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Coaching: Empowering Development

The word Coaching has become layered with a lot of different meaning. Definitions tend to morph and evolve depending on who you talk to.

Added to this a host of bandwagon-jumpers have further clouded the message throughout the years. However, it remains very much at the forefront of management development as organisations seek get an edge on performance.

A 2004 training and development survey by the Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD) (1) highlighted the enormous proportion of organisations that were then using coaching in the workplace. The demand for coaching as a result of this report saw a watershed moment of sorts as advice-mongers the world over benighted themselves with the moniker coach and set off to cash in.

Versions of these 'coaches' can sometimes be seen at business and employment fairs, selling themselves as a sort of corporate equivalent of the Horse Whisper. However, this approach to coaching often resulted in these people performing badly and in some cases aggravating the very problems they were initially contracted to solve. Unfortunately, they gave the concept of coaching a poor review in some circles and lost those of us who practice our coaching in a very professional and parameter conscious manner a lot in terms of professional integrity.

However, coaching, certified and accredited, has continued to grow in popularity as the pretenders are increasingly relegated to the wings. Inspired by many positive changes in the workplace, and a shift away from patriarchal and dogmatic cultures of confrontation and a do-or-die attitude to performance, companies have sought to empower their staff and seek guidance on how people feel their own development needs can be addressed. The change also mirrors a slow evolution away from the one-size-fits all approach to management (perhaps, reinforced in part by traditional forms of education).  Learning and development professionals are only too conscious of the one-size-fits all approach being a perfect fallacy.

With coaching, the primary concern is the person being coached (the coachee). The objective of coaching is to facilitate reflection. A good coach skillfully frames questions in not just asking, but challenging clients  to look at their part in a given dynamic and come to an understanding of perhaps how they could do things differently. However, the possibilities in coaching are wide ranging. By continuing to probe and delegate responsibility the coach is actively empowering people to come to their own realisations of how best to achieve more.

Currently H-TRAINING offers internationally recognised coaching qualifications at every level from first line up to executive management based on the needs of your organisation. For a free quote call 0872553090 / 0852069099 or email ciaran@htraining.net or helen@htraining.net

  1. http://www2.cipd.co.uk/NR/rdonlyres/0F4F5726-735C-4B78-A93E-4F8908B70456/0/tdsurvrept04.pdf

About the Author Ciaran Hourican

As a professional coach, mentor and facilitator Ciaran has a passionate interest in developing competencies at all workplace levels but particularly in first-line and mid-level managers. His well-developed skills in coaching and his unique approach gains the confidence of clients and supports them towards significant development.

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