CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Based on the findings of this research, there are several recommendations that can be made to each of the key stakeholders in the coaching process.
Coaching not only has an impact on the individual, but can also impact the individual’s team and the organisation. Coaching should therefore be integrated with the organisation’s talent management or business strategy, instead of using coaching as a stand-alone programme. This would ensure that coaching does not conflict with the organisation’s strategic objectives. International organisations are more inclined to implement coaching across all levels of the organisation than the leading companies of South Africa. Implementing coaching across all levels of the organisation ensures that more employees have access to coaching and can facilitate the growth and development of individuals as well as the organisation.
Finally, organisations should set up policies and procedures for coach supervision. Currently, coach supervision is mostly decided by the coaches themselves. If organisations are to use internal coaches, supervision for coaches should be made available and encouraged. External coaches should also be encouraged to attend coach supervision. Coach supervision offers various benefits to coaches, such as raising awareness of their practices, providing support, discussing ethical and confidentiality issues and ensuring the development of the coach.
Given the limited resources, the coaching budget can be maximised to cultivate a broader leadership rather than only leaders. As found earlier, though dyadic coaching can be beneficial to the individual, it lacks the ability to build collaborative leadership in organisations. As decision makers, leadership can, before making a decision in investing in
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coaching, conduct a true cost-benefit analysis, even if it is only in qualitative terms initially. Studies such as this can potentially provide executive managers with empirical evidence as to what could be gained from the coaching process, thus justifying to a large extent, the investment therein. In other words, leadership awareness and knowledge can be broadened to make a reasonable choice that is likely to yield better results.
Pertaining to a coaching model or approach, leadership in organisations, when undecided, can make use of the findings in this study to assist in making them aware of the appropriate model for whom and when and what factors are necessary for the coaching intervention to be successful. This will assist leadership to have an idea what outcomes to expect from coaching interventions. Of equal importance for organisational leadership is the selection process of coaches, as findings suggest that a coaching panel to search for an appropriate and reputable coaching organisations or coaches is paramount in ensuring return on investment on coaching.
6.4.3 Coaching practitioners
Coaching practitioners are mushrooming and are increasingly finding themselves coaching leadership teams in organisations rather than just individuals. Systemic awareness and the ability to thinking in systems have become requisite skill sets to be able to help leadership teams across hierarchical levels. Coaches need to be mindful of the fact that coaching is more than just an individual purchasing a product or service; it is an experience that affects people’s personal and professional lives. Coaches should also familiarise themselves with the differences between Eurocentric and African cultures and leadership styles. In modern organisations, work takes place increasingly in teams; therefore the need for coaching is towards team empowerment and development. Coaching practitioners’ work has become systemic in nature; therefore it might be useful for coaches to start reviewing and redesigning their coaching approaches and add to their development coaching programmes systems thinking skills. Having the theoretical knowledge is not sufficient, if coachees are to obtain the complete value-adding experience that coaching could potentially deliver to them.
Finally, organisations increasingly integrate their coaching interventions with their talent management and business strategies. Coaches should therefore be aware of the impact that
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the coaching intervention can make at individual level, team level and organisational level. Coaches can view the coaching as a systemic intervention, as suggested by Kahn (2011), and ensure that they ask the necessary questions to ensure their coaching interventions are aligned to the organisation’s strategy.
6.4.4 Coach training institutions
Based on this research, coach training institutions can adapt and develop their coaching. It is recommended that these institutions align their coaching qualifications with the needs of the buyers of coaching and the suppliers of coaching. Training programmes should enable coaches with the necessary skills and tools to compete in a competitive and dynamic market. Coach training programmes can include coaching modules, business modules and practical modules. Training institutions can assist companies in training their internal coaches and can also provide specialised training for experienced coaches wanting to become coach supervisors.
6.4.5 Learning and organisational development practitioners
Coaching as an organisational development (OD) intervention or tool can be used for learning and development and by OD practitioners in enhancing and embedding positive coaching principles in their cultures. They can also use the findings of this study to inform their awareness of how coaching can work to effect organisational effectiveness and what limitations coaching can have to internal change agents. These practitioners can learn through this study how to embed learning in their organisation through the use of coaching. Therefore, insights from this study will assist OD practitioners in making appropriate decisions for their internal clients.
6.4.6 Recipients of Coaching
Although coaches have to be credible and effective, coachees need to equally make use of what coaching offers by availing time, embracing and following the coaching process and actively participating in the coaching. Therefore coachees should not view coaching as training, as is often the case, but rather as a positive journey of personal and collective
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transformation and change. In this way, coaches can maximally benefit from the coaching intervention.