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This article was published 18-07-2019

Using the collective strength: Chinese leaders want to inspire creativity and autonomy

Organizations in China are big. But often their leaders are younger than most of their western counterparts. They have to lead big teams while navigating complicated challenges in a rapidly changing environment. So, they are more than ever required to use the collective expertise in their teams and engage employees to show ownership and commitment to the goals of the organization.

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Coaching is big in China
Marijn van Cranenburgh, Manager of L&D solutions at Schouten China: "In general, over the last decades employees in Chinese organizations have seen a continuously fluid environment and heavily relied on leadership to make the calls, meaning that employees often waited for leadership to tell them what was next, this has turned around quickly over the last years, having coaching skills is now seen by more and more companies as an essential tool for leaders. However, it remains necessary to keep showing the ‘why’ behind new strategies.”

Improving teams by putting the individual needs first
In the approach used by Schouten & Nelissen, Mother Company of Schouten China, the coachee, and their questions and goals are the starting point. A coach makes sure the program creates a personal learning curve for every employee. Coaching complete teams is possible, too, and very effective: To unlock the potential of big teams, the members are connected and developed as a group and individually.

For the leaders in Chinese businesses, the coaching journey includes analyzing feedback about performance and behavior. This helps the coachee to learn about their values and assumptions. These insights are used to create personal ambitions and goals towards effective cooperation with others. Keywords are creativity versus reactivity. For instance, how do you motivate others to drive change? What is your leadership style, and how can you create an atmosphere where your teams can excel? As opposed to assumptions that limit your results as a leader. When are you too careful instead of creative?

China Telecom makes the job easier
China Telecom, one of China's largest employers with 300.000 employees, has a goal to create a culture of coaching. In June and July, the first two groups of leaders started an internal training program organized by Schouten China. Like more and more organizations in China, China Telecom understands that coaching encourages autonomy in teams, and gives space to leaders to think creatively about the challenges in the day to day business.

The coaching program will create a working environment where employees are empowered to work with a pro-active and creative mindset. It works so well because participants are actively stimulated to develop in the way they want to grow.

Van Cranenburgh: "Every day we get to work with highly energetic and fast-moving businesses, which means that participants want their learning to be personal and experience that their job is actually made easier right from the start. Learners are eager to develop themselves as long as the learning is relevant and can be applied at the job. Having cutting edge content for blended learning is therefore essential.”

Award-winning Schouten China: People are key to outstanding business results


At Schouten China, we are very proud to be China's top supplier of individual and group coaching training. This July, in fact, China's Human Resources Excellence Center (HREC) awarded Schouten China for the 3rd year in a row for its impact and a wide variety of coaching services. Over the last couple of years, Schouten China has developed thousands of coaches throughout China. Find out more about Schouten China's coaching training.

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