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Chapter 6. DISCUSSION
The results of the study reveal a number of noteworthy facts which are important for the further researches that can be conducted in the field of coaching and its impact on the individual performance. In fact, the study has proved that the effective coaching can have a positive impact on the improvement of the individual performance. For instance, coaching can lead to the increase of the effectiveness of employee’s performance and to the improvement of the interpersonal relationships within an organisation. However, coaching alone cannot lead clients and organisations to the improvement of the individual performance. To reach the maximum positive effect of coaching, organisations need to develop a positive organisational culture and create favourable conditions for the development of positive interpersonal relationships between people working within the organisations.
In such a way, coaching can improve consistently the individual performance if organisations maintain a positive organisational culture and assist coaches. In fact, coaches back up the policy conducted by organisations but they cannot change totally the situation within the organisation through coaching. Nevertheless, they can help employees to improve their individual performance.
On the other hand, the current study has certain limitations. To put it more precisely, more case studies can be conducted to reveal actual effects of coaching on the individual performance. In fact, the case studies analysed in the current dissertation reveals quite controversial results. On the one hand, employees enrolled in coaching have improved their individual performance, whereas, on the other hand, a considerable part of employees were not enrolled in coaching. In such a situation, it is possible to presuppose that the positive effect of coaching could be even better if a larger number of employees were enrolled in coaching or, in contrast, the coaching had little positive impact and was a waste of time in terms of the entire organisation because of the little positive impact of coaching on the organisational performance.
The current study has revealed a number of important facts about the impact of coaching on employees performance. In addition, the study help to define the effective models that can be used in coaching to improve employee’s performance. At this point, it is possible to dwell upon six key roles of coaching, which Huselid (1995) defines as follows:
Guiding and Caretaking
Guiding is the process of directing another person along the path leading from where they are presently to where they want to be, providing a safe and supportive environment without unnecessary distractions or interferences from the outside.
Teaching relates to helping a person develop cognitive skills and capabilities and the emphasis is on learning. It focuses on the acquisition of general skills, rather than on performance in specific situations. A teacher helps a person to develop new strategies for thinking and acting.
A teacher instructs, while a coach provides specific behavioural feedback, in order to help a person learn or grow. Mentors, on the other hand, guide us to discover our own unconscious competences, and strengthen beliefs and values, often through their own example.
Sponsorship involves creating a context in which others can act, grow and excel. Sponsorship is about the development of identity and core values, awakening and safeguarding potential within others. It involves the commitment to the promotion of something that is already within a person or group, but which is not being manifested to its fullest capacity.
Awakening goes beyond coaching, teaching, mentoring and sponsorship to include the level of vision, mission and spirit. An awakener puts other people in touch with their own missions and visions and thus the coach needs to know his/her own vision and mission and purpose.
Basically, coaches and managers can use the aforementioned coaching roles in the coaching process to increase its effectiveness and to reach the major goals of coaching. At the same time, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that the current study uncovers just certain aspects of the impact of coaching on employees’ performance, whereas the further studies can uncover new aspects and expand the ones discussed in terms of the current study. Anyway, the study of the impact of coaching on employees’ performance is extremely important because in the contemporary business environment coaching is essential for the professional development and effective performance of employees. At the same time, the improvement of employees’ performance naturally contributes to the improvement of the organizational performance. In such a way, coaching can lead to positive effects on the business development and organizational performance at large, although the target of coaching is an employee. Therefore, the contemporary coaching should focus on employee but to succeed in coaching of employees it is necessary to find an individual approach to each employee, to match his or her needs and wants. Moreover, it is extremely important to remember about ethical considerations which are of the utmost importance because the offence of moral norms and standards of employees is not acceptable in contemporary organizations.
The study of the impact of coaching on employees’ performance opens new horizons for the study of the organizational performance and employees’ performance. The current study helps to understand the scope of the impact of the impact of coaching on employees’ performance and organizational performance at large. At the same time, the current study is closely intertwined with other studies conducted in the field of coaching and employees’ performance. At this point, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that coaching comprises an integral part of the contemporary business development and many organizations tend to use coaching to improve their employees’ performance along with the overall improvement of the organizational performance. On the other hand, the development of coaching implies the growing need to improve coaching to maximize its effectiveness. In this regard, different models of coaching offered in terms of the current study may be very helpful for companies that are just introducing coaching in their practice as well as for companies that have an extensive experience in coaching.
