I'm often asked if there is much of a difference between business coaching and training, and I'm never in any doubt of the answer. Most training is an off-the-peg solution to providing an individual or team with general knowledge of a subject. Coaching, especially leadership coaching, is a truly bespoke, tailor-made approach to identifying exactly what knowledge someone may be lacking, and how best to provide them with it.
Coaching first began to develop in sports during the 1800s. If you think of a sports coach working with an athlete; looking in detail at every aspect of their performance, and identifying exactly where and how they can improve their overall results, you can really see the difference between a quality coaching program, and a general training session in how to run properly.
Leadership coaching is very similar to high level sports coaching; it's aimed at people who are already incredibly accomplished at what they do, but want to push themselves further, mastering an ability which is currently holding them back, and truly excelling in their role leading others.
The evolution of modern coaching for business and leadership
Early sports coaching laid down the basics for coaching; an expert eye for technique of course, but also the encouragement of a winning mindset. In the 1940s businesses began to explore that psychological element further, offering high level executives counselling to help them identify and break through psychological barriers holding back their performance.
It took another 30 years until it was proposed that someone's inner psychology was at least as important as their outer ability; whether in sports, business, or any other field, what was going on inside mattered. By the 1990s coaching in business and sports had fully embraced many aspects of psychology, psychotherapy and counselling, and science began to try to measure what impact it was all having.
Through the early 2000s a series of studies by various researchers identified that quality business coaching was effective at improving productivity, managerial flexibility, professional relationships, resilience, workplace well-being, goal accomplishment and professional growth. Those who had been coached also developed a preference for active learning processes shaped for and by them, rather than one-size-fits-all training courses.
Using Emotional Intelligence to quantify leadership coaching improvements
A big challenge the researchers faced was quantifying it all; just how do you measure things like flexibility, relationships or professional growth?
Emotional Intelligence, EQ scores and Emotional Capital Reports have emerged as one of the most effective ways to not just quantify and score leadership skills, but to also clearly define a range of key emotional competencies which are essential in leadership.
Identified and developed since the 1960s, Emotional Intelligence has shown a close correlation with successful leadership across many fields and disciplines. It's clarity and structure bring incredible focus and efficiency to the process of identifying what needs to be worked on and how well that progresses over time.
An ideal tool for coaches, and framework for coaching programs, we use Emotional Intelligence to form the foundation of all our work with leaders, from line managers up to the senior boardroom.
To experience it in action yourself, contact us any time at Legacy Coaching to learn more about our services for leaders in business, sports, and the public and charity sectors.