While the view can be stunning, life can be lonely at the top of a mountain.
It’s the same in organisational structures; the higher up the ladder you get, the lonelier it becomes and loneliness can lead to a sense of isolation.
Senior management staff, such as Directors (and Assistant Directors) of Studies in private FE colleges, may well relate to this feeling. They often have responsibility for teacher development, but who takes the reins for their own development?
And balancing time and effort between management and teaching roles, as well as liaising with awarding and regulatory bodies, becomes just that – a balancing act. No-one wants to see the quality of teaching and learning affected by management responsibilities, but it could be the case although never the intention.
So you need to be creative and ensure that new practices are explored; that non-one’s completely opposed to any sort of change; and that anyone who is promoted to a role on the basis of good teaching skills and classroom experience, is given every opportunity to develop the management skills necessary to do the job well.
The necessary creativity and introduction to new practices may well require external input from an executive coach, simply because someone looking in sees far more of an organisation and its people, than someone who’s overly familiar with the inside view.
Effective coaching and mentoring delivers tangible benefits, not just to the recipients but to the organisations that employ them. The results may well include better management skills and increased job motivation, and bring a few added benefits such as tweaks in organisational structure and policy development.
Research and studies have indicated that executive coaching delivers a return on investment (ROI) of nearly six times the cost of the coaching – and that word cost is actually guilty of some negativity and doubt about the returns. It should not be seen as a cost, always as an investment.
To fully understand ROI relies – critically – on how coaching benefits are measured within an organisation. A survey for the Association for Coaching highlighted this lack of measurement. It’s critical and should be one of the key drivers when selecting a supplier.
And there’s another important point to remember when selecting a supplier. Quite often the senior management team will make an excellent choice for particular coaching requirements within departments or throughout the whole organisation.
But who is that decides on the best approach for the senior management team? The DoS or ADoS? Or should that advice and guidance come from some outside the organisation?
For more information about what we do and how we can help, contact Helen Chambers, Executive Coach and Managing Director of HJC Associates.