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28 JUNE 2008
How does coaching work – From a client perspective
By Mariane Vorster, COMENSA chairman

How useful would it be for coaches if we knew what clients wanted and what works for them.

The KZN chapter of COMENSA recently had the privilege of having representatives from two organisations, who have used coaching extensively, sit with 17 of our members and allowing us to ask questions and sharing their views and opinions with us.

It was clear that the clients had put effort into building their understanding of how coaching fits into their whole support structure of staff within their organisation. How coaching fitted in with mentoring, industrial psychology and performance management and discipline. This has not been achieved without some errors and blurring of roles. Here are some of the answers to the questions posed.

  • There is a place for executive coaching
  • There is a future for coaching at all levels
  • The better the outcomes are identified, communicated and agreed between coach, coachee and client, the higher the success rate of the coaching intervention.
  • If the organisation uses coaching for development rather than remediation of performance problems and communicates the value of coaching to the staff members clearly, to have a coach becomes a symbol of prestige and gets spoken of with pride.
  • They use a variety of interventions and tools to train skills and knowledge, including business schools. They include some coaching as an overall process of embedding teaching adult learning. However, they have found that coaching is the best way to develop and enhance EQ.
  • At the moment they “test” the validity of coaches by checking their qualifications and references and evaluate the coach based on their own life experience and the match between what they observe and what they need in the organisation.
  • They have not been pressurised to reduce success to ROI. They gauge success by the individuals own responses and comments, the feedback from their environment and
  • Subjective observation. At times 360 assessments are used at the start and completion of interventions.

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