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A new status symbol

 
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A new status symbol
by Mel Brooks - Wednesday, 18 January 2006, 8:25 PM
 

A new status symbol?

 

Has executive coaching become the status symbol of the new century? After all, who doesnÂ’t have a personal trainer? Why not then your own executive coach?

 

According to Mel Brooks, Executive Coach and Lecturer at Wits Business School, increasing numbers of companies are engaging executive coaches to develop staff. Any stigma that may have been attached to coaching has been removed with the recognition that coaching is not a remedial process but rather a developmental avenue for high-potential managers and future leaders. Unlike therapy (with which coaching is often confused), where the objective is to make a minus-eight individual a minus-two and consider the move a huge improvement – executive coaching concerns itself with making a plus-five manager a plus-ten leader. Quite a challenge - but consider the return on investment of doubling the effectiveness of a manager or executive.

 

While the number of companies using coaches is increasing, so too is the number of individuals who seek coaching of their own accord - and at their own expense. Quite often, they come from companies who see no benefit in coaching yet these individuals recognise in coaching the potential for giving themselves an edge in their career advancement. In other cases coaching may well be part of the organisational culture and having seen the benefits afforded to others, they choose to seek out that route for themselves.

 

Individuals who seek coaching on this basis may be those wanting to kick-start their careers and are looking for guidance. More frequently, they are individuals who are taking on new challenges and responsibilities. A few may even be high achievers who are looking for a sounding board or ‘thinking partner’, or assistance in working on a work-life/private-life balance. There is an increasing demand for the latter as people and the corporate sector come to realise that it’s not macho to be a workaholic - just plain stupid.

 

Interestingly, it is the contracted confidentiality of the private executive coaching arrangement that appeals to a number of individuals. 

 

Beware though, says Brooks. Choosing a suitable executive coach requires that there be ‘chemistry’ in the relationship as well as considerable breadth and depth in business and management experience on the part of the coach. A reputable coach will not take on every potential client but should agree to an introductory session to gauge the likelihood of a successful outcome. Personal coaching is an immensely powerful tool – one that could be life-changing.

 

For more information:Mel BrooksWits Business School(011) 717-3600           (083) 377-1858