Management coaching the new buzzword

Dr Salomé van Coller-Peter, head of the University of Stellenbosch Business School MPhil in Management Coaching
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As with other emerging economies, management coaching is fast gaining prominence in the South African business landscape, as it proves to be a highly effective management instrument to develop individual and organisational performance, by unlocking employee capability and team synergy. As such, businesses should consider a management coaching strategy to improve their output and productivity during 2013.

This is according to Dr Salomé van Coller-Peter, management coach and programme head for the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) MPhil in Management Coaching, who says coaching is fast becoming a key strategic lever for the development of talent and for creation of an enabling environment.

Van Coller-Peter says many private and corporate sector companies, across a myriad of industries, employ or contract external coaches and/or they develop their own internal pool of coaches. “Companies in South Africa are recognising the powerful impact coaching makes on the ability of individuals to cope with uncertainty, work stress and the multiple demands imposed on them by various players in their business networks."

The increase in the development of coaching skills is fast becoming a trend around the globe. In a recent survey conducted by the Institute of Leadership and Management in London, it is revealed that 80% of organisations in England have used or are using coaching as the primary way to grow their business and to save money – and a further 9% are planning to do so. 

“Businesses in South Africa are beginning to realise that one-on-one personal interaction with an objective third party can provide a focus that other forms of organisational support cannot. Benefits of coaching include accelerated and improved performance, raised motivation, self-awareness and encouraging self-development. All of these factors lead to improved staff retention and result in a stronger bottom line.

“As such, more and more businesses in South Africa are investing in their employees’ development with management coaching,” says Van Coller-Peter.

She argues that as South Africa’s economic growth slows, so stress levels are rising and more employees are suffering from conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome and burnout. Van Coller-Peter explains that coaching gives employees the tools to deal with issues with more resourcefulness, often resulting in their staying focused even in the midst of turmoil and change.

Management coach, Professor Dusan Stojnov from the University of Belgrade in Serbia, who recently spoke at the USB’s Leader’s Angle series of talks, says that today’s managers, worldwide, have a great deal of responsibility to carry out and often do not have the necessary professional competencies and relevant psychological skill to develop staff. As such, businesses need the support from coaches to help prevent employee burnout and to protect them from stress.

“Coaches provide the guidance for individuals to change their attitude and to develop their skills. Change is a basic principle of human development that does not come easily and which requires a lot of effort, which is why management coaching is vital to encouraging the development of personal leadership,” concludes Stojnov.


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