Coaching: does it really make a difference or is it just an opportunity to feel less alone?

Recently I started a series of workshops for small businesses about being a lonely leader.  What surprised me was the interest and connections made by many of my corporate clients. They felt alone too.

So let’s look at some definitions of coaching

Coaching is a way of helping someone learn how to work effectively in the organisation by sharing information and experience. It is a powerful alliance designed to forward the lifelong process of human learning, effectiveness and fulfilment.

Anthony Grant of the University of Sydney in 2000 describes it as “a collaborative solution-focused, results-orientated and systematic process in which the coach facilitates the enhancement of work performance, life experience, self-directed learning and personal growth of the coachee”.


So let’s remind ourselves what coaching involves:

  • Taking time to talk
  • Understanding the company and the person
  • Listening, and thinking about the individual
  • Asking what if and what else?
  • Emphasising the way things are achieved

So why do executive managers feel alone? Often because their boss in on another continent technology drives their interaction, this leads to too little time to discuss issues properly without face to face contact.


In particular coaching involves:

  • An ongoing cycle of activities
  • Agreed objectives and explored direction
  • Activities based on real, worthwhile tasks
  • Reflection, challenge, mindfulness, meaning and meandering

More and more studies from the likes of the ILM, CIPD and other internationally recognised bodies advocate the use of coaching and show coaching is growing as it is the most effective form of development for individuals and organisations.

Coaching is really necessary and more than that, it’s essential to the growth of the person and organisation.

  • Everyone needs to be encouraged, enabled, supported and guided to obtain learning while working
  • Given the time and the motivation, a skilled coach could probably facilitate most job related learning
  • Good coaching can much more than double the value of off-the-job training
  • It reinforces course learning, encourages its transfer to the ‘real world’ and helps learners to overcome any early implementation and confidence difficulties
  • It stops a sense of isolation and changes the dynamic of loneliness

Sometime for reflection

Having just returned from running some Lonely Leaders workshops aimed at uncovering what it is that keeps the isolated leader afloat.One of the answers seemed to be the opportunity to take some time out. Using this as my start point I introduced some guided and relaxed reflection to help open up the creative abilities and recognise how far and how much people have done.

Sometimes in our rush for the new and dash for the next great achievement we forget or minimize what we have already done. Sometimes we start from a position of weakness listing and focusing on our weaknesses rather than from a position of strength.

During a recent coaching session I asked a client write what they valued about themselves? This resulted in much “well umm” and furrowed I decided to wait and see what would emerge. After sometime the client started to talk about what they appreciated and recognised they did well and valued. Strange how this was so difficult?

Here I think time is the key to take time to focus on strengths and to value what you do.

Lonely Leaders

Sometimes it time to take a breath, pause for thought and capture some creativity

Sometimes its worth investing in you, taking the overview and being more about what you want

So you run a business large or small, so you have concerns large or small

Capture some time and space join a trusted circle and explore where you need to go

Wednesday 10th April 2013 Book Now