How can business coaching operate in value-oriented small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)?
As a personnel development tool, business coaching is very much en vogue. Because coaching closes the often-described gap between training results and the transfer of the newly acquired knowledge into practice.
There are two conditions for effective business coaching: First, it requires a certain understanding of the process in order to create value. If, for example, making changes is worthwhile, people freely choose the best solutions. Secondly, a certain attitude of the business coach is needed in order to create sufficient cooperation with clients. Once it is clear that e.g. there is a positive intention behind every behavior or resistance is worthy and competent feedback from clients, more openness and trust are possible. Process understanding and attitude of the business coach are central foundations for competence-activating processes.
Therefore, the sound training as a coach is an essential basis. Those who value quality make sure that the quality and quantity requirements of a recongnised association are met. In addition, professional business coaches profit from the serious representation and the reputation of the association in the economy.
Especially for value-oriented small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), business coaching offers outstanding opportunities to develop the full potential of employees and executives. If the meaningful values are sustainably integrated into the corporate culture, the best conditions for a healthy work system are created. You have the choice: grown trust instead of nagging doubts, energetic creativity instead of anticipatory obedience, loving devotion instead of fear for the future.
What are typical concerns in Business Coaching?
Business coaching is essentially about job-related issues. Especially in the last ten years, the spectrum of possible work contexts has opened wide. The coach supports and accompanies specialists and executives, employees or groups in dealing with complex challenges, plans and goals. The coach always considers the development phase of the company, the organisation or the team. Because it makes a significant difference whether an organisation is still a pioneer or has already developed an integrated system.
On the own hand we have personal hopes, thoughts and emotions. On the other hand there are the company goals, cultural rules, organisational strategies. The interplay of both produces the topics that lead clients into business coaching. Here are a few occasions:
- New, unfamiliar leadership task,
- Role Consulting,
- Problems with certain employees,
- Stress management and burnout (-prophylaxis),
- Implementation of new leadership concepts,
- Preparing important decisions,
- Improving the quality of work,
- Establishment of quality circles,
- Increase of innovation and creativity,
- Expansion of management skills.
What is important during contract clarification in business coaching?
Most of the time the company pays the service. In return, it expects to fulfill the wishes of the client and the company. This results in a triangular relationship in which a specific allocation dynamic acts. Not only is it important to clarify open questions, but transparently work for all parties involved in the clarification of an appointment. This transparency is crucial so that the coach can create the optimal conditions. As a result, the goals of business coaching are achieved.
At the center of a coaching session is the intervention, which stimulates reflection or opens up new perspectives. Therefore, here are brief insights into three common business coaching interventions:
- Maturity model of leadership,
- Your inner team,
- The Walt Disney strategy.
Leadership through the maturity model
Especially the situation of newly appointed executives is a central topic in business coaching. Because due to the history of recruitment and the leadership culture, it contains a number of conflict potentials. The maturity model presented here is a successful management tool. It helps executives guide individual employees according to their task-related abilities. Depending on the degree of maturity of an employee, a suitable leadership style is practiced:
- Steer / Conduct “Telling” (i.e. give precise instructions),
- Guide / train “Selling” (i.e. give additional explanations),
- Support “Participating” (i.e. give specific powers),
- Develop power “Delegating” (i.e. transfer responsibilities).
Managers are going to have less effort in their leadership tasks in the long run. An executive will give a mature employee who only needs support, a high degree of freedom. Specifically, this means that control is limited e.g. on feedback from co-workers. In addition, longer meeting intervals are possible in leadership behavior and it is up to the employee to retrieve offers for reflection. This gives the healthy work system both, orientation and suitable space for development.
In addition, the executive has become aware that the style of leadership is negotiated according to the task. At the same time, it is always about the exchange of self-perception and how others perceive you. Thus, the appropriate leadership style in the organisation becomes a learning dialogue between the leader and the employee. In the best case, a trusting relationship is created, which allows energetic creativity and loving dedication to the tasks.
Your inner team
Your inner team is a development-oriented intervention. It is based on the personality model of the Hamburg psychologist Friedemann Schulz von Thun. He portrayed the state of plurality or inner fragmentation in the face of multiple, contradictory emotions using a metaphor: team members and a team leader are positioned on a stage. So, if you have the impression that there are two hearts beating in your chest, it may be a case for meeting your inner team. In contrast, you certainly know the expression “I am well positioned”.
From the client’s point of view, this method requires a willingness to engage in in-depth self-reflection and self-awareness, i.e. to feel internal processes or physical changes. Furthermore, an internal team meeting needs a stable relationship of trust between the business coach and the client. Therefore, it is not an intervention for the first session.
The client experiences his inner personality parts in an easily accessible and comprehensible way. This means that you identify relevant team members, consciously perceive them and they are taken into account in the final decision. Moreover, you have access to deeper needs so you find self-clarification – especially in conflicting situations – and elegant solutions. As a rule, to name a few examples, one can clarify one’s own leadership role, make suitable decisions, resolve stuck blockades or integrate obstructive internal components.
The successful strategy of Walt Disney
Undisputed, Walt Disney was one of the most influential and respected figures in the film industry of the 20th century. With the help of his creativity strategy Walt Disney created the cartoon characters Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. He also realised the first full-length animated cartoon with sound and color – a milestone in film history. His outstanding success is also reflected in the award with 26 Oscars, which is unrivaled to this day.
The successful strategy of Walt Disney consists of several elements. First of all, it uses different angles, i.e. especially in stressful situations different perception positions are taken. Secondly, it is based on pronounced sensory perception. Walt Disney creatively combined his perceptual channels to see what a sound tasted like. Thirdly, it allows childish curiosity, i.e. dreaming in search of the unknown is allowed. Fourth, it is based on the feedback principle: where there is a failure, the greatest opportunities for development lie! Fifth, this strategy creates a vision for humanity from the identity of the personality and it is fundamentally optimistic and inclined to life.
Walt Disneys strategy
The Walt Disney Strategy Intervention is modeled after Walt Disney’s way of working. Walt Disney acted as follows: First of all, he invented an imaginative vision of the entire film, associating with each individual character. Then he took a realistic perspective and began to gather information. With the inclusion of resources, money, time, he then set up a detailed plan. In the next step he considered both the vision and the plan from the eyes of a constructive critic. After the film became more interesting and entertaining and the plan improved, Walt Disney went through the process again. His cross-context strategy later manifested structurally. Because he divided his employees into the three categories of dreamer, realist and constructive critic. Likewise, he accommodated them in three different office complexes.
This method activates client resources, forces clients to reflect on their usual roles and attitudes. In addition, this method offers the possibility to make several changes of perspective. In this way, clients overcome boundaries, reconcile their resources, and develop improved implementation plans.