As the pace of change in our world steadily increases, people are turning to coaches for career, relationship, and personal guidance. This trend is also taking hold in corporate workplaces as they shift toward an employee-focused management system.
This article explains the importance and benefits of coaching for both coaches and their clients. We’ve also included a success story about how using a coaching management style greatly improved an organization’s performance.
The rise of coaching in recent years
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly shaken up the job market. Even before that, companies began adopting more agile business management styles to keep up with the demands of a shifting corporate world. Nowadays, giving employees orders and checking in with occasional performance reviews is outdated, and those in leadership positions are increasingly taking inspiration from the coaching process.
Similarly, the pandemic caused people to rethink their priorities and make changes for the better. There’s a coach for every situation, like career coaches for those wanting to switch professions and intimacy coaches for those with relationship concerns.
Why coaching is important
It’s unsurprising that coaching has become so popular. This type of support is important because it helps people reach valuable yet often challenging goals.
By offering specialized attention, support, and feedback, we help our clients take scary steps toward self-improvement. We can also leverage our expertise to provide our clients with the tools and strategies necessary to reach their goals.
Coaches can help you:
- Increase your self-awareness. Effective coaching helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses. An outside perspective from someone trained to notice these things allows you to see yourself differently. This self-awareness comes into play often in life, like when deciding on a profession or when to take a relationship to the next level.
- Set goals and prioritize. The cornerstone of the coaching process is goal-setting. Putting pen to paper and making progress on a new project is often the most challenging part, so coaches use time-blocking and prioritization methods to ensure the effort and time spent yields results. After all, the best way to improve performance isn’t about working harder — it’s about working smarter.
- Enhance your communication skills. In every area of our lives, effective communication skills are a must. You'll enjoy better relationships with coworkers, family, friends, and partners if you can clearly communicate your thoughts and feelings.
While all coaches can help their clients with their communication skills, there are also coaches dedicated to this work. A communication coach works with clients on everything from body language interpretation to resume writing.
- Improve self-confidence. As you gain experience, upskill, and check off important goals, you’ll likely experience higher levels of self-confidence. Completing a coaching program is itself an accomplishment, no matter the goals conquered along the way.
- Increase your teamwork and leadership skills. Great team members and leaders know how to leverage their strengths, have excellent communication skills, and are confident. Since coaches help you with all three of these things, you’re naturally set up to become a better team member and leader.
There are also types of coaching dedicated to improving teamwork and leadership skills, like executive coaching and leadership coaching. An organization may provide coaching sessions for certain teams or individuals to increase the company’s retention rate, employee performance levels, and overall employee well-being. These coaches can also help individuals outside an organization work on their career development and industry-relevant competencies.
- Increase productivity. Because a critical element of coaching is defining goals and creating reasonable action plans, people often find their productivity increases when working with a coach. You learn to delegate tasks throughout the week effectively and gain a better understanding of what you’re capable of.
Productivity can also be the focus of an entire coaching program. For example, an ADHD coach can help clients work on their time management skills to get more done in a day, and an organizational coach can work with teams to figure out where wires get crossed and how to streamline communication.
- Learn from your mistakes. The coaching relationship is a feedback loop. Coaches and clients are constantly sharing what’s working and what’s not, with coaches especially noting areas clients can improve. When you face the fact that you’re not perfect, it opens you up to a whole new level of growth.
Reasons people might need a coach
If you’re starting to wonder, “Do I need a life coach?” there’s no right answer. While we think anyone can benefit from having a mentor, here are some common scenarios that cause people to seek out a coach:
- Navigating important life changes. A significant change like a new job or divorce can make you feel overwhelmed and out of your element. Coaches can help you get back on track. They’ll offer creative resources, strategies, and tools, as well as emotional support and accountability.
- Feeling stuck. If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, a coach can help. They’ll learn about your usual motivation techniques, teach you new ones, and help you dive deeper to figure out what caused the rut in the first place.
- Not knowing what’s next. The feeling of hitting a milestone or completing a long-term goal is exhilarating, but what comes next? A coach can help you celebrate this win while also exploring your ambitions to create a concrete action plan for your next goal.
- Needing motivation. No matter what your goal is, if you’re finding it difficult to achieve, a coach can help. Perhaps a nutritionist has set out a dietary plan for you. A health coach will help you set up an accountability tracker and motivate you to stick to your goals. Or maybe you want to ask for a raise before the new year. A career coach will help you improve your communication skills and ensure your motivation sticks around until that important conversation comes.
Coaching effectiveness at Microsoft
Let’s entertain a coaching example to really understand how important coaching is. Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, transformed the company when he joined in 2014. As the tech market shifted from personal computers to cloud-based technology and smartphones, Nadella knew the company needed to change with the times.
To move away from the traditional command-and-control managerial style of the company, Nadella modeled coaching skills that he wanted other managers to adopt. Jean-Phillipe Courtois, president of global sales, marketing, and operations, similarly took steps to transform the company culture toward one of coaching. He implemented workshops, tools, and an online course for managers to adopt a coaching leadership style.
A coaching management style shows how anyone can benefit from coaching, even in professional spaces. Since Nadella and his leadership team’s initiative, Microsoft has made an attention-grabbing comeback in the tech world and seen profits soar.
The bottom line
So far, we’ve thoroughly outlined why coaching matters for our clients. But coaching also improves our lives. We learn alongside our clients as we take on their unique concerns. And as we encourage them, we’re constantly reminded to encourage ourselves. Coaching is the most fulfilling career because we get to make other people’s lives better while continually improving our own.
Enhance your practice and spend more time with your clients by using a customer relationship management (CRM) system. Practice’s all-in-one platform allows you to communicate with clients, store important documents like client intake forms and coaching proposal templates, and authorize payment. Try it today.