February 17, 2021
Far be it from me to just want to write a catchy title, I want to tell the truth, nothing but the truth. You will then ask me how coaching can improve a life? Am I not exaggerating? I will come to that.
Self-searching, personal development and psychometric testing have always taken up a lot of my time. Perhaps it comes from my desire to be happy in life if I had a better understanding of myself. Personal development has also become a mission for companies; they (mostly) try to develop people at work. Not surprisingly, I have made it my profession. It was as if this curiosity had also seeped into the office corridors. “Let’s develop leaders!”, “Let’s be more resilient!”, “Let’s become agile!”, I frequently hear from leaders. This is why my L&D comrades and I are trying to set up educational programmes that help employees to give the best of themselves at work. L&D professionals have tried everything and are on all fronts: integration of new employees, training, blended learning etc. But what really works? What is effective enough to change someone? You guessed it, coaching in my opinion and here’s why.
Self-knowledge never before achieved
This will be the subject of a future article but I already explain in this video how knowing my Individualization talent thanks to the Clifton Strengths Finder tool, opened my eyes to my behavior. I explained that it took me 5 days of training and reflection to understand my greatest strength. How was it possible for me, who started this path of self-discovery as a psychology student in college, not to recognize my greatest talent? It’s simple, it was as unnoticed as the tip of my nose. I had to pass a tool pointing at it to push me to describe it. What a stress it was to venture into a pictionary of your own nose when you first discovered it!
Coaching is “the process of looking at the tip of your nose”. It’s always there but you don’t see it and rarely pay attention to it. In my previous article I said that coaching involves in-depth work and that doesn’t appeal to everyone. Squinting to look at your nose for too long explains this discomfort. But don’t worry, a coach makes it more enjoyable by echoing what you think of your nose.
The coaching I received as a result of this tool has given me wings. I understood what was going on in my head every time I met someone and the look (or flair, I should say;)) I had on my relationships. Isn’t it these beautiful reactions that communication training courses try to provoke? This type of training tries to make you aware of the impression you give to others and thus to adapt yourself to your interlocutors.
Rarely has this type of support been so adapted
The pedagogical differences between a mentor, a trainer and a manager have been very widely described, but what kind of support do they give you when faced with a question? I would say that a mentor already thinks he or she knows everything about the issue and thus shares that knowledge with you. A trainer also has answers but tries to communicate them to you like a teacher. The manager also knows but will not hesitate to delegate the task. As a coach, it’s different, I don’t care about having the knowledge, the key is to bring the individual to his own knowledge. I show them a mirror and listen carefully to the resulting description.
Personally, I therefore feel more comfortable sharing issues at work with an external coach because neutral and caring listening gives me psychological security in which I can thrive. I talk about my doubts, my ideas and my future projects in an environment without the risk of upsetting the hierarchy. I can discover this better version of myself without being judged, quite simply.
Better self-awareness and more appropriate personal support have enabled me to climb mountains that I thought were unattainable.
Results that opened my heart
I was lucky enough to see some great climbs with people I coached too.
One client shared with me that she had difficulty making her voice heard, asserting herself in a group and this was so detrimental that her trial period in her new company was at risk. In the coaching session she explained to me that as a child she was doing so well that she had skipped three classes and ended up second in her school. When she returned home after school, she told her parents the good news and her mother replied: “Why aren’t you first?”. Since that comment, she confided to me that she no longer felt comfortable showing off her talents. We were able to talk about how this feeling could negatively influence her work and discussed strategies to build on to better communicate her ideas.
One client to whom I passed on the Clifton Strengths Finder too, told me that he didn’t understand why one of his employees wasn’t putting enough effort into building his skills development plan. Regarding his goal of motivating his employees in their own development, I asked him why he thought the work was not being done and what he had already tried. Analyzing his answers in relation to his results on the psychometric tool showed that his talent for Empathy, i.e. his ability to feel the emotions of others, was the least pronounced. He analyzed the situation in a purely rational way (he is an engineer) and had omitted the human aspect. As a result, he realized that asking his collaborator “How do you feel about starting your plan?” would give him a whole new perspective on the problem. Taking more account of the emotional aspect in his management opened up a whole new world for him.
And you, what feedback have you received from coaching?
Today, thanks to CoachHub, I have access to unlimited coaching sessions, like all our clients. How will my life change between now and the end of the year? Keep an eye out for my next blog article and find out.
Do you want to discover the power of coaching for your employees? Take a look at one of our coachee testimonials and hear about their journey.