Leadership and management education can no longer just be concerned with content, but needs to facilitate learning that is person-centred, alert to complexity, and that fosters authentic leadership. Coaching facilitates this upskilling of the workforce by being human-centred and insight-focused. GIBS has been at the forefront of bringing coaching to business and to its programmes. The School has a decade-long track record in building these capabilities and capacities. Coaching at GIBS is located in the Personal and Applied Learning (PAL) department, which is a centre of excellence and a business unit that focuses on coaching and facilitation programmes to enhance learning across the School’s offerings.
The objective of this report is to evaluate the personal impact of GIBS’s coaching initiatives on delegates who have had coaching included in one of their programmes or who have attended one-on-one coaching through their workplace. The impact being assessed is at the level of the individual. Delegates’ narratives were used as evidence to measure against PAL’s documented outcomes of types of coaching and the personal learning journey. A qualitative methodology was utilised, collecting personal narratives about the impact of coaching on individual delegates. Primary and secondary data sources were used, with data gleaned from the course evaluations between 2017 and 2019. Additionally, qualitative deep-dive interviews were conducted with Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) class representatives, executive coaching delegates and GIBS staff in late 2019. Testimonials from executives involved in one-on-one coaching were also included.
A thematic analysis was conducted of all available data, and resulted in the following themes:
- Personal insight
- Process capabilities and tools
- Team impact and cohesion
- Personal career impact
- Leader vulnerability
In terms of impact by types of coaching, individual coaching leveraged leadership capabilities, evidenced by narratives of personal insight, and the ability to use coaching tools going forward. Through group coaching, delegates experienced increased personal insight and team cohesion. Process capabilities and tools attained in the group session made coaching’s impact more sustainable. Concerning the impact of coaching on the personal learning journey, it was found that engaging in coaching processes led to personal insight, change and development in the participants’ career, and the sustained application of learning.
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