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Central Training and Consultancy sponsorship feature

Leadership development in turbulent times

The affordable housing sector is facing unprecedented challenges that call for Chairs, CEOs and directors to be thinking and performing at their optimum. At the same time, resources are tight and development activity needs to be precisely targeted if it is to provide real added value for both individuals and organisations.

Individual executive coaching has become well established in the sector as a tailored approach to professional development that focuses on results and outcomes, providing a cost effective and invaluable source of support and development for the most senior people in the organisation. It is used both as a stand-alone activity and as part of wider Leadership or Organisational Development programmes.

Executive coaching can give both executive and non-executive leaders a confidential space in which to:

  • think about themselves as a leader, their opportunities and challenges, their strengths and their development
  • explore their thinking and try things out in low risk ways, increase their repertoire of responses to situations, and to commit to action
  • reflect, review, plan and make decisions, away from the day to day pressures of work

However, individuals do not perform in a vacuum. Individual performance is usually influenced by the relationships that surround it, and this has been long recognised by organisations investing in team building activities and ‘away days’. The emerging discipline of team coaching synthesises executive coaching and more traditional approaches to team development.

Team coaching supports sustainable change, and it can be particularly useful in times of turbulence, in breaking down silo working or when the team are facing new challenges and have to quickly develop new ways of responding to them. The whole team works with a coach to develop, over time, greater awareness of themselves and their effectiveness, in their organisational context, in order to more effectively serve their stakeholders.

Research suggests that coaching works best when it is based on accurate data about current performance, and this is as true for teams as it is for individuals. 360 feedback provides a solid platform from which to agree development goals and the 360 process can also be used to measure the impact of a coaching programme. Where the leadership behaviours being measured through 360 are clearly aligned with the organisational values and desired culture, individual and team 360, followed up with a coaching programme, can be a powerful tool to build leadership capability and resilience and to develop the organisations agility to respond positively to challenges and turbulence.

‘The coaching has helped me on lots of levels. I really enjoyed the sessions and returned brimming with ideas. You don’t strike me as someone who will send out the ubiquitous customer satisfaction questionnaires, but if you did I’d give you 10/10.’

‘In supporting my transition to MD, you showed faith in me and my abilities at all times, and encouraged and supported me, as well as holding the bar high and challenging me to stretch myself and my thinking.’

‘The coaching really helped me understand where the issues were in the role, the way I was handling them, and helped me plan and manage this much more effectively. I was able to realise how I could change my behaviour and also ensure that I took control of the situation in a positive and structured way.’

For further information contact Marianne Skelcher, Retained Consultant, Central Consultancy & Training on [email protected] or 07887 82039 or call 0121 643 3747.

Marianne is an accredited executive coach, and holds an advanced diploma from the Academy of Executive Coaching. She works with leaders to support them in being the best leaders they can be.

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