How to win in business
Coaching: it’s not just for athletes…
Published in the St. Helena Independent, 31st October 2008
John Turner at Burgh House explains that leaders, managers and other business people worldwide profit from personal coaching; and St. Helena could gain benefit from it too.
In athletics and other sports, having a personal trainer or coach is considered normal, and many medal winners credit their trainer with helping them to excel. But personal coaching is no longer just for athletes and in the last ten years many of the world’s top business leaders have taken on personal coaches to help them win in business.
And it’s not just the people at the top. Some organisations make coaching available for staff at many levels. Companies, government departments and other organisations that use personal coaching include Toyota, Lloyds TSB Bank, Sony, The Red Cross and the US Department of Natural Resources and Environment (Source: International Coaching Council).
So personal coaching can help world organisations to succeed, but is it applicable to St. Helena? To answer that let’s look at what a personal coach actually does.
There are some similarities between coaching and training, but the differences are important. Imagine you realise that to do your job more effectively, or make your business more profitable, you need to gain skills you don’t already have. You could look around for courses, but training courses are, by nature, generalised. They deal with topics that many people need to know, and they may provide a rather broad view of these topics. To cover your precise needs you may need to attend several courses in which only a percentage of the material covered directly addresses your required learning. And at the end, you may still have questions, specific to your business or role, that you may not be happy to raise in front of others in a training room situation.
With personal coaching you specify exactly what it is you need, and the personal coach works with you, in a totally confidential way, for as little or as long as is necessary for you to be confident that you have achieved your aim. This is a far more efficient way to deal with a specific issue or learn a specific skill. It’s like having a one-to-one training course custom-built for your needs.
You can take on a personal coach to deal with a particular issue, or you can make an arrangement for the coach to be available to you as and when you need it; someone independent who can work with you to make that vital report really strong, or help you polish that all-important presentation. Coaching is entirely confidential so you can gain support for dealing with even the most sensitive of issues; it’s between you and the coach to decide what support you need and when.
It really does work for people. The International Coach Federation polled 210 people who had recently used personal coaching. 98% of respondents said they found the coaching valuable, with 70% describing it as "very valuable".
You don’t need to fly to America or the UK to find a personal coach for your business needs. It’s available here on St. Helena. Just imagine… what it could do for you.
So if you want to be a winner in business, not an also-ran, you know what to do.
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