Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - April 2007 - (Page 20)

Bringing Out the Best Nick Hicks and Libby Robinson explore the issues surrounding executive coaching and offer some insights into its efficacy. till a relatively new professional development activity within healthcare, ‘coaching’ suffers from the fact that it is one of those words which now crops up in almost daily use. Often it is confused with training. Defining coaching properly is important — if you are not measuring the right thing, you will never get an accurate return on investment (ROI), which is never easy to measure anyway when it concerns investment in people. Simply defined, then, coaching is the use of sensitive yet challenging questioning to create an ongoing inquiry process for clients. It instructs them on how to notice patterns, blockages and assumptions in their own thinking, behaviour, language and presence. As a learning and development director of a Big Pharma company explained: “Executive coaching helps maximize learnings from on-the-job experiences, challenges established mindsets and encourages the practicing of new skills to accelerate workplace effectiveness.” The best coaching is transformational, not transactional. Transactional learning teaches you how to do something or how to get from point A to point B, but transformational coaching gets to the “why” you do something, and explores how you see and believe the world to be. It uncovers what assumptions are holding you back from even better results. Once these distinctions surface, clients can build their own solutions leading to new ways to create economic S benefit for the organization and themselves. “Don’t believe everything you think,” one senior coach quips. Coaching is evolving from its ‘soft and fluffy’ origins. The present shift to second generation coaching is reflected in the need for coaching to be based on explicit psychological principles and grounded in a solid evidence base, something that is only just starting to happen. This shift has largely come about as the major purchasers of coaching, typically HR departments, have sought to distinguish between coaching offerings. This may include consideration of the coach’s body of knowledge and theoretical approach; their training and accreditation; their ethical basis of practice; their professional memberships; and their supervision arrangements.1 Further, there are many moves to encourage coaching research to underpin the work that coaches are doing. Coaching cannot be forced, nor is it right for everyone, especially those who cannot undertake sufficient self-inquiry. Each coaching interaction is unique. Some people respond better to coaching than others. The Coaching Psychology Unit of the University of Sydney is investigating the ‘why,’ allowing more relevant business measurement metrics to be identified. Long-term coaching benefit occurs when both behavioural and cognitive factors are influenced. Behavioural refers to how you see the world and respond to situations. The cognitive level is how you APRIL 2007 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 20

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - April 2007

From the Editor
The Cycle of Success
Survival Tactics
Career Connections
Bringing Out the Best
Learning the Fast Way
Business Class
Simulation Training

Pharmaceutical Executive Europe - April 2007