Coaching as a tool of change

Published on September 2, 2009 Reviewed on May 31, 2020   19 min

A selection of talks on Management, Leadership & Organisation

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Hello everybody, I'm Barbara Moyes and I'd like to welcome you to this session on coaching as a tool of change for senior leaders. Coaching has now come of age. A recent international study carried out by Dimensions International found that UK leaders were pretty dismissive of formal classroom training, but saw coaching as having great impact in helping them become more effective leaders. UK development professionals (human resource professionals) thought that coaching, together with stretching job assignments, was the most effective way of developing leaders. So what's coaching all about, and how does it work? I coach mainly in the public sector, and this presentation draws on my experience there. As well as talking about coaching in general, I'm going to highlight some of the complexities I think there are in coaching public sector leaders, particularly in central government.
The structure of this presentation is as follows. I'm going to start by defining what coaching is. Then I'm going to talk you through one of the main models which coaches use, the 'GROW' model which you may have heard of. After that, we'll look at some of the special factors coaching has to address when coaching senior civil servants, and I'm going to end by discussing how coaching helps senior leaders change.
But first of all, where does coaching come from? It has at least three main roots, you're probably all familiar with sports coaches. Several of the early coaching gurus had a background in sports, and people like Sven-Göran Eriksson have written about how they motivate and coach sports teams. I was lucky enough to hear Sally Gunnell describe how she used visualisation to help her win races. She pictured taking the race in her mind time and time again, until she knew exactly how she was going to run it, and what she would do if anything went wrong. Visualisation has now become an important coaching technique to help people achieve success.