Coaching: A Route for Professional Development and Success

By Susan Tinnish Advisory Group Chair, Vistage | October 07, 2018

Pathways for leadership and professional development have evolved over time in the business world. Once upon a time, the strongest business leaders were perceived to be all knowing and showing any weakness was taboo. However as business increases in complexity and leadership abilities are seen as skills that can be polished, many executives have turned to executive or business coaching to hone their abilities and improve their business results. In its early use, business coaching was targeted at people with toxic behaviors.

Today, most coaching is focused on developing the capabilities of high-potential performers. This evolution is borne out by a Harvard Business Review survey of 140 coaches which found almost half the respondents (coaches) reporting that they are hired primarily to work with executives on the positive side of coaching - developing high-potential talent and facilitating a transition in or up. Another 26% said that they are most often called in to act as a sounding board on organizational dynamics or strategic matters. Relatively few coaches said that organizations often hire them to address abrasive or derailing behaviors.

Like other industries, the hotel industry faces added complexity. Issues like dynamic pricing, more sophisticated marketing tools, brand proliferation, sustainability, managing different generations, talent shortages, the presence of new competitors, new distribution channels, and layering of parties invested in a hotel's success equate to a more challenging environment for hoteliers. Many hoteliers may find that just as a coach improves an athlete's performance, they could benefit from a coach who helps them enhance the skills and resources they need in order to be successful.

Business coaching is the practice of providing support and advice to help business leaders recognize ways in which they can improve the effectiveness of their business. Business coaches work to improve leadership, employee accountability, teamwork, sales, communication, goal setting, strategic planning, execution, cultural transformation and more. Coaching can be provided in a number of formats although it is usually done in a group or one-on-one sessions.

Who Can Benefit from Coaching?

A person can benefit from the services of a business coach, if they:

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.