges. Coaching can provide new perspectives, an external point of view, that allows a fuller picture to be drawn outside the client’s own experiences. Leaders and managers need to be more attuned to things spoken and unspoken, and the business decisions that their companies are facing. By working with a Coach, they are able to formulate how their own businesses will develop – both in the short and long-term – and the shape work and the working environment will take.

Leaders now have the opportunities to develop themselves and their teams.  There may never have been a more urgent time to begin an executive coaching programme focused on future business performance and reengaging the workforce with a very clear return on investment.   

Speak to our team if you are in need of our services.