By donleffler, 8 January, 2010

An acknowledged strategy for successful businesses

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself”
Galileo Galilei (1564 -1642)

Coaching is a one-on-one interaction between client and coach designed to unleash and develop the individual’s own latent competencies and potentials. The basic methodologies of coaching are a highly individualized form of development and support because it is based on the understanding that in order to be effective, the individual being coached, is encouraged to accurately identify their strengths and weaknesses, examine the impact of their behaviour on others and consistently reflect on their values, goals and objectives.

Coaching is solely and inextricably focused on guiding the individual to understand where he/she is, where it is that they want to go and what they need to do to get there. It is a confidential, highly personal learning process providing a platform where the individual can explore his/her own capabilities and goals within a trusting and non threatening environment. It is often lonely at the top for executives in the workplace where it is difficult to discuss matters with colleagues or managers. Coaching offers a way out of this by creating an atmosphere which is safe and non-judgmental.

A coach helps a client to explore the present and design the future. They take the client from where they are to where they want to be by giving them more choice and more resources for their journey. The entire process brings about effective action, performance improvement, and personal growth for the individual as well as better results for the institution’s core business.

Coaching is not ‘consulting’ or ‘mentoring’. Coaches do not provide solutions to problems or act as an expert passing on knowledge and experience to others, neither do they provide a ‘quick fix’ for problems with individuals. Coaching is about achieving desired outcomes and by enabling the coaching beneficiary to realize his/her full potential and abilities in reaching the outcome through sustainable enhancement of structured development.

Beneficiaries of coaching are those in a business environment who have thus far enjoyed success in their current roles and whose institutions/organizations feel that they are worth the investment of time and money in their professional development. Coaching is most relevant for those where there is perceived untapped potential. Those who know they are capable of more, but are challenged in certain areas that inhibit their progress. Those who are seeking clarity on how to harness their own potential to take them further within their business to the mutual benefit of their own growth and that of the organization.

Coaching assists the individual to develop a personal leadership style that will result in the retention of key people and higher productivity in their organization by focusing on the practical application of the individual’s core skills that he/she already has but is not fully aware of how to implement or use.

Coaching can be used to:

• enable the individual to deal with difficult people and situations
• enhance organizational performance
• give the individual a confidential sounding board
• increase the value of the individual within the organization
• make it possible for the individual to plan his/her personal development within the organization.

The business coaching process is comprehensive and involves three basic steps:

1. Needs Assessment
This is the foundation from which the basic coaching plan is created, derived from a personal interview with the executive to obtain clarity on the needs of the individual to be coached and for the coach to establish feasibility and potential desired outcomes.

2. Scheduling
Plans for the achievement of specific goals over a designated period of time are made. The coach and the individual can, by working closely together, ensure that the development plan will fit in with time frames of the organization. The sessions are between 60 and 90 minutes on average. Three sessions ideally should be scheduled ahead to promote commitment and consistency.

3. Coaching
In most cases regular one-on-one weekly or two weekly sessions are conducted preferably off-site, with no interruptions or ‘outside’ interference. All sessions are conducted in a highly confidential manner.

A coach uses a highly skilled approach and listens carefully and non-judgmentally, asking pointed questions when appropriate to assist the individual to clarify their own values, beliefs, goals, dreams, objectives and personal meaning with regard to their particular professional role. The coach always collaborates with the individual being coached working with him/her and accepting him/her as the best expert on their own life and business, offering only an external perspective.

The coach will observe behavioural patterns and listen for those barriers, diversions and challenges that impede the individuals intended outcomes. The coach will work with the individual to help them gain focused insights and new perspectives, together they will highlight blind spots in order that the individual can gain greater clarity and tap into their own inner resources and make the necessary adjustments. Whilst the coach will initiate the completion of ‘tasks’ from time to time, the individual, at all times, remains responsible for making decisions, designing solutions and obtaining results.


On completion of a comprehensive coaching programme, individuals can expect to emerge with:

• Greater confidence in their own abilities
• Increased personal productivity
• Increased capability potential
• Increased assertiveness
• Clear and precise decision making capabilities/problem solving
• Focused achievable goals
• Greater inter-personal skills
• Comprehensive understanding of priorities
• Increased drive to succeed
• Greater confidence and clarity in conflict situations
• Coached professionals will be better aligned to the organisation’s vision and mission, they will induce a higher morale infectious to those around them and better bottom line results as a consequence.

For further information on Business & Executive Coaching as well as other training programmes kindly contact Don or Cathy at :
Email: or
Tel: 076 5800 271 or 071 0493 221


Campuses in Johannesburg, Cape Town & Durban
P.O. Box 388 Lonehill 2062
Tel: 071 0493 221 or 076 5800 271
Fax: 0866 1733 66 or 0865 1148 67
THETA Accreditation Nr. 613/P/000051/2005