February 16th, 2023
Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks
I read with great interest a recent company news article in [DWM] about how a Temperance Business Hires a Life Coach to help employees reach their personal goals. This article focused on MI Windows & Doors and how they are utilizing a life coach to help individual employees identify their life dreams and tie those to the business. This enables employees to ultimately realize how the company can help support the realization of their personal aspirations. This is an “across the board” approach being offered to employees at every level to help link their personal goals with the success of the company. MI is to be applauded for making such a commitment to the personal wellbeing of its employees. It makes employees feel valued.
I reached out to one of my contacts in the field of personal coaching to get her take on this process and this is where I learned about a different type of employee coaching—one that focuses on top-level executives only but nonetheless impacts employees at all levels, in this case from the top down. This approach utilizes the practice of personal developmental (PD) coaching, which I will refer to as “PDC.”
PDC is an intensive program that takes up to six months to complete and focuses on three to four major objectives, which have the capability of impacting the effectiveness and morale of employees at every level within an organization, from the top down, because it is focused on the head(s) of an organization.
As far as the training itself, it is guided and tracked by the PDC but is ultimately self-administered by the person(s) being trained. This is not unlike an athlete training for a big event or competition. During the initial workout, he or she determines how they stack up now versus where they ultimately need to be to effectively compete. Then over a six-month period they train themselves by doing time in the gym “building their muscles,” so to speak, which will ultimately give them the chance to win an event.
Notice the operative words here: “They train themselves.” The PDC does not train them. The coach meets with them every two weeks to evaluate progress and provide feedback on the results that are being achieved, and what must be done along the way to ultimately get that person to where they need to be.
For example, one top business executive recognized that one of his current traits included micromanaging. He felt the need to be involved in every decision. He realized that this was inhibiting him from performing the actual role that he was hired for, which was to see the big picture and develop key strategies to steer the ship in the right direction. So, he was guided by the PDC to self-evaluate his own performance in this regard daily during actual business activities, so he could see exactly what decisions he should be involved in making versus those he should be trusting his employees to make. Pruning the areas of his involvement could potentially free up his time to focus upon the big picture. With the proper guidance and feedback from the PDC, he ultimately ended up retraining himself to step back while empowering his employees to make key decisions at their respective levels. The net result was that not only did he avoid the possibility of personal burnout, but, moving forward, he was able to focus on the big picture and guiding the ship. At the same time, his employees felt trusted to do their job, and they felt empowered to make key decisions which boosted their levels of intrinsic job satisfaction.
One such company that specializes in this personal development coaching is Brilliancy. The founder, Sheila Mikulin, states that she only works with “cool companies,” which she describes as “organizations that regard their employees as their most valuable resource.” Sheila feels that making personal changes in oneself is a very big commitment, so only those leaders with the highest degree of commitment to their employees are good candidates for PDC. They care enough about their people to be willing to make personal changes, which can impact the company and its employees at all levels.
As Sheila describes the process, “Our work enables the client to more effectively identify and work with long-standing patterns while building the ability to move in new directions. Both occur at the same time. The grip of a past way of being is loosened as it is more consciously worked with while simultaneously creating new ways of moving forward.”
So, perhaps you can teach an old dog new tricks!