Interview with Jane Edge - The Importance of Coaching
An ongoing series of interviews with and for people in the aid sector. This interview is with Jane Edge, Organisational Consultant and Leadership Coach. Here, she discusses how coaching can be used to navigate leadership challenges, achieve sustainable results and unlock potential.
Is it different coaching senior-level management as opposed to entry-level roles?
JE: There are differences in terms of pacing and the level of challenge I might introduce. So the interaction can depend on leadership experience and skills – but coaching is all about potential, a space for people to explore and challenge assumptions.
For senior management, the questions that usually come up are “who am I as a leader”, “what is it to be authentic”, “how do I become more self aware and have greater impact,” and “what does it take to make those shifts”. These are important apects of the "inner game" of leadership where courage, resilience and clarity are key.
With less senior roles the focus can be around transition as, for example, technical specialists seek to move into management positions.
Coaching can have a positive impact at any level as it is about enabling individuals and teams to simply be more effective.The power of coaching is that it starts from where people are and helps them get where they want to go. An investment in creation of awareness means an accelerated process of effectiveness for individuals and organisations where purpose and performance goals are aligned.
What's the main difference between coaching individuals in the corporate sector versus those in the NGO sector?
JE: The principles of coaching are the same regardless of the sector though in my experience, the private sector has more established mechanisms for people management. Often in the NGO sector there can be a sense that being part of the mission is enough and with resources tight, investing in leadership development can be a real challenge. The sector is complex, the environments demanding and as someone who personally benefited from coaching as a senior leader in a global NGO, I know how incredibly valuable it can be in promoting personal resilience, better decision making and more effective team leadership - which in turn translates into better outcomes.
What’s important about coaching, is that it seen as a sign of growth – it’s about finding out where that extra edge is and unlocking that potential.
The most important thing to remember as a coach?
Giving that space to explore, in specific terms, the issues. Also, remembering to have that objective viewpoint whilst also acknowledging that it needs to be about the client doing the work. You need to create that space, and hold that space that allows self discovery, whilst aligning the personal and professional interests and challenges.
The most important thing to remember when being coached?
For a coachee, be in the drivers seat. Make the most of that space – it’s an investment in realising your potential. Say, “okay, what is it that I want to take away from this” and always translate learning into action in a continuous feedback loop.
What is the difference between distance coaching vs face to face – challenges, benefits etc?
It adds a different dimension when you're not getting visual clues.
Clients do talk about the advantage of simply being able to get that coaching space either at home or by closing the door at the office. People find that really valuable and it maximises their time. As a coach, I then tune in very strongly to language, tone, volume and pick up on specific issues as they are introduced by the client. Remote coaching has distinct opportunities and for clients who had an initial hesitancy about having sessions over the phone or Skype and the effectiveness and learning has been a revelation.
Thursday 14 June 2012
There are no comments yet, be the first to share your thoughts!
Leave a comment