A survey conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that the average return on investment for companies that provided coaching to their employees was 7 times the initial investment. This suggests that coaching can have a positive impact on employee performance and may lead to increased earnings for the company.
Look, I've not been doing this for long and I'm already seeing the benefits for my pro bono clients.
Here are a few ways I have supported my pro bono clients.
Develop System Thinking
So far, my coaching sessions have been centered around a single "problem" per conversation. I've used my unbiased position to uncover information about the system that the client can then use to resolve the stated problem. By asking questions to uncover key players, key emotions and the coachee's willingness to move forward with action, the client leaves a coaching conversation equiped and informed on what to do next. Notice that I'm NOT telling the coachee what to do, I'm only asking questions about the system.
Identify Crucial Conversations
A coach can zero in on what conversations need to happen in order for the coachee to take action, better understand context or accept a situation for what it is. I have helped a client see that when a conversation is emotionally charged, the outcome is important to the business and there is disagreement on next steps - not going ahead with it is more detrimental than having a difficult conversation. Again, I didn't "tell" the client that, they came up with their own conclusion and decided on their own actions as a result.
Becoming their Accountability Partner
Once a coachee has determined what part of the system is broken, and determined who needs to be involved in a crucial conversation, I have asked the following question: "How willing are you to have that conversation before we meet again?". It's not enough to feel like there was "a moment" between coach and coachee, action must be taken. By committing to a timeline and knowing that our next coaching call will include follow-up, my client is far more likely to take action.
While a coach won't take on the work on behalf of a client, we are all-in as a thought partner. Having an opportunity to discuss with an unbiased person who won't be giving you unsolicited advice but rather guide you through to achieve your goals is what coaching is all about.
I absolutely can see how my 20-plus years of experience leading high performance teams in Corporate Canada has prepared me for Executive Coaching. It feels so rewarding to be in service of my 10-ish pro bono clients.
Well, if you've made it this far, you probably want to try coaching for yourself.