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This article was published 12-04-2016

Trends in Coaching

Anje-Marijcke van Boxtel delivers lectures and master classes in organizations and teaches in the Master Program for Coaches. She coaches business leaders primarily in the private sector.

Coaching in a VUCA-world
“My passion lies in translating the latest scientific insights in psychology, organizational development and leadership into the working practices of people in organizations. In todays volatile world it is more crucial than ever to create more growth, sustainability and enjoyment in learning, development and performance of organizations, teams and individuals” She works as the Director of Coaching at Schouten Global, is an internationally certified coach, thoughtleader in global projects and a member of Advisory Councils in the professional coaching field.

The environment in which we live and work is changing fast. In this complex and increasingly ‘global’ world, changes are not only taking place more quickly, they are also affecting more and more people and are becoming more difficult to predict than they used to be. This challenges the capability of organizations to spot opportunities and respond to them more quickly than ever.

This changing work context is having a major impact on what organizations expect of their employees. Alongside the practice of training employees in established learning lines to attain planned targets, in fixed function profiles, using set processes, there is a need for greater flexibility. Flexibility for responding alertly to opportunities, for adapting quickly, and for performing excellently. This requires new capabilities from employees. To an increasing degree, organizations are looking for dynamic people who are able to respond rapidly to changes without losing sight of their ambitions – people who are good at what they do, who have an eye for opportunities, and who continue to develop.

There is also a psychological trend at play here: what drives people in their work? “I perform so I am” – people working according to their values, who want to be significant, and who want to be seen in terms of their added value. These are familiar characteristics of Generation Y, which will increasingly apply to all of us. This places different demands on organizations. As Simon Sinek puts it: when you hire people to fulfill a specific job, that is exactly what they will do. But when people come to work for you because they share your or your organization’s values, then they will work with blood, sweat, and… enjoyment.

It will be clear from the above that most ‘old’ learning and development methods in organizations are no longer good enough. Nowadays, a new mindset in learning and professional development is called for, in which values and the alignment of these values are the driving force behind change and growth. The focus of learning does not lie on restraints or weaknesses - the shortcomings in the competency profile - but actually on talents, as a result of which the development process is hastened. The standard off-site ‘learning school’ is no longer key: learning lines are becoming more individual and integrated. Employees and managers are challenged to explore their potential to the best possible effect and to continue developing unique talents in a sustainable way. The fire is fanned by the energy resources in the work context, and this brings excellent performance within reach.

Where are we now and what will the future bring? Coaches have made an outstanding contribution to recognizing and developing the potential of individuals, a responsibility that is increasingly being taken on by organizations. Large organizations have created internal coaches and trained their managers to be coaching leaders. I now hold inspirational discussions in national and international companies on how coaching skills, as metaskills, can optimize learning, development and performance. This is sometimes done under the working title of creating coaching climates. The integration of coaching skills like appreciating, challenging and amplifying, in cooperation with leadership and advice, results in a more efficient and effective work context. Coaches can make an important contribution towards focusing on strengths and growth. In a turbulent market, the demand for transformative coaching from the echelons below that of the CEO (VPs, senior management) will increase, as will demand for extra expertise in function-based coaching of excellent performers (sales coaching, executive coaching).

My dream and contribution
My ambition is to amplify effectiveness, sustainability and fun in learning, development and performance in a way that enables people and organizations to live their values, get the very best out of themselves, add value, and to be appreciated for that. The passion in my work lies in co-creating this. When ambition and talent are the main criteria, rather than just company structures determining growth and responsibilities, the results are beyond expectations.

Based on recent research into positive psychology, brain learning and organizational development, I have created a vision of learning and development: a compass that navigates us through our VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world. At Schouten Global we use this compass vision to shape development and change processes for our clients. Our mission is to unleash and align the potential of individuals, teams and organizations worldwide. Making that kind of contribution, to clients and in my own organization is the best job you can have!

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