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Recent Trends in Global Coaching

Recent Trends in Global Coaching, by Anne Archer, Coach for Gordon Cooper Associates.

With the advent of technology we have the capacity to connect with clients and colleagues in an instant irrespective of where they are in the world.

I remember when the Blackberry came out and we were heralding the flexibility it would bring and the opportunity for balanced lives. In reality I work alongside leaders who have their iPhones or Androids available at the moment they go to sleep and when they wake up. People are constantly looking at emails, texting and searching for yet more information. Is this making us smarter? More productive? More efficient? Better connected?

It would appear that we now have to be on alert 24/7 if we lead or are a part of global teams. Interestingly the increased use of technology can inhibit productivity. Think emails. How much are we governed in our actions by those who send the email rather than by what are our priorities? In a hectic world, a coach provides an opportunity to reflect on busy-ness, productivity and priorities.

Another relatively new development is in our more subtle understanding of how we make decisions (and it’s not how many leaders like to think they do!)

Often the role of intuition and automatic thinking is underplayed by the weight of a rational well thought out logical decision. However there are some fascinating experiments that show we will make choices not based on the latter but on other more seemingly illogical factors. These are pioneered by the work of people like Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman. Coaches can be well served by appropriate research and its applications as we discover more about how we tick.

The trend of the technological reliance to connect is having an effect on our ability to build and sustain trust. We need human contact and as yet have not found the equivalent through technology. Technology brings the amazing potential of global virtual working and yet as social creatures we will need to work out how to replace the handshake when we never meet.  This is particularly relevant across global teams that often operate virtually. More research is needed into the role of a leader and those who follow in a global context to appreciate the subtle nuances. A good coach will ask questions that enable new forms of leadership that are appropriate for beyond the next few decades.

I know that the key is staying current with technology whilst not allowed it to control your life plus increasing productivity rather than being obsessed with time management; building trust without a hand shake; working in and with global, virtual teams and not in the same country or office and finding my balance of intuitive and rational decision making. These are ALL on my list for attention – what’s on yours?

By Anne Archer, Coach