Behavioral Skills Preferred Over Technical Capability

CoachHub · 29 March 2022 · 3 min read

Managing uncertainty makes adaptability a prized trait

People must learn how to learn. That is the most important skill to have in the face of an uncertain future.

A raging pandemic forced breakneck change, which made forecasting nearly impossible. The slow and steady evolution we once enjoyed in our workplace at the end of the 20th century has been kicked into hyperdrive.

Every sector of the economy has had to adapt, and society needs to adapt as well. We leaned into technology to work, learn, and socialize. We may never return to the typical workday in a traditional office or workspace. Our world is defined by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity — and adaptation is necessary to stay relevant.

People have adapted to change by quitting work at a rapid rate. More than 4.5 million people quit their jobs in November. That’s up 8.6% from October — and shattered September’s mark of 4.36 million.

Coaching for Adaptability

CoachHub recently conducted a survey of nearly 2,500 global learning and development managers. One of the key findings was the importance of behavioral skills over technical capability. Behavioral skills, like adaptability, are crucial to managing uncertainty. The study also showed that the larger the organization is, the less robust behavioral skills programs are for their employees.

The adoption of technology as a working solution has made it easier to democratize coaching programs, giving access to wider cross sections of the workforce. Traditionally, coaching has been reserved for leaders at the highest levels of an organization. Now, it’s much easier to deliver. Despite greater accessibility, individualized coaching is still hard to come by.

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What the Survey Says

Only 17% of the executives surveyed said training and development programs were individual coaching sessions. The majority of programs — 67% — are conducted for groups.

And while it’s important to have the skills to deal with uncertainty, businesses have not made that a priority, according to the survey results. Only 13% of those surveyed said employees have been given extra training in the last 18 months to deal with uncertainty. The majority of the training has gone toward improving current job skills, followed by getting new job skills and remote working.

17%

Executives surveyed said training and development programs were individual coaching sessions

13%

Employees have been given extra training in the last 18 months

Let’s Start With Managers

Managers play a pivotal role in workplace evolution. In many cases they’re dealing with employees who aren’t there, getting instructions remotely, then relaying them to a remote workforce. They’re often on the hook for the performance of their charges without having the traditional methods of checking on progress.

Coaches can offer solutions for creating new workplace rituals that will allow for a certain level of connectivity that is missing from today’s remote working environment. They can also provide constructive feedback on potential changes to leadership style that will help in today’s digital work environment.

It’s vital to focus on the overall well-being of employees, including the manager of each team. Focusing on the bottom line will be incredibly detrimental in the current work environment. There needs to be acknowledgement of the hard work being done, because sometimes it’s hard just getting out of bed each day when your entire routine has been turned on its head.

Outside Looking In

An important thing to keep in mind when coaching for behavioral change is to understand the value the outside perspective of a coach can bring to professional situations. Businesses that invest in their workforce’s ability to adjust their outlook see greater confidence from their workers and an overall improvement in their well-being.

Additionally, it’s seen by employees as a high-value method of developing behavioral change when it comes from outside the organization. Employees often see coaching using internal resources as some form of corrective action. Coaching looks and feels a lot like mentoring.

External coaching creates a confidential forum that allows for more candor than most get from an internal mentor. That freedom improves an employee’s ability to develop the necessary tools to become more self-reliant and self-reflective, which can assist with being adaptable.

Any work geared toward addressing adaptability must be personalized to ensure each individual’s needs are being fulfilled. Responding to those needs leads to the highest impact on the business, as the person is given the freedom to reach their full potential. This in turn results in greater levels of engagement.

Conclusion

Expecting people to adjust to the meteoric rate of change in the workplace is difficult, especially when you don’t give them the tools they need to succeed. Corporate leaders have the power to prioritize adaptability and bring their people the proper resources to help them adjust to this change, as well as the ones we can’t anticipate. Once that happens, we can put our organizations on solid paths to success led by confident and engaged employees.

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CoachHub is the leading global talent development platform that enables organizations to create a personalized, measurable and scalable coaching program for the entire workforce, regardless of department and seniority level. By doing so, organizations are able to reap a multitude of benefits, including increased employee engagement, higher levels of productivity, improved job performance and increased retention. CoachHub’s global pool of coaches is comprised of over 3,500 certified business coaches in 90 countries across six continents with coaching sessions available in over 60 languages, to serve more than 500 clients. Our programs are based on advanced R&D from our Coaching Lab, led by Prof. Jonathan Passmore and our Science Council. CoachHub is backed by leading tech investors, including Sofina, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Molten Ventures, Speedinvest, HV Capital, Partech and Silicon Valley Bank/SVB Capital. In September 2021, CoachHub acquired French digital coaching pioneer MoovOne to build a global champion focused on jointly democratizing coaching.
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