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Why Coaching Is More Important Than Ever for Clients and Agencies

Courtney LukitschBy Courtney Lukitsch, Founder and Principal, Gotham PR

With coaching assuming such a prominent position alongside mentoring within the realm of public relations and strategic media consulting, the relevance of on-the-job education is an important topic. The fact that Millennial teams want a coach at work—not a boss—is well documented.

But what’s often overlooked in today’s fast-paced, entrepreneurial environments is that many companies are structured steeply with senior management, with no middle support structure within their companies, and a heavily staffed junior team. While eager to deliver results, but without the managerial skillset that comes with time-tested experience, challenges immediately arise that torque day-to-day operations, creating discontent.

It becomes quickly evident when a scenario arises that require nuanced communications, decision or immediate action that a C-Level executive is delegating work down to a less experienced account executive—and problems ensue. A simple act can have multiple effects.

Within the shifting landscape of the workplace, the middle becomes that much more important—whether at the director, vice president or senior account management level. This is where the majority of businesses rely on communicating their core value to the world.

With a strengthened core, businesses may more seamlessly integrate teams, deliverables and drive positive change—which is where coaching becomes especially relevant: to envision how to evolve an organization from within, while driving the business externally.

Once a company embraces the idea of dynamic change, an exciting evolution may transpire within a tight timeframe.

More typically, people within organizations fear or resist such change, making the role of a dynamic coach important.

True leaders embrace sometimes unconventional approaches, through creative discovery-driven planning, and encourage their mid management and junior teams to participate in the process.

More popularly known within the marketing world as a pivot, this repositioning strategy has reinvented many a legacy business, while also maintaining a lean, start-up nimbleness.

As this article in Harvard Business Review suggests, the idea that bringing in outside experts to mentor your team can have far-reaching benefits. Individuals within these teams gain an untapped network while supplied with numerous new channels for sharing / receiving knowledge. In today’s world, the significance of a mentor and coach absolutely cannot be undermined.

A thought-provoking new work by Adam Grant called “Originals: How Non-Conformists Move The World” explores the concept of less than conventional management examples and success stories.

By choosing uniquely creative paths within the world of business ideation and innovation, Grant illustrates how building a network, a coalition and persistence to ‘do things differently’ challenge the status quo.

Forbes highlights Grant’s claims that avoiding mediocrity, a dreaded middle ground he refers to as “middle status conservatism” makes way for innovation.

However, he states that conceptual innovators may become captives of an early important achievement. He claims that failing and creating in stages is advisable.

In a chapter entitled ‘Rebel with a Cause’ he posits that mentors nurture originality while also challenging their team to do better. He dispels that groupthink has any value whatsoever and encourages critical interactions. The idea of being direct rather than indirect facilitates progress.

Expert Alan Cohen wrote an entire treatise, “Those Difficult Talks For PR Pros,” that provides a playbook for how best to say what needs to be said to clients, colleagues and employees. In a world of constant and endless communication, Cohen outlines the benefits that come along with clear and concise conversations.

Another platform attaining growing significance in the realm of workplace coaching and mentoring is emotional intelligence or EQ as popularized by Travis Bradberry, who has conducted extensive research on what makes people happy in both their work and life.

By outlining 10 Ways Smart People Stay Calm, Bradberry positions that the ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct correlation to your performance. From using a support system to simply breathing, he highlights many tactics that assist in managing stress in our everyday lives. Keeping a positive outlook is at the core of this as he asserts that “Identifying and labeling your thoughts as thoughts by separating them from the facts will help you escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive new outlook.”

Work-life balance has become a major buzzword in today’s society, something that people not only look for when seeking new job opportunities but ideally strive for as a daily, weekly, and monthly goal. Thrive Global emphasizes the key elements to achieving that highly sought after, work-life balance by illuminating the power that comes from defining our own success and happiness. Additionally, practicing gratitude and committing to living in the present accentuates the path to genuine contentment.

Insights are more valuable than ever in the world of communications and marketing. With a shift to psychographics rather than demographics for everything from news consumed to programs watched, it becomes more relevant that ever to try to understand each other.

An essential element of coaching today is underscored in this Inc. article. Highlighting the imperativeness of emotional intelligence, it is cited that you can never understate how important this component is to building an efficient and supportive team. Not to mention one that is fundamental to long-term success.

Today’s workplace environment requires delicate navigation. In order for one to teach, a hands-on experience is necessary and a coach must have a myriad of resilient communication tactics as well as be able to provide the keys to success to those around them. Education and support is vital to the success and this is only achieved through open and effective communication, bringing this feature full circle.

This news article was written by Courtney Lukitsch, Founder and Principal at Gotham PR in New York and London. It continues a thought leader series based on Agency and Client-side workplace issues, and is the basis of a forthcoming coaching and mentoring book to be published in 2017 alongside the newly rebranded website and the 15th anniversary of the agency.

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