The enhancement of reflective practices in managers through coaching
Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.
ENGLISCH ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this research was to explore the role of coaching in enhancing reflective practices in managers. The experiences and perceptions of coachees were explored to answer the research question. Design/methodology/approach – This research was a qualitative study. Using an inductive approach, it sought to explore and interpret data collected from the coachees on their experiences and perceptions of coaching and the extent to which it influenced reflective practices. A purposive sampling approach was used. A total of five coachees from a FMCG company that the researcher is employed at, in the Durban area, participated in the research. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews and researcher field notes and observations during the coaching process. Findings –The key findings revealed that coaching played an important role in enhancing the reflective practices and reflection in managers. Coachees found that the coaching process supported and enabled the achievement of their coaching goals. Further it was found that coachee use of reflective practices were enhanced through coaching, leading to greater levels of self-awareness, improved self-regulation and improved decision-making. Reflective practices emerged as a valuable competence for leadership. Reflective tools and practice were enablers to leadership development. Enhanced use of reflective practices led to greater reflection and self-awareness and insights leading to better self-mastery and personal growth. Greater self-awareness and enhanced reflective practices also saw coachees transferring the tools they had used and learnt to others. It was found that as coachees developed self and others their leadership capability improved. Organisational buy in, support and practices that value reflection were found to be critical for effective learning and leadership capability development. Coachees identified in the coaching process, the coach- coachee relationship, trust and coachee goal accountability as important enablers and from an organisational context, identified leadership support for time for reflective practices as a critical enabler. Research limitations/implications – A small sample size was used in the study. These findings, whilst true for the coachees who participated, may not be generalised to the general population of leaders and or managers. The results however, could be useful to other coaches developing reflective capability in coachees, to organisations and leadership development practitioners focussed on establishing competencies for leaders and development programmes for leaders. Practical implications – The implications of this research include: Business and executive coaches To give consideration to the deliberate development of reflective practices in leader coachees thus enhancing their reflection, shifting awareness and leading to effective coaching outcomes. For leader coachees To be committed to the coaching process, development of reflective practices and committed to their self development. Further they are encouraged to focus on developing behaviours important for their leadership effectiveness. Organisational human resource development practitioners To include and address within leadership competency frameworks and development programmes the development of reflective practices and the value of reflection. In an organisational setting, reflective practice must be valued as a competency in order for benefits to be derived and the culture and leadership behaviours adopted be in alignment. Coaching academies or training providers and professional coaching bodies To position development of reflective practices as an important and primary outcome of a coach-coachee relationship linked to goal realisation and make reflection and reflective practices, an explicit competency in the coaching capability development framework linked to assessments. Originality/value – The study adds to the body of knowledge on understanding the impact of coaching in enhancing reflective practices in managers and contributes to the positioning of reflective practices in leadership competency frameworks and leadership development programmes. Future research around reflective practices is needed and recommendations have been made.