Why every lawyer or accountant should have a coach!

Coaching That Drives Performance

Over the last decade, we have seen how coaching has evolved and become more popular as an effective organisational development intervention that supports and enables strategic initiatives, cultural change and essential leadership growth and development.

Our executive coaches work with the board, partners and aspiring partners, to help them acquire and settle in to new roles and overcome challenges, however 2020/21 has seen many coaching assignments evolve from the need for line managers at all levels to be better equipped to manage people and the stress that they are under.

The business case for coaching is developed from several factors:

1. Mindset drives behaviours which in turn influence outcomes. Organisations often focus on changing behaviours, however coaching explores and challenges personal attitudes, values and beliefs, thus initiating major shifts which flow naturally into changed behaviours.

2. Covid-19 has highlighted again that we work in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, and made remote working the norm. Managers are not only dependent on team members to demonstrate independent thinking, responsible autonomy, and personal effectiveness but to trust that they will do so of their own accord and to facilitate them achieving it. This must suit employee personal circumstances yet also meet organisational and team needs. Remote management needs a different mindset and approach and this is where coaching is highly effective.

3. Emotional resilience in the face of underlying societal anxiety and uncertainty is now more important than ever before. Coaching enables people to deal with this anxiety and uncertainty, increasing their agility and ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

4. The advances in AI and technology mean that much of what we “used to do” as part of our job description is gone. Software can complete our tax returns quickly and cheaply, algorithms can search tax laws or identify discrepancies. Knowledge is important, but no longer how we add most value at work.  Coaching provides a space for individuals to explore what they value in themselves, what others value in them, and to choose, with awareness, how they will contribute to their teams and organisations.

5. Linked to advances in technology, the importance of specific skills has increased exponentially. The ability to lead by example, to listen, to hear, to connect, to facilitate, to act with emotional intelligence and spot and address dynamics within a team are crucial to that team being a cohesive positive force within the organisation in a volatile, uncertain and complex environment.  Enhancing these skills requires a deep understanding of personal patterns and preferences which coaching is ideally situated to create.

With over 15 years’ experience of running leadership and management development programmes, we have witnessed the pivotal role that coaching plays to initiate and embed change at a collective and individual level.  We are seeing firms invest in coaching in a number of different ways:

Bite sized coaching

Firms are finding the need to deploy agile, rapid solutions to individuals who are struggling with specific issues. An hour with a mentor immediately allows an individual to improve performance and consequently feel more confident and less anxious. These tend to be short, sharp solutions for a specific issue/challenge, such as delegation, time management and tough conversations.

Ad-hoc coaching

Throughout the pandemic, PSFs have been working tirelessly to deliver solutions to clients and this has left many staff feeling remote, anxious and without a ‘toolkit of solutions’ to deploy to manage their team remotely. Some people just need a conversation with an external coach to allay concerns, use as a sounding board for ideas and help them drive on with their demanding work and home life challenges. Ad-hoc coaching is often used when the individual, or line manager, has identified someone is struggling but they want to discuss it with someone external.

Rebalance programme

There’s no doubt that 2020 was tough and people went through a mountain of change but as the year progressed people often fell into smaller, more isolated routines and we now find ourselves in 2021, with continued lockdown and a phased roadmap out of the pandemic in the UK. Many are finding this difficult and it’s not restricted to the junior teams as senior fee earners – partners and HoDs are not immune. Emotional resilience in the face of underlying societal anxiety and uncertainty is more visible than ever before. Coaching creates a structured yet personal development forum that enables long term change.

Personal coaching

This is where an external coach can help employees navigate a path that plays to individual strengths and meets organisational needs or enables them to work through a specific challenge over a 2-3 month period. It’s usually a challenge that an individual knows they have had for some time or something specific that they face in the short to medium term.

Executive coaching

Senior leaders generally have multiple conflicting demands on their time and inner resources.   As such it can be challenging to allocate time for reflection and decision making, and it is rare to find a peer who has the skills to help you navigate your thinking process as most people simply ‘give advice’. Coaching provides structured time with an expert to facilitate reflection, decision making and behavioural changes.

Executive coaching is most useful when a member of the board or Senior Leadership team:

  • Is new to their role or experiences a significant change in responsibility
  • Finds that the external environment requires agility and flexibility
  • Finds it challenging to balance personal and professional demands on their time

theGrogroup’s team of coaches’ support firms wishing to maximise performance in their people and organisation, providing a tailored solution for the individual. In these testing times business performance and business relationships can be significantly affected and we offer online clinics to help you through these tricky times. A bespoke online, 90 minute face to face session, can help you see the situation from another perspective and act resourcefully with your colleagues and/or clients.

Research has shown that most people leave their boss, rather than their organisation.  High staff turnover is costly and wasteful.  Coaching offers an opportunity not only for personal and professional development, but for the relationship between employee and manager to be strengthened by confidential discussion and perspective taking.

If you would like to explore the coaching solutions we offer, then please contact kate@thegrogroup.com who can share our menu of options plus further details of our coaching team.