Nov 022008

Dr. Earl R. Smith II

Over the years that I have been working as an executive and leadership coach, the acceptance of the value of good coaching has spread. It has become common practice in today’s highly competitive business world for top multinational companies as well as smaller firms and entrepreneurs to retain executive coaching services. Such coaching is an important tool for success. Most successful executives employ a coach during their careers.

Business coaching is particularly beneficial to entrepreneurs and seasoned, senior executives. Recent research has indicated that executive coaching services is highly cost effective and yields a substantial return on investment. Further, the same studies show that there are substantial benefits to employer and employees.

The return on investment from coaching is diverse. Like any investment, the trick is to make the right investment at the right time. The first challenge is to deliver the right coaching service to the right people within your organization at the right time. I am a big advocate of contextualizing individual coaching programs within a broad corporate plan for leadership and executive development. Depending on your requirements as well as the needs of your company and employees, you can choose from a variety of business coaching methods such as executive coaching, leadership coaching, personal coaching, corporate coaching, team coaching, life coaching or even a combination of the above coaching methods. A good corporate plan involves most of these and deploys them systematically.

The production and testing of a corporate strategy for executive development is one of the steps that many corporations skip – and often to their detriment. Investment in coaching is more effective when it is part of a company-wide plan and is coordinated with other efforts and investments. Recruiting a very professional and experienced coach to help with the development of this plan is very important. Here the coach’s experience and record of accomplishment is particularly important. Strategic planning is different from coaching and the selected coach should have solid experience and demonstrated success in the planning process.

The strategic plan for coaching services should be approved by both the senior management team and the board of directors. Once approved, it should be implemented by the senior coach. The coaching program should provide your employees with a rich and varied learning environment as well as educating them on how the various teachings can be applied to a variety of different business situations. The coaching program will ultimately aid in your employees personal growth and leadership development.

The coaching program should provide the senior coach with the proper guidelines in matters of recruitment of personnel, management of human resources, development of business strategies, outsourcing and so on. In addition to enhancing the basic managerial skills like decision making, team co-ordination and motivation, the program should also focus on enhancing soft skills such as multitasking, organization, interpersonal communication, problem-solving, personal growth, time management, leadership development and strategic planning.

Holistically, the coaching program should improve the performance of the team. This improved performance will improve the company’s performance. This type of coaching is also valuable for enhancing employee satisfaction, annual financial benefits, enhancing customer satisfaction and improving the output and quality of work though out the entire company.

Executives and other members of corporate management, who have attended business-coaching sessions and have availed themselves of its numerous advantages, will emerge as leaders within the corporate structure. Surveys reveal that the bulk of all business-coaching clients are more than satisfied with the results of business coaching that they received and even consider it as an indispensable business tool and an invaluable investment and asset to the business. If you think about it carefully and ask your most experienced business peers, you will discover for yourself that, with just a small investment, you can provide your business with much needed stability as well as peace of mind for yourself.

I have helped many companies develop and implement coaching programs. If you want to learn more about the process, send me an e-mail and we will arrange a time to talk.

© Dr. Earl R. Smith II


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