Individual Business Coaching: Goals, Methodology and Success Criteria

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Individual Business Coaching: Goals, Methodology and Success Criteria

In the present economic context, characterized by a search for high performances in a globalized economy, individual coaching is facing an important demand. It is thus of interest to reflect on its characteristics and use for the company and its employees.

By Liliane Held-Khawam, author of the book "Management through Professional Coaching: Learning to Cope with Complexity in a Globalized Economy"

General context

In our complex and changing economic context, coaching is now facing an important and growing demand. This trend results from widespread restructuring (or "reengineering") processes and mergers caused by the search for performance in a globalized economy. This is a major source of destabilization for the human factor – one of the core components of the organization – that creates an atmosphere of insecurity and fear of the change. This fear is linked to a loss of socio-professional references that generates tensions and an inertia that can have a strong negative impact on the company, and even possibly on the economic and social fabric. It is thus urgent to have a closer look at individuals in their professional context, at their role, values, aspirations and fears.

These fears cause a number of our co-citizens to display an important resistance to change. This resistance can be either expressed or not. In any case, it is a handicap to the employees who experience it. We see more and more people who are experiencing a deep sense of insecurity inside themselves, yet who try to meet the employer’s demands at any cost. This inner split is the source of numerous conflicts , the most important of which is linked to the person’s emotional dimension. "I must go for it, but my heart isn’t in it". The development of such tensions can bring the person to collapse. Presently, too many people are suffering from this type of malaise.

Let us now imagine what happens in a company when the middle or even the top management experience this phenomenon! In this case, the whole company may suffer from a strong handicap - and even become paralyzed. It is thus important to take a closer look at the emotional health of one’s members of staff, so as to help them develop at their workplace and adjust to the ongoing change. Individuals need to feel secure, in order to express their competencies in their professional lives.

The difficulty of leading people under such circumstances leads to a lack of acknowledgement of the importance of this aspect of management. And yet, the most efficient of structures will only be sustainable if the human factor is ready to integrate it, live in it, and share this way of life with others. By denying the importance of the human factor, we create a discrepancy between the company’s structures and its culture.

This, in turn, becomes a source of distortions that causes a widespread feeling of emotional and behavioral discomfort. In the end, even performance fails to show up. We pay a huge price for a poor economic return and worrying social consequences. Yet, it is precisely in this socio-professional context that coaching is necessary!

Individual business coaching process

In this article, we offer you to deal with the 3 following topics:

  1. Business coaching: definition and goals
  2. Methodology of a professional development project
  3. Competency profile of the coach, duration of the coaching process

These rubrics give you an overview of the essential components of a business coaching process that is based on the Management through Professional Coaching (MPC) methodology.


Coaching pursues the double aim of completing a project in the most efficient way possible and of valorizing the client’s well-being, which is dependent on a good life-balance. It is a very efficient tool that comes in support of organizational change. At present, the roles of all employees are changing, and the time of adaptation granted to individuals is drastically cut down, when it is not equal to zero. The organization of work, the workflows and thus the required competencies are in constant evolution. Moreover, all this is happening in a climate of economic and psychological crisis. Fuzziness, insecurity, a lack of visibility and an increase in workloads are fueling our stress like never before. In this context, we should try to regain strong bearings, yet we lack time, are tired and crumble under an ever more important workload.

In this context, can we ask ourselves the right questions? How can we regain a global vision of our role, projects, partners and customers? How can we find the time necessary in order to develop and adapt our competencies to these new requirements? How can we motivate our teams and share our vision with them?

Coaching represents a place in which such reflections can be conducted. During these meetings, individuals have the opportunity to take distance from their everyday life and to imagine their mission and role within the company. Very quickly, however, this concept will have to be put into application. The implementation process is a very important phase of the process that provides the concept with a realistic dimension and thus encourages the coachee to move on with his/her personal and professional development.

Coaching aims to valorize the human aspects of life within the company. This idea is key in order to understand the importance of the coachee's personal development, as this person will, in turn, integrate his/her environment's human dimension into his/her project. Coachees will indeed have to federate their partners around their mission. The ultimate goal of a coaching approach will thus be to bring all employees to consider their professional activity as a project with all the responsibilities (both in technical and human terms) this implies.

The coachee should thus be encouraged to become an actor and a supporter of change, rather than its victim. Moreover, any coaching process should be supported by professionalism and ethics, which unfortunately is not always the case. Companies should thus be watchful and demanding regarding the profile and methodology of their coaches, as well as the final goal of the coaching process. This is all the more true given that coaching is meeting a sustained and growing demand.

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