How To Love Coaching

Business loves coaching. It’s a fact!

In 2011 - right in the middle of the worst financial crisis for a generation - three quarters of businesses polled by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development stated that they offered coaching, and the majority of these companies were seeing greater take-up from staff than two years prior.

And the reason business loves coaching is simple: coaching improves staff engagement and it increases productivity.

These facts, and the CIPD’s focus, might arguably only relate to a larger organisation though; what about the smaller companies; the SMEs that play such a huge part in Britain’s business environment? Do SMEs love coaching too?

I have no answer to that question, but I can state categorically that they should, and not just because I am a coach.

I say it because SMEs are the very organisations that become big businesses in time and given sufficient fuel, in the form of productivity, investment, initiative and good management.

So while many individuals who own or manage smaller businesses currently engage with coaches on their own behalf, I feel it is critical for the continuing growth of the economy as a whole that they also integrate coaching into their businesses at every level.

To bring coaching to a smaller staff should surely be simpler than offering it to the employees of a larger multinational, right?

But perhaps it’s the anonymity of the larger organisation that makes coaching easy to adopt; people can engage with their coach without necessarily letting their colleagues know about it unless they choose to, while in a smaller company it might be the perception that an individual taking up the coaching option could become the object of comment or even ridicule.

To address this, an owner or manager who wants to adopt the coaching culture that will encourage growth and prosperity should make theirs the first step, and should make it known unequivocally that she or he is working with a coach, and that she or he is gaining from the experience. The availability of coaching should also be made clear, and the guidelines within which the coaching is offered should be distinct and straightforward as well as being wholly inclusive.

The fact that any stigma attached to coaching is almost always in the mind of the person who needs or would like access to coaching doesn’t alter the fact that any coaching offering that is less than inclusive or that is treated as somehow a secret will be a great deal less effective than something that is a known and respected part of the culture of an organisation…regardless of its size.

So if you aspire to turning your SME into a global player, learn to love coaching!


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 Caitlin has made a real difference to my confidence and to the way I approach my business on a day to day basis.
John Baker, Regional Director, The Jockey Club
 It (coaching) unearthed a depth of confidence that I was beginning to question and enabled me to make a significant change within myself and my work.
Luke Joy-Smith, Managing Director - Somerset Social Enterprise
 I connected with my coach on our very first call and I believe that made the whole difference for me. I wish I could dig deeper on some of my remaining issues but unfortunately all good things have to end. I will definitely recommend coaching and have been already doing it for while. It definitely changed my life.
Stephanie Malka, Director NOC Service Engineering – EMEA
 Great to see that there has been a positive outcome from this.
Simon Gosney, Head of Learning and Development
 Tim has provided some high quality coaching support to me through a time of transition both in terms of job, career and organisational changes. He is a skilled and experienced executive coach who facilitated just the right mix of reflection, future visioning, challenge, compassion and stretch. I’d strongly recommend working with him if you are going through a career or organisation transition. Fun to work with, I always left my sessions with him feeling significantly clearer and more content with my overall direction of travel and next steps.
Neil Savage, Director of Organisational Development 2gether NHS Foundation Trust
 “I selected my coach on the basis that she had a completely different approach to my structured way of thinking. Katherine challenged me and took me way out of my comfort zone – scary and uncomfortable at times but eye-opening. These coaching sessions enabled me to see things from a very different perspective, gave me the time and space to reflect on my practice and provided practical tips and approaches as to how I can develop my performance.”
Zenobia Daar, Head of People, Governance & Performance
 Please continue with the programme. For a guy, like Paul, who does not use the word 'fantastic', who then uses must be really good!
Marissa Bartlett, Head of Organisational Development - Mid Sussex District Council
 Everyone learnt a lot about themselves and others. It was the first training in English that one of my mentors had done and it was really successful for him. We have all come away feeling more confident. I have been on many development programmes and I have to say it has been one of the best I have ever attended.
Radka Lankasova, HR Manager, DENSO MANUFACTURING CZECH s. r. o.
 Steve Delivered a professional, relaxed and engaging session. Relevance, interest and clarity of delivering allowed for a very productive outcome.
Andy Castle, VP of Network Operations and Engineering, EMEA
 I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with Steve. He encouraged me to look at how I view myself and my actions, to actively seek positive outcomes to every day situations. My perception of myself has certainly changed due to my conversations with Steve and I would highly recommend coaching sessions with Unlimited Potential.
Rik Roberts, Team Leader