May 17, 2013 | comments
Within our line of work “what is the true value of coaching?” is perhaps the question we get asked most frequently. Sometimes it comes from the coachees who are about to embark on the coaching programme, sometimes it comes from their managers . Mostly though it comes from our prospective clients, who can be convinced of the value of coaching but uncertain as to how that value translates into a business case for Board approval.
Of course for us it’s a question we love to answer. We are fortunate that we can draw on the experience and feedback of coaching over 5000 women and have up to date research on the value coaching can have for the female workforce. More than that, we have bottom line results with our existing clients who prove the commercial case and show the benefit coaching has given to both organisation and employee.
But before you can prove the business case, you of course need to build it. To that end we have recently put together our latest Insight Guide which offers I hope a clear step by step approach to building a rock solid and compelling business case. The Guide looks to answer those broader questions on ‘why do we need to progress female talent’ and ‘ what is the true commercial benefit’ as well as getting under the skin of some of the softer benefits which are so worthy of consideration.
I say that because for many of the women that we coach this is not all about promotion, it may not even be about sideways role progression or simply staying within an organisation. Rather for them it’s about developing their skill bases, unlocking potential and maximising their performance in an existing role. Delivering exceptional performance that is recognised and rewarded, while achieving work/life fit, can be just as motivating as pushing on to Director / Partner level. Success like this, especially when it means an adjustment to the pacing of a women’s career trajectory, is too often confused with lack of ambition or drive when in reality the opposite can be true.
So, although you have to be able to demonstrate success on a commercial level, considerations should always go beyond the core indicators. The Insight Guide maps this out and offers further support and guidance in terms of areas of focus and support. We have even devised a coaching impact indicator which sounds quite dangerous but in reality is a helpful tool to consider exactly where and how the coaching may have an impact on the organisation, manager and the employee.
So please take a look and as always let us know what you think. In the summer we will be starting our next research project which will look to go even deeper on this topic and demonstrate still further why coaching is making a difference to so many women and organisations. We hope we can tempt some of you to take part in that too.
Chris Parke, CEO of Talking Talent