talent-management-consultancy-coaching-the futureOver the past year, I have been involved in a very substantial number of assessment centres and 360-degree feedbacks. This has brought me up close and personal with people giving feedback to others or holding career conversations. For so many, the style is to ‘talk at’ the other person, or tell them ‘how to improve’ when, actually, the other person wants recognition and support.

Way back in 2003, I undertook an investigation into the then incipient field of coaching, for my first book, published by CIPD. Coaching, I concluded, was needed to change the prevailing ethos of top-down leadership where managers were expected to have the answers: an ethos that technology and the global economy were making impossible.

Since then, we have had two cataclysmic changes. The first, the financial crash of 2009 resulting in ever leaner organisations and interconnected roles, led to more devolved leadership. 

The second is, of course, happening now. As we look towards relaxation of pandemic restrictions, feelings are too raw for us to know what businesses will look like. We can, however, safely predict that people will not want to be given the answers, told to improve, or talked at.

To build our businesses and a better future, all managers and aspiring managers are advised to start honing coaching skills. My experience of the past year shows me these are not yet sufficiently widespread. These skills must include, but go way beyond, good listening skills to flexible leadership skills that enable you to sense your audience and adapt to their needs.

Coaching and mentoring will be the most valued skills for some time, and this is why I am so pleased that EduGrowth has given me the opportunity to offer my coaching and mentoring course as an accredited programme, so that you add a qualification to your toolkit, at the same time as gaining essential skills.

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©Janice Caplan 2020