Six reasons executive coaching skills are indispensable for all people professionals

23rd January by Lee Robertson

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We hear a lot about executive coaching going mainstream, but is that truly the case? Is the true meaning of coaching actually understood in that it does good by pulling out the capacity people have within? Do people realise that coaching skills in general can be put to good effect and do they really appreciate its versatility and easiness to apply in everyday life?

A new podcast from the CIPD looking at what makes the ideal people professional caught my attention recently. It was offering a deeper look at the core skills and qualities needed to be an effective and impactful people professional by touching on everything from emotional intelligence to authenticity. It provided great and insightful content, but it left me holding the questions above because it missed out one important skill set – coaching.

The CIPD does absolutely fantastic work and is a great advocate for coaching, but there is always more to be done by anyone and everyone involved in the use of coaching.

The way we work has changed and is still continuing to evolve. Managing how your workplace works is at the heart of doing business, so people professionals could all benefit from possessing effective coaching skills. If anything, coaching skills are showing up more than ever as a non-negotiable element in lots of roles such as line management, HR and organisational design.

The spirit of coaching lies in its ability to unlock individual potential, facilitate personal and professional growth and drive positive change. People professionals, armed with coaching skills, can better navigate the complexities of human dynamics, foster employee development and ultimately contribute to a more engaged and high-performing workforce.

1 - One primary reason coaching skills are so valuable for people professionals is their role in talent development. We are in a time where attracting and retaining top talent is a constant struggle as organisations realise the importance of nurturing their existing workforce. Coaching provides a tailored approach to employee development, allowing HRs to identify strengths and weaknesses and create a personalised growth trajectory for each individual. This not only enhances employee satisfaction, but also translates into a more skilled and adaptable talent pool.

2 - Moreover, coaching skills empower people professionals to be effective communicators and influencers within an organisation. It sits squarely with being able to help HR practitioners contribute to businesses as true strategic drivers.

The ability to listen actively, ask powerful questions and provide constructive feedback is crucial to cultivating open communication and building trust. With teams becoming more diverse and remote and hybrid work more popular, these skills become even more critical as they can help bridge the gaps created by physical distance and cultural differences. An HR practitioner with strong coaching skills can create an inclusive and collaborative work environment, where every voice is heard.

3 - In addition to fostering individual development, coaching skills can be pivotal in managing change within an organisation. Work is constantly evolving with technological advancements, market shifts and global events influencing the way organisations operate. People professionals, as change agents, must guide employees through these tricky transitions. Coaching provides a supportive framework for individuals and teams to adapt to change, manage uncertainties and embrace new ways of working. By helping employees navigate change, HRs and senior leaders can contribute to a more resilient and agile organisation.

4 - Furthermore, coaching skills enable people professionals to address and resolve conflicts effectively. Conflicts are inevitable, but how they are managed can make a significant difference in the overall workplace culture. Through coaching, those working in talent management can mediate conflicts, facilitate open dialogues and help colleagues understand different perspectives. This not only resolves immediate issues but helps build a foundation for a more collaborative and harmonious workplace.

5 - The emphasis on coaching skills is not just a response to the current demands of the workplace; it is a strategic investment in the long-term success of an organisation. Where employee engagement and wellbeing are at the forefront of organisational priorities, coaching shows up as a powerful tool for creating a positive workplace culture. It also encourages a sense of purpose, meaning and fulfilment among employees, aligning goals with organisational objectives.

6 - Finally, coaching skills are elemental in the overall effectiveness of leadership within an organisation. People professionals will commonly work closely with leadership teams to shape organisational strategies and coaching skills can enhance their ability to influence, support and challenge leaders. By helping leaders understand and leverage their strengths, coaching promotes a leadership style that is not only results-driven, but also people-centric. This duality is crucial in the contemporary workplace, where leadership is expected to inspire, empower and drive both individual and collective success.

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

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