International Coaching Week: a global celebration

It’s International Coaching Week, a global celebration of the power and impact of professional coaching.

The theme of this year’s International Coaching Week is all about exploring potential and helping people to reach their goals.

It serves as a reminder of the power we all have to maximise our personal and professional lives but it also invites us to think about how we can continue to adapt and change to achieve results. 

We asked twelve business coaches what ways they intend to evolve their approach in order to continue to inspire OTD customers in workplaces around the world.

Embracing technology

Artificial intelligence (AI) presents interesting questions for many sectors, not least training and coaching. 

Will HR and learning and development managers turn to new technology over more traditional approaches? And what does that mean for the role of coach and trainer?  

Rather than see it as a threat, Mohammad Al-Dwaidi plans to “incorporate digital”, while Souhir Al Douri thinks that “ChatGPT and other AI could help” to improve customer experience.

Sergio Lobo agrees that AI presents opportunities that should be warmly embraced. 

He said: “I am developing exciting new approaches using AI, with lots of great stuff coming up. It will help me to improve the quality of my coaching and facilitation services.”

Customer experience 

OTD has always invested in developing experiences that delight our customers. 

It has seen us achieve industry-leading Net Promoter Scores (NPS), two shortlisted entries in the UK Customer Experience Awards and a proud portfolio of glowing testimonials. 

Rather than resting on our laurels, we’re enthusiastically committed to exploring new ways to deliver positive experiences for our customers, and so too are our coaches. 

Marion Schilcher is committed to “making my training even more engaging and effective”, Karen Thornton is “researching new and exciting content”, while Dave Cosgrove is focused on “how well the training sticks and translates into real world change”.

Listening skills

There is a temptation to undervalue the importance of listening in the delivery of effective training, yet listening demonstrates empathy and can establish trust between parties.

It can encourage others to share their perspective too.

Ania Ruszkowski’s approach is centred on “spending more time in other people’s shoes to understand their needs”. Kiminari Azuma agrees. Now 61 years-old, he wants to “pass on the value and power of listening, to everyone I interact with.”

He explained: “When I was in my 30s, I was full of energy, I loved talking about myself rather than listening to others. But it wasn’t until I was in my 50s and learned to listen that I really grew up. I realised that I should have learnt listening when I was younger.” 

Modern workplace learning

We are all ‘modern workplace learners’. That is, we’re hungry for information but short on attention span. 

A one size fits all approach is no longer appropriate and in Andrew McLean’s view, that means trainers must “prepare with even more variety of style and engagement techniques to keep learning fresh, unique and different for delegates.”

Louise Wilson agrees. She says that “even more flexibility of training provision is required to meet the changing needs of the modern learner”.

Clothilde Rabilloud advocates a “dual approach, combining theory and self-reflection to make sure the learning is a really fruitful experience.” 

And how about ‘teasing’ participants before they even arrive? Souhir Al Douri suggests that trainers should put more attention on people to “understand what’s in it for them from the beginning”.

Face-to-face training

The pandemic has prevented face-to-face delivery in some countries for more than two years and even now, in-person delivery in some settings remains highly problematic.    

While the training sector has proved extraordinarily agile in adapting to the changing demands of remote delivery and virtual learning, there are some experiences that cannot be replicated online. 

Madrid-based, Chelo Lozano, intends to deliver “live and direct training” wherever possible. 

She says: “Being able to deliver training in person gives us a deeper learning of any subject, as we learn through emotions and feelings. It also generates a greater and higher quality engagement with our customers too.”

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