Trust, consistency, focus on content not on methodology. That is a success receipt for effective organizational business coaching. In short, I would define organizational business coaching as target-oriented business enhancement on the team level – including managers and employees together – with a long-term perspective. It takes time and requires a process approach combined with business coaching, as the miracles don’t happen in one night.

I have faced a question regarding the efficacy of the business coaching, and I would say that the influence comes from the long-term perspective. Instead of considering the coaching to be one-time training event, it should be considered to be a 1-year coaching process. The key element of the successful coaching between the coach and coachees is trust – and you need time to build the relationship and open atmosphere for the process. In that sense, a singular business coaching -session is like a drop in the sea.

The results come from repetition combined with a challenging target for the team to achieve. And in addition to business target to be achieved, there are always indirect targets that will come naturally along with, such as improving team dynamics.

Step 1; Create trust & partnership

The first team business coaching session is about building trust between the coach and coachees. The subject for the session has to be relevant for the team’s needs, but when looking the whole picture of the business coaching process, the main target for the first meeting is to create trust & partnership between the both parties. Partnership means an equal relationship with openness.

Step 2; Boost the group dynamics

After the first session the coachees know the approach and style of the coach and the cooperation really starts as a team. And when you are dealing with a team, you need to consider the group dynamics and communication. When the group is not working as a team that is already a problem for the coach to deal with.

Step 3; Focus on the topic

Regardless of the issues popping-up during the coaching process, the ultimate business target must be kept along with as a red line. What it is we want to accomplish? And this is actually also quite challenging part both for the coach and coachees. Keep your eye on the ball regardless of the sidetracks during the sessions and discussions.

Step 4; Challenge the team

The next step in the process is about challenging the team thinking and competence; get them to deliver solutions and ideas. The coach is not the person to tell how to organize the company’s internal issues and actions – the coachees are the ones with the knowledge to do that, with the help from the coach. And the target for the team must be challenging enough to get the team really working.

Step 5; Close the process

Closing the process does not mean the coach to summarize everything into nice complete package. Instead it means leaving the recap a little bit open, taking the team out of the comfort zone. It means the team will take the responsibility of its own learning, and will continue the process also afterwards with the new mind-set. What did we learn? What else can we do?

The efficacy of the organizational business coaching is related to the outcome of the process. Sometimes the outcome is not what was originally expected, but instead something else that is actually even better and more important than the original target. And when considering the success of the coaching process, the results are more important than the business coaching itself; coaching is a tool to achieve something, not the end in itself.

Successful business coaching requires the coachees and the organization to take responsibility of their own actions and learning. The work does not end when the business coaching process is ending. And in the best cases the business coach is a cooperation partner in the whole process, not an external supplier that is providing a service. This open win-win relationship enables the long-term benefits.

Mervi Lamberg
Consultant & Business Coach
noname Consulting, Finland