by Dwayne Murphy
According to the book The Traits of Today’s CFO: A Handbook for excelling in an evolving Role, by Ron Rael, CPA, CGMA, coaching is a mix of technical and people skills combined in a unique fashion that produces great results, which helps the organization achieve its goals.
Coaches try to foster personal relationships with each employee so that they can tell the truth when things are going well or going poorly. They are not managers or micromanagers because they are using knowledge and insight to help employees come into their own wisdom and trusting their employees and letting them successfully stumble so they quickly learn to succeed.
Coaching is not limited to employees; you can coach a boss or a colleague. The process of coaching is consistent and once it is mastered you will find many ways to use it to help others. Coaching at the organization level requires the CFO or controller to be the conscience of the organization. You must be seen as the professional leader who does not have any biases or an agenda other than the organization’s success. Here are nine skills of a great organization coach:
- Teaching and Training: Leadership positions in finance are now being required to constantly train individuals. That is why a coach should be able to constantly teach others about finance, accounting and business management.
- Counseling: Coaches should be able to help guide other leaders and colleagues through difficult situations and tough decisions.
- Guiding: Coaches should step in to help shape other leaders’ behaviors and decisions so that they stay focused on solutions and plans that benefit the organization.
- Relating: Coaches should use analogies, examples and stories to help get your point across and speak at the same level as the person being coached to help foster trusting relationships.
- Learning: Coaches should be open to learning from other leadership team members as this will ensure future success at the organization.
- Questioning: Don’t be afraid to ask open-ended and probing questions. These often lead to new possibilities and help the organization reach its goals.
- Listening: Often managers will have hidden agendas or often deny anything is wrong, but by listening with your ears, eyes and intuition you will be able to bring forth those hidden things so they can be openly discussed.
- Using intuition: Coaches should be aware of what to say and what not to say by using your business intuition.
- Creativity: Coaches should be open minded to new tools, methods, or processes that the organization can use to remove obstacles and achieve goals.
Coaching can seem daunting but with the right attitude and plan it can benefit both the coach and the whole organization. The business world is challenging and always changing and coaching can help the organization stay on target and succeed.
Dwayne ([email protected]) is an Audit Senior in our firm. He works with many non-profit clients as well as those in healthcare.