Bhavna Dalal ( www.bhavnadalal.com) is the Founder and CEO of Talent Power Partners [www.talentpowerpartners.com] a Leadership Development company based in Bangalore, India. She is a Team Leadership Coach with ICF PCC Certification, IIM Calcutta Executive MBA, and B.E.(Electronics). Also, the author of the book Team Decision Making [https://www.amazon.in/dp/B01MXF5QEM] endorsed by former CEO's of Target, Lowes, LimitedBrands,bank of Baroda, 3M , Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, Dr. Manoj Pardasani (Associate Dean Fordham University) and many others. Bhavna has been serving on the Board of Directors of Bodhi Education Society (A not-for-profit that supports schools in rural Andhra Pradesh in India ) for the past 5 years.
As a people manager in any industry, the most critical thing along with consistent growth is developing your people. Developing people means equipping them with the skills they need to handle change and dynamic situations.
In this fast-paced world moving toward a gig economy, each person wants to do what they are best at. In such a situation, if faced with difficult situations or roadblocks, they must have the skills to navigate choppy waters on their own and resolve them. They should be able to come to a place of clarity independently, to move forward with their decisions confidently.
When people become more productive, their performance improves and it ultimately makes you look good. Developing employees also help in recruiting and retaining. A trained employee(s) allows you to delegate so that you can focus on where you will be best utilised. Most importantly, it is rewarding because that is what leadership indeed is all about - making a difference in the lives of others.
In this digital and VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Changing, Ambiguous) world, the best way to develop your employees is through a culture of coaching. But what exactly is coaching?
In the professional context, coaching involves partnering with a person to help them come up with their own answers. It requires you to be present, listen to them actively, and asking questions to help guide them through their own solutions. The most important aspect is that this process needs to be carried out without any judgment.
Coaching asks for people to believe that everyone knows their own situation the best, and once a new perspective is gained through introspection and deliberation, natural ownership of any action arises out of this awareness and learning. The answers in coaching lie heavily in asking and not telling. Coaching conversations can happen anywhere and can be short or long.
Organisations are transforming their culture to adapt to the new paradigm by training their managers as coaches. It is one of the many tools being used. It also helps in building trust with team members. Once they realise you are truly vested in their well-being and believe in them, it creates an environment of collaboration within the team.
In their book Coaching, Mentoring and Organisational Consultancy: Supervision and Development, Hawkins and Smith suggest seven steps that are necessary for establishing a full coaching culture in an organisation. Those steps are:
» Developing external coaching provision
» Developing internal coaching capacity
» Leaders actively supporting coaching endeavours
» Developing team coaching and organisational learning
» Embed it in human resources (HR) and performance management processes
» Coaching becomes the dominant style of managing
» Coaching becomes how we do business with all our stakeholders
It typically starts with the executive leadership team getting coached. For this culture to penetrate, the senior leadership must believe in the coaching process and encourage it.
For any organisation to thrive, it must develop its strategy faster than the changing world it is operating in. The even more significant challenge for the organisation is to sustain and manage its culture at the same speed as its strategy. Culture change is not easy because it is pervasive. It takes time. Creating a coaching culture is not an end in itself, but a means to an end.
A coaching culture is a vital part of creating a more general culture of openness, collaboration, trust, and development. All this will help enhance the capabilities and capacities of all the employees and the organisation as a whole. High performance can create greater shared value for the organisation and all its key stakeholders.
Coaching used to be looked at as a correctional measure toward improving behavior, however, now companies are beginning to see it the way forward to transform their culture to excel in the future.
Bhavna Dalal is the Founder and CEO of Talent Power Partners, a Leadership Development company based in Bangalore, India.