Change is the only constant thing in today’s business environment. Management of change requires skills and competencies beyond the practical and technical skills of management. In order to integrate the changes into the continuous flow of our professional existence we engage in the process of sense-making. Much of this process is subconscious and we do not consciously navigate through our process. Let me break it to you – we are not really the victims of our environment, but of our own sense-making process!
To make sense of constantly developing situations, see clarity and make the right decision at the right time is often a difficult task. Many tools exist to make the process of sense making easier for managers and one of these tools is coaching.
The challenging one to one environment in coaching provides the coachee with the opportunity to explore the situation and its consequences before they embark on it. During the sense-making process individuals need to filter, categorise and integrate new aspects and with the support of coaching this process happens easier and allows the coach to deal with changes in a more conscious manner and in a safe environment. The coach helps the individual to progress through breaking up of the flow of change to anticipate what will happen in different scenarios.
Through coaching the coachee can experiment with unusual or off-the-wall ideas without running the risk of failure. These experimentations aid individual creative development. In addition, the purpose of coaching is not only to challenge assumptions about current realities, but to facilitate the process of expanding the vocabulary and thereby the possible options available. The use of language is crucial in persuasion or seeking consensus in a business environment and a coach will challenge the words and language the coachee uses to secure the best impact of the given message / decision. Coaching also challenges the individual to become aware of their interpretations and labelling of events.
A great thing about coaching is that it is not a passive methodology but is active experiential learning, with the benefit of immediate feedback.
Another great benefit is the independent nature of a coach, providing the sounding board for testing ideas and solutions in a way that those close to the manager couldn’t possibly provide. A coach is committed to providing honest and candid feedback from an impartial perspective.
Ok, now we know that one of the key benefits of coaching is that it brings the subconscious process of sense-making to the surface, enabling the coachee to make more informed, conscious choices, leading to a better, strategic decisions. If you haven’t done so yet, go and get a coach!
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