What is coaching

Why Coaching?

Coaching is one of the most effective and widely used tools in developing management and executive talent. The coaching services that Marietjie van der Walt offers emphasise the importance of assisting individual managers and executives throughout their careers to maximise their performance as leaders by discovering their natural talent and overcoming any barriers or obstacles to making a full and effective impact at work.

Marietjie makes a distinction between psychological coaching and other forms of coaching and she mainly focus on psychological coaching as this forms the basis of her formal education. All her work in coaching starts with a diagnostic process of understanding the emotional and intellectual core of the individual. This means that she uses models of management and leadership based on research in the human sciences, together with the insights and judgement based on her personal experience in senior roles in business.

Coaching provides an opportunity for individuals to identify and hone their established skills and also to learn and develop new competencies. The Psychologist Coach operates within the framework of positive psychology and aims to enhance the individual’s overall wellbeing and performance in their personal and work domains.

The coaching process takes cognisance of the actual environment within which the Coachee functions and then aids the discovery of untapped talents, inspiring the person to open-up and to explore the multitude of possibilities leading to personal fulfilment. Skills are developed in a way that also serves to ensure that challenges, difficulties and conflicts are navigated more effectively.

Coaching is about creating the capacity for appreciative and supportive interaction with others and that leads to the achievement of personal performance and ultimately in the working domain, to positive business results.

What is Psychological Coaching

Psychological coaching differs from other forms of development in that it aims to identify the developmental hurdles in the lives of developing managers and executives that need to be overcome in order for them to be successful in more senior roles. The most common developmental hurdles that executives face in their lives include:

  • The need to develop basic trust in others
  • The need to develop autonomy and self-reliance
  • The need to balance autonomy with interdependence and build effective relationships
  • The need to cope with emotions and build emotional competencies
  • The need to develop flexible, adaptive coping strategies when faced with threats and challenges

In Psychological Coaching the key process word is realistic. The coach goes deeper and aims to generate a realistic sense of confidence through self-affirmation, building resilience and “future proofing” individuals so that they can deal with the unexpected. To achieve this, the executive must have no doubt that, even under extreme pressure and occupying the relative isolation of a senior position, one has available the intellectual, emotional and interpersonal skills required for success in major business engagements.

Psychological Coaching offers a safe space where the executive can experiment with doubt and that which falls out of the comfort zone. The coaching works with the coachee to gain knowledge beyond any doubt and to maintain and generalise such qualities.

It is common knowledge that often promising careers are cut short prematurely and relationships are irreparably damaged when the ‘doubtful” personality weaknesses are displayed when talented executives are under pressure. The role of the coach is to facilitate honesty in confronting worst fears and foibles so that there is less likelihood that emotionally charged default behaviours will cause career derailment.

Psychological coaching surface those development needs that form the “darker side” of personality and which could cause failure because they have the capacity to erupt and cause chaos. By successfully dealing with these development needs that goes outside the comfort zone, will determine whether executives will succeed or fail to leave a positive legacy for their businesses in the longer term.

Effective conversation sets the stage for significant discussion about issues of individual and leadership development, personal and organisational change and to create the capability to function and a higher level and with enhanced emotional competence.

What is to be gained?

Management and Executive coaching has proven to be one of the most effective means of helping individuals operating in a business environment to effectively redefine roles, develop clarity of situation and it creates a focus for all levels of managers and leaders.

The provision of a mature, experienced confidante (the coach), who provides practical personal guidance within the business arena, often creates the necessary release mechanism where individual talents and abilities can be brought to the fore and utilised to their fullest extent. The  Psychologist Coach uses her understanding of adult development within established theoretical frameworks to bring about higher levels of personal understanding and the achievement of personal objectives in the coachee.

Coaching in the business environment is built on the understanding that the coachee, operating in that environment, knows the business better than anyone else. The coaching conversation is therefore carefully structured to help the coachee to find own answers to their own specific challenges.

Who Benefits

In essence coaching is about the personal growth and development of individuals.

Individual Leadership Coaching

The coaching of junior, middle, senior and executive managers offers the coachee many potential benefits such as the ability to understand own attitudes, behaviours and desires and how this influence personal and work effectiveness

Company Sponsored Coaching

The performance of the organisation rests on the ability of its managers and leaders to perform effectively. Unresolved development needs relating to weaknesses at the personal core will inevitably detract from performance in management roles. If the success of the organisation depends on the efficient judgement and decision-making of its managers, then it will also have a direct impact and the ROI of the business. There are significant costs to the organisation of doing nothing about the developmental needs of their managers. Not only is there a severe cost to the individual who suffers failure, there are the costs of recruitment and replacement measured in search fees and the impact of sub-standard performance before, during and after the replacement of a manager who has failed to perform.

The Coaching Partnership

Successful coaching in the business domain is a collaborative partnership between key stakeholders each with specific roles and responsibilities before, during and post the coaching engagement. There are typically five key stakeholders centrally involved in coaching engagements:

  • The coachee (the primary stakeholder.)
  • The coach.
  • The coachee’s manager.
  • Human Resources / Learning and Development/ other organisational sponsors.
  • The sponsoring organisation.

In the business world the coaching partnership is a win-win approach in which all partners plan the process together, communicate openly, and work cooperatively toward the ultimate accomplishment of overarching organisational objectives. The coachee must own the goals of the coaching. also when coaching is undertaken as part of organisation wide development programmes, talent management and succession planning.