In this respect, it is worth mentioning the fact that knowledge of coaches are of the utmost importance for the effectiveness of coaching and its positive impact on the employees’ performance. What is meant here is the fact that coaches should be well-qualified professionals above all. At first glance, it seems to be paradoxical that organizations employ poorly-qualified coaches but, in actuality, organizations often fail to find the coach they need. However, often the coach’s qualification does not matter, when the organization’s goals and expectations concerning coaching do not coincide with the vision of the coaching process of the coach. To put it in simple words, coaches have their own vision of the coaching process and they naturally attempt to implement their ideas in the course of coaching. However, the vision coaches have may not coincide with the goals organizations set and expect coaches to meet them in the course of coaching. In such a way, coaching may fail, when organizations fail to define clearly its goals or when coaches cannot understand adequately organizations’ expectations concerning the coaching process.
Nevertheless, the qualification of coaches still does matter. To put it more precisely, coaches should have an extensive knowledge in the field of coaching to be able to organize the coaching process and help coachees to reach basic goals of coaching. At the same time, coaches should understand what organizations they work for expect from them and what goals organizations have set. Furthermore, coaches should have extensive knowledge in the field of psychology. The in-depth knowledge of psychology will help coaches to establish positive interpersonal relationships with coachees and increase the effectiveness of coaching. In this respect, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that the development of knowledge in the field of psychology is crucial for good coaches because they should be able to work with any coachee. The effective work with a coachee is possible on the condition of the ability of a coach to understand needs, wants and psychological peculiarities of a coachee as well as possible problems a coachee may have. On analyzing psychological characteristics of a coachee, his or her strengths and weaknesses, successes and problems, a coach can develop an effective approach to the coachee to reveal his or her full potential and help the coachee to improve his or her performance consistently after completing the coaching process. In such a way, coaches should be good psychologists to work effectively and to make the coaching process effective enough to improve employees’ performance.
Along with professional knowledge, coaches should have professional skills. In this respect, it is possible to single out communication and organizational skills as well as leadership skills as the most important skills essential for a successful coach. Communication skills are essential for the establishment of positive interpersonal relationships with coachees. They help coaches to gain the attention and respect of coachees. In fact, coaching is more effective when coachees are interested in the communication with the coach rather than when they dislike the coach or his or her communication style. Therefore, coaches should choose carefully their communication style and to maintain positive relationships with coachees to reach their goals and to make the coaching process successful.
As for organizational skills, they are also of the utmost importance for an effective coach. In this regard, specialists () recommend coaches to start with self organization. What is meant here is the fact that coaches should be able to organize their life and work, they should develop schedule, which they can match, and they should help coachees to organizing the coaching process effectively. The latter means that coachees should schedule their work and coaching process to balance the time they spent at work and coaching and to have sufficient leisure time to repose or to spend time with their families. In such a way, coachees will not be overwhelmed with coaching and work that may provoke negative effects because of the stressful environment shaped by excessive coaching and work. If coachees grow tired of coaching and work, they need to have time to have a rest and to relax. Coachees need to learn to organize their work properly and effectively to improve their performance. In this regard, the organizational skills of their coach can be very helpful because coachees will learn from the experience of the coach, who serves as a model for his or her coachees. Anyway, the development of organizational skills normally leads to the improvement of the effectiveness of performance. Therefore, coaches with well-developed organizational skills are likely to improve performance of their coachees after accomplishment of the course of coaching.
Also, it is important to remember about leadership skills of coaches as an important factor that can contribute to the improvement of employees’ performance on completing the coaching process. In this respect, it is necessary to dwell upon the role of leadership in coaching. First of all, it should be said that a coach needs to gain respect of coachees. Coachees should be confident in the professionalism of their coach and his or her ability to tackle problems successfully and easily. Coachees should be certain in their coach. In such a situation, charisma of a coach as one of the key characteristics of a successful leader is particularly important. In fact, a charismatic leader can unit people under his or her command. Therefore, a charismatic coach can unite team members, i.e. coachees to meet the goals of coaching. In fact, coaching cannot be successful, if coachees fail to meet its goals and they need to work in a team to become successful. In such a situation, a charismatic leader-coach is essential to maximize the effectiveness’ of coaching. At the same time, the effective coaching leads to the improvement of employees’ performance. This means that coaches with well-developed leadership skills can be successful and improve performance of employees through coaching.
