Coaching: Farscape’s approach

Confused about whether coaching is right for your organisation? There’s a lot of noise out there. This article gives you an insight into what to expect from a coaching relationship, how we approach coaching at Farscape, and what to expect from a coaching provider.

As for your part? We’ve laid that out too. Any coaching arrangement does require significant input from yourself as a client; it’s important you have that knowledge upfront. As with any working relationship, the best coaching outcomes arise when both parties are on the same page.

Why coaching is such a big part of Farscape’s work

Our personal experience is a significant factor in why we place such value on coaching. We recognised how helpful coaching could have been at different points in our career. Neil Kimberley, our Programmes Director, recounts his experience:

‘I was a sales and marketing director in a large business, and I didn’t get a personal coach until right at the end of my career in that business. I remember thinking at the time, “If only I’d had this ten years ago, I’d have been so much better as a manager and leader.” Part of the passion for coaching, for me, is helping organisations to see that it would really generate some good results in their business if they made it more available.’

The ‘aha!’ moment wasn’t only around our own development. First-hand experience showed us that coaching could benefit other people and organisations.

What are the benefits of coaching?

At an individual level:

  • Increased personal effectiveness; improved resilience and self-reliance
  • More harmonious interpersonal relationships
  • Better results delivered consistently

At an organisational level:

  • A more open, honest culture
  • Increased trust among staff, from the top down and vice versa
  • Improved commercial results

Our blog on coaching cultures explains the ripple effect that coaching has. Not only does it have a personal impact on the individual, the impact touches the wider team and organisation too.

The reason that organisations choose to work with Farscape

If you’re familiar with coaching, you’ll recognise the typical set up: six sessions over six months, resolving a problem, exploring an opportunity or reaching a goal over an extended period. Senior leaders are the usual coaching candidates and coaching is carried out at the office, in between calls, meetings, and everyday work.

Yet the clients who work with Farscape, approach us because we coach differently.

What do we mean by that?

We don’t only coach a narrow group of individuals. We don’t coach for standard amounts of time. We coach according to your needs.

These examples highlight the variety of coaching we undertake:

  • Coaching surgeries – hire a coach for a day and allow multiple people to drop in. Rather than putting all of the coaching resource into senior leaders’ development, coaching surgeries create a new opportunity. Six hour-long sessions over the course of a day mean that junior leaders (and more of them) can be reached. This blog explains in more detail how coaching surgeries work.
  • Intensive coaching – instead of spacing six- or twelve-hours’ worth of coaching over six months, we’ll take leaders away for intense coaching. That means no office distractions, no interruptions, only concentrated focus on the issue at hand.

The importance of time – especially at the start

Would you entrust your home to a builder who had never assessed the scope of work? Probably not. That’s why you shouldn’t hand your people’s development over to a coach without completing a thorough diagnostic process with them.

We start every working relationship with a thorough needs analysis. We don’t shoehorn clients into a box. We take the time to establish your needs, what your goals are, and who will receive coaching. More importantly, we pair the right coach with the right person. Let’s be very clear: coaching as a development initiative in itself can only do so much. When you’re matched with a coach who supports your specific goals, who understands your needs, and who you, as the coachee, trust, that’s when the magic happens.

We’re not yes-people

Because we put the time into listening to you and understanding your needs, we’re confident enough to push back. Sometimes, clients come with a fixed idea of what they want. That doesn’t mean that it’s what will be most beneficial for them! The Rolling Stones said it best: “You can’t always get what you want/But if you try sometimes, well, you just might find/You get what you need”. While we put the time into getting to know you, the process does need to be reciprocated. To give you the most fitting support, you’ll need to be upfront and honest with us about what you’d like to achieve. Our blog on the importance of time delves deeper into why a diagnostic process makes or breaks a development initiative.

Handing over your people’s development is a big exercise in trust: at an individual level, on a team and an organisational level. You can rely on us to be honest about how we can help you – and what we think won’t serve you at all.

Coaching, without the confusion

Coaching doesn’t have to be complicated. The issues you wrestle with daily are complex enough; getting your head around coaching shouldn’t add to the grind. If a straight-talking approach appeals to you, get in touch. We’re on 0117 370 1800… we’ll listen to what you have to say and tell you honestly if we think we can help.

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