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Many specialists (Hawkins & Smith, 2006) lay emphasis on the fact that the overall success of coaching depends on the coaching supervision. The coaching supervision is essential to maintain and control coaching and to introduce changes in the coaching session to maximize its effectiveness. The coaching supervision is generally seen to have three functions (Hawkins & Smith, 2006):
1. Resourcing – helping the coach manage the coachee emotions which they pick up when working with clients.
2. Development – developing the skills, understanding and capacities of the coachee.
3. Qualitative – ensuring the quality of the coach’s work.
Resourcing is a very important function because it helps a coach to establish contacts with an individual. The individual should feel confident in the ability of the coach to help him or her to tackle with his or her problems. Often, individuals feel nervous when they get involved into coaching sessions. In such a situation, the ability of a coach to help individuals to cope with their emotions may be crucial for the overall success of coaching (Miller, 1998). In fact, individuals cannot always perceive adequately coaching and the messages the coach sends to them, if they are nervous or when emotions just overwhelm clients to the extent that they cannot understand the coach.
The development is also very significant function of the coaching supervision because it lays the foundation to the learning of individuals and development of new skills. In fact, it is due to the development function, coaches can develop the desired set of skills and provide individuals with knowledge and experience they need for the improvement of their individual performance.
As for qualitative function, this function implies the existence of control over the work of a coach. The control is essential because it allows to assess the quality of the work of a coach. If an individual increases the productivity of work or improves the effectiveness of his or her work after the coach session, this means that the coach’s work was effective and the better individuals work after coaching sessions the higher is the quality of the coach’s work.
2.5 Roles of an executive coach
The diversity of coaching models and challenges coaches face in their work leads to the emergence of different roles performed by coaches in their work with clients. Hawkins and Smith (2006) define the six roles of an executive coach:buy term paper
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, all these roles can be applied in different settings but coaches should remember that there is no perfect role and they need to adapt the role they can use most successfully in the specific situation and environment which they work in. Sometimes, coaches need to combine several roles or change them to reach a success in coaching.
3. Research Hypothesis
The implementation of coaching is essential in the contemporary business environment. It proves beyond a doubt that modern companies do need to improve the performance of their employees. To meet this goal, they need to maintain effective coaching. In this respect, it is possible to suggest a hypothesis that the effective coaching can lead to the consistent improvement of the individual performance. In fact, coaching comprises an integral part of functioning of modern organizations. Therefore, modern organizations attempt to maximize the effectiveness of coaching. In such a situation, it is important to understand the fact that the work of employees becomes more and more complicated in the contemporary business environment. At this point, it is necessary to take into consideration several factors. First, the progress of technologies raises new challenges and poses new problems employees have to overcome. Naturally, they cannot tackle these problems and start using new technologies without training. This is exactly where coaching becomes particularly important. On the other hand, it is obvious that, if employees get training and if a coach succeeds in coaching employees to use new technologies and to tackle problems associated with the use of new technologies, than employees are likely to improve their individual performance. Employees capable to use easily new technologies are more effective and productive than employees, who cannot use new technologies. At the same time, coaches can teach employees how to learn to use new technologies. Therefore, coaching may have a long-lasting positive impact on the individual performance of employees.
Furthermore, many companies suffer from internal problems and poor interpersonal relationships. It proves beyond a doubt that poor interpersonal relationships lead to the poor individual performance as well as to the overall decline of organizations with such problems. Coaches can help clients to improve interpersonal relationships through coaching sessions. Therefore, coaching will have a positive impact on the individual performance, if clients learn positive models of behaviour and develop positive interpersonal relationships with other people working within the organization.
In addition, coaching contributes to the solution of both internal and external problems that employees can face in the course of their work. In such a way, coaching is grounded on the complex approach to the resolution of existing problems of employees that prevent them from the effective organizational performance. In actuality, the resolution of both internal and external problems is likely to lead to a consistent improvement of the work of employees and to the improvement of their individual performance. At the same time, coaching can strengthen the relationships within the organization between the personnel if people undergo a systematic coaching sessions. Thus, they can communicate with coaches and get essential coaching to tackle the problems they face. As a result, the individual performance of employees improves. On the other hand, the improvement of the individual performance of employees is likely to lead to the overall improvement of the organizational performance because the work of each individual within the organization affects the performance of the entire organization. However, to extrapolate the improvement of the individual performance on the organizational performance, it is necessary to develop effective interpersonal relationships within the organization and to form a positive organizational culture. In this regard, coaching alone is apparently not enough because coaches can just back up the current policy and organizational culture, whereas managers and policy-makers define the strategic development of the organization. Nevertheless, if the organization maintains positive organizational culture and creates favourable conditions for the realization of the full potential of each employee, coaching can help to improve both individual and organizational performance.
4. Research methodology
The study focused on the research of the impact of performance coaching on the improvement of the individual performance. The study involved specialists working in the field of coaching, managers, employees and experts to assess the impact of coaching on the improvement of the individual performance and to define the strategies of the effective coaching which can lead to the improvement of the individual performance of employees. In addition, the study involved the research of the case study of Standard Bank of South Africa as one of the companies using coaching successfully.
10 coaches – 6 males, 5 females at the age of 27-49; 10 managers – 5 males, 5 females at the age of 26-52 holding different positions in organizational hierarchies; 10 employees – 4 males, 6 females at the age of 22-54 performing tasks of different complexity and with different responsibilities; 5 experts working in different fields related to human resource management, coaching, psychology, education, and business administration, including 3 males and 2 females at the age of 31-40.
On researching the problem of the impact of coaching on the improvement of the individual performance, it is important to use effective methods of the qualitative analysis. In this regard, interviews are very helpful because they allow to conduct the qualitative analysis and to reveal the opinion of experts and different professionals as well as all stakeholders involved in the study and directly or indirectly involved in or affected by coaching. Interviews were conducted face-to-face and online. 60 % of interviews were conducted face-to-face, whereas 40% of interviews were conducted online. Questions were prepared to reveal the impact of coaching on the improvement of the individual performance and, at the same time, in the course of interviews possible recommendations or comments of respondents on the effectiveness of coaching were collected. In such a way, the detailed information on the impact and effectiveness of coaching was collected in the course of interviews, whereas respondents got ample opportunities to express their opinion about coaching, its effectiveness and possible improvements.
Questionnaires were used to complement interviews. This method was used to extend the qualitative analysis of data collected in the course of the study. The main goal of the questionnaires was the same as the goal of the interviews. The major goal was to reveal effects of coaching and its possible positive impact on the individual performance of employees involved in coaching. The questionnaires were distributed in print and online. Respondents got 20 minutes to answer the questions and to send responses back. The questionnaires were anonymous to increase the reliability of responses provided by the subjects of the study. 25% of questionnaires were in print, whereas 75% of questionnaires were distributed online. The data were collected and processed on the computer to facilitate the analysis of the information collected in the course of the study.