On analyzing the role of leadership skills in the work of coaches, it is important to remember that coachees working in a team may have an informal leader, who can challenge the formal authority of the coach. If the coach does not have well-developed leadership skills, the informal leader takes the lead and starts to head the team of coachees. As a result, the risk of conflicts within the team increases substantially because the decisions taken by the coach can be challenged by the informal leader and the team of coachees may support their informal leader instead of the coach, who has just the formal authority. Therefore, the positive effect of coaching is under a question as long as the coach cannot cope with the informal leader. In this regard, to solutions are possible. First, the coach should prove his or her leadership and show that he or she is the true leader of the team. Second, the coach can expel the informal leader from the team. However, the second solution is not good. The loss of the informal leader will provoke the opposition within the team of coachees. They are likely to be unwilling to work with the coach to the extent that they can join their informal leader and abandon coaching at all. The first option is much better but it needs substantial efforts from the part of the coach. For instance, coaches should gain the confidence of coachees in his or her leadership. To meet this goal, the coach should outpace the informal leader. Moreover, the coach should suppress any manifestation of opposition to his or her leadership in the team. In such a way, the coach should prove that he or she has not just the formal authority in the team but he or she is the true leader of the team, the person, who can guide coachees and to help them to improve their performance, to expand their professional knowledge and to develop new skills and abilities or to improve existing ones.
The effective coaching is not grounded on the effective leadership of a coach but the effective coaching also involves the motivation of coachees. Coaches should remember that their coachees should be always motivated to participate in coaching and to achieve positive results from coaching, which they can implement in their work to improve their performance. At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that coaches are often limited in their motivation of coachees. To put it more precisely, coaches do not always have an opportunity to use material rewards to motivate coachees. For instance, they cannot provide coachees with financial bonuses or to promote coachees to keep them motivated. In this regard, coaches can use other material motivators, which should not necessarily have any substantial material value. For instance, a small present like a pen or a book can motivate coaches. What does matter in such motivation is the attention the coach pays to his or her coachees. The attention and respect to coachees are probably the most important factors that keep coachees well-motivated and interested in the coaching process. In this regard, coaches should remember that non-material motivation may be as effective or even more effective than material motivation. The non-material motivation involves the use of psychological factors to keep coachees motivated. For instance, coachees may have different needs. Depending on their position in an organization and their professional development they may have different needs. The higher the position of a coachee is and the higher needs he or she has the more complex non-material motivators will be. For instance, coaches can pay attention to coachees and notice their successes in the course of coaching that will motivate them or a coach can help coachees a complex moral dilemma in the course of coaching and, thus, will gain the respect of coachees making them motivated. In fact, motivators can vary but coaches should remember that motivation is essential for the effective coaching. At the same time, coaches should remember that coachees should stay motivated after the end of coaching as well. Consequently, the motivation of coachees should be balanced and coordinated with managers of organizations where coachees work. Otherwise, coachees may suffer from poor motivation in their workplace environment if managers use less effective motivators than their coach did.
Furthermore, the current study contributes consistently to the development of new approaches to the formation of positive interpersonal relationships between managers and, between coaches and coachees. The latter is particularly important in terms of the positive effect of coaching on employees’ performance. As the matter of fact, interpersonal relationships within any organization are the key toward the formation of the healthy organizational culture. In addition, coaching cannot be successful if coaches and coachees suffer from permanent conflicts and have substantial contradictions. In actuality, coaches attempt to use new approaches to improve the effectiveness of coaching and the current helps them to find the model of coaching, which is the most convenient to their style and personal inclinations. On the other hand, it is important to understand that the current study is not complete because the impact of coaching on employees’ performance needs further studies and new aspects of effects of coaching may be revealed not only in regard to the impact of coaching on employees’ performance but also the impact of coaching on the organizational performance. Anyway, the current study lays the foundation to further studies in the field of coaching and employees performance.
The findings of the current study are very important for the further researches in the field of coaching because the relationship between coaching and individual importance is crucial. At any rate, the improvement of the individual performance is one of the major goals of any coaching program. Therefore, further studies can use the findings of the current study to explore the extent to which coaching can improve the individual performance. In addition, further research studies could focus on the elaboration of effective approaches to coaching to maximize its positive impact on the individual performance. Moreover, further research studies can expand the scope of the current research and go beyond the individual performance. What is meant here is the fact that further research studies can explore the impact of coaching on organisational performance through individual performance. Thus, the impact of coaching on organizational performance needs further research studies.