Enhancing the capabilities of the individual, teams and organisations

Coaching is one of JA Consulting’s great passions, be it one-to-one or working with larger management groups. Our aim is to make people more effective by pushing the boundaries of what they think they can achieve, taking on a total business and personal perspective at the same time for maximum effect.

Multiple approachesReflections

Coaching is often only provided to a few cherished individuals and that’s often because of the perceived cost implications and the seemingly prescriptive approach to one style of coaching. And yet, coaching can cover such a broad spectrum of activities and bring about substantial enhancements in people’s skills, attitude, knowledge and productivity that we believe there are huge benefits for individuals and businesses.

At JA Consulting we firmly believe in multiple approaches to coaching – so not just one purpose, not just one style, but appropriate focus with appropriate support and expertise. That’s why our coaching programmes stretch across many boundaries, from sales to project management, from top team leadership development to newly appointed managers.

Here’s just a small selection of the areas that we work in.

Executive Coaching

No executive sets out to fail. However, a lot of the training and development that is done does not equip people to thrive in the real business world.

Talk to successful executives and they will tell you there is no substitute for experience. Of course, in many ways they are right. What’s needed is to help people get up the executive learning curve quickly; to build their experience in a very practical way. They need support, not someone to do it for them, they have to take responsibility and make things happen themselves. And, have someone there in the background should an additional boost be needed.

For the highly experienced and the new executive things can get challenging.

For many their domain experience will only get them so far. Somehow they are meant to be “all knowing”. And that is just impossible. So who do they turn to? Of course colleagues can, and are, often extremely helpful. However, there are always things that colleagues cannot help with. They might be things outside their experience envelope; or more commonly the need is around things the executive is hesitant to ask. And that hesitation can undermine confidence.

Ideally, this should be the role for the “senior” resource in the business, but most experienced managers are not good at bringing on – or coaching people, nor do they have the amount of time needed to do it well. Their style is often too much of a “tell” style – and there is a danger that fresh “different thinking” will not break through.

What is needed is way of discussing things with an interested and independent third party. Executive coaching from JA Consulting offers an approach which provides support in whatever form is needed, from hands-on direct coaching to a sounding-board, mentor style, and tailored to that specific individual in that particular environment; the focus is on improving the individual to improve the chances of success.

Project Management Coaching

Having the right people in the right jobs with the right skills, knowledge and experience is critical to business success. The reality is that all too often the people the business want are not available, or the skills and experience don’t exist within the organisation. And therefore, businesses must find the solution that works for them whilst maintaining project momentum.

The natural behaviour with a business critical project is to use a “safe pair of hands” as it is deemed too risky to use less proven project managers. But this approach runs the risk of de-motivating high performing individuals and/or missing out on an opportunity for “different thinking”, which may be the differentiator for success. If you apply youth only, then things typically go wrong. The days when there were business-safe “play projects” are long behind us. And, if you apply experience then it costs lots of money and you get the same recurring approach.

Challenging project managers through coaching helps them think about issues, available options and actions to improve project performance effectively resulting in project management knowledge becoming real delivery experience while maintaining continuity on the project. Coaching often provides an alternative and complementary approach to training alone.

Project Management Coaching is tailored to individual needs set in the context of organisational needs and also uses a variety of coaching tools and techniques from a wide range of backgrounds focussed on delivering a step change in the coachee’s ability and confidence, enabling the organisational goals to be achieved. For each coaching engagement, we typically:

  • Meet with the sponsor and the individual to establish criteria for success
  • Spend a short time understanding the project management, business and delivery methods used in the business – to ensure we drive in a way which fits your organisational methods
  • Agree some development goals with the individual and the best method to achieve these, types of interaction and review points
  • Use the coach as a review mechanism within an open but testing engagement to facilitate learning and work through problems
  • Tailor a solution – which may include for example, observation, interviews, expert guidance and/or direct training in management methods.
  • Hold reviews/feedback with sponsor as necessary, and as agreed between the individual and coach – respecting confidentiality
  • Our approach takes a holistic view of problems rather than concentrating on niche aspects. This means we spend time establishing the business objectives and then work with each individual to develop an approach providing practical “on the job” support that combines elements of coaching, observation, mentoring, business advice and training to fit their individual needs. Effective project management comes from a robust interaction with the business (eg finance) and delivery (eg engineering) functions. Our project coaching method can focus on any element – or combinations of this framework – and always includes those aspects immediately surrounding the focus.

Sales Management Coaching

Sales Management Coaching is much more helping someone learn to sell.

If it was as simple as that you’d send them on a course and hey presto turn them into an award-winning salesperson. But as experience shows, knowing what to do and actually doing it are very different propositions.

Sales Management Coaching is about developing confidence, expanding thinking, creating new ways of finding answers, and above all, doing things that make a difference.

And, of course, that needs to be in a highly practical way. Which means there’s a strong focus on action planning and implementation. And that means developing sales strategy, tracking progress and overcoming barriers to success.

All our sales coaches have experience in sales environments; they understand the pressures and demands that exist, especially in testing economic times, and are used to working with partners, directors and all levels of management to help achieve results.

The JAC Proposition

Coaching is much more than teaching someone what to do; it’s about developing confidence, expanding thinking, creating new ways of finding answers, and above all doing things that make a difference. An experienced coach recognises where the coachee’s knowledge and skills exist using them to assist the coachee in their learning and development. To be successful there needs to be a balance between push and pull – gentle persuasion to help the coachee take on new experiences and put theory into practice.

As one client said recently, “I think the main thing I’ve got out of the coaching is ‘real life’ input – not just the theory. I also think it was valuable to have someone who was there to provide a confidence boost. Sometimes it’s easy to lose momentum and I think coaching can provide that extra push sometimes.”

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