While in the West, this concept has been prevalent for over 30-35 years, in India executive coaching is about 15 years old which has gained substantial momentum in the last 7-8 years. The Coaching Foundation India (CFI) has launched successfully a two-tier program for CEO Coach and Internal Leadership Coach accreditation. Therefore, the supply of trained coaches in India is steadily increasing and this is indeed a welcome sign.
Besides reputed multinational companies, large Indian conglomerates too have actively supplemented their leadership development initiatives by inviting coaches to work with their senior leadership team. They are also focusing their attention on young, ‘fast track managers’ who have been chosen through assessment processes for improving the quality of leadership pipeline. Given the widespread talent shortage in some sectors, young leaders with potential are spotted early on, and they are put through ‘accelerated’ development program. Coaching them around functional, business and leadership agenda has become important. In some cases, senior leaders in the organization also play a complementary role as mentors. Indian managers have become an essential ingredient for success in a globalised business environment. In the case of those who are being prepared for global roles and those foreign nationals who move to growth markets like India or China, the emphasis on coaching is to assimilate faster the cultural dynamics and become productive much faster.
Coaching must be viewed in the context of business performance. Coaching is not intellectual; it happens in action. It is not a ‘cookie-cutter’ approach. By interacting dynamically with the leader, the coach can help what the person wants; be it ways to enhance current performance, develop untapped potential, to take strategic decision, or to lead a change initiative successfully. Building a trusting relationship, self awareness, motivation and one’s openness to experiment with what they know or with new things are critical for coaching effectiveness.
Further when pricing a coaching intervention there are many factors that are taken into consideration by both the coach and the client organization. Size of the organization and the level would count, as much as the reputation and credentials of the coach.
R.R. NAIR is Form HR Director in Unilever Subsidiaries & a CEO Coach