Coach in NGO
Updated: Dec 4, 2018
Why does coaching for non-profit organizations make sense?
It is interesting how business organizations don't have a problem with investing time and money into hiring a coach for their executives and managers, while for for a NGO*, this kind of expense is almost unthinkable. That is why I want to prove even a small non-profit organization can have a great return on investment (ROI) because giving people opportunity to learn and grow is one of the best ways to strengthen the potential of any institution in short term, but most of all in long term perspective.
Working with a coach shows bigger perspective on learning and how to do it efficiently, building a fundament for any future challenges.
So what is coaching for business?
Business coaching assumes goals of the company aligned with goals for development of an employee or manager or even executive.
Goals of the company can be financial, they can aim at implementing certain kind of change, that can be anything the institution assumes is needed for growing. On the other side, there are managers and employees who will work towards achieving those goals. And business coaching means supporting designated individuals in achieving the goals of the company.
In practice it is simple, a coach and an employee (coachee to be) and his/her manager (plus sometimes the Human Resources department representative) will sit together and align goals for coachee’s performance and development with the chosen goals of the company.
For instance, if part of the business goal is growing a strong team of sales representatives (for bigger income), for a coachee it can mean learning how to delegate responsibilities or getting better in giving feedback. If the goal is to build a more noticeable brand, a development goal can consist of public speaking skills or increasing social media visibility of the CEO.
How does business coaching translate to a non-profit organization?
It’s quite easy because goals in NGOs are usually quite clearly defined by contracts with donors or grants’ proposals. That is on the project level. Often the strategic goals need to be more clearly defined, but I will describe it closer in another blog post. For now, let’s focus on a situation when an organization is promising to deliver certain results to their community and stakeholders.
Often it includes working with external partners (business, public administration, donors, other NGOs), this communication is never easy, but it's also a skill that can be learned. Also sometimes it can be about getting more confident and assertive, sometimes it can be a skill of being empathetic towards partners and seeing all the situation from more angles.
Coaching helps in implementing knowledge from workshops and training on the individual level, making real use of what people have learned.
Coach supports the organization in identifying challenges and translating them into development goals, adjusting it to the real person in front of him/her.
And while it's all about good management, in business coaching coach's role focuses on making it real by supporting both sides of the story: making organization's goals happen, and taking real-life people into account.
*I will use non-profit organizations exchangeable with NGOs (non-governmental organizations) as opposed to business organizations or public administration institutions.