While the benefits of philanthropy are widely documented and well known, that does not change the fact that there are many intangible, unquantifiable benefits as well. Perhaps the most significant of these intangibles is the idea of “coaching” within the charity sector. Yet, what even is coaching? Isn’t coaching the same thing as managing?
Well, yes and no. Coaching is similar to, and likely inherent within, managerial roles yet it refers to the idea of building the employees beneath you. Rather than simply overseeing subordinates, coaching requires that a leader sympathize with, listen to, and insightfully advise his or her workers in a way that makes his or her workers self-sufficient. With that said, it only makes that coaching plays a tremendous role within philanthropic organizations.
If you have had only a limited exposure to coaching before this article, it would behoove you to know a few things. First and foremost, coaching changes your relationships with those around you. It will allow not just you to help your family, friends, and employees, but it will help them help themselves. By learning to embrace self-sufficiency and to reject dependency, your social and professional network will find themselves to be more fulfilled, more at peace with their circumstance, and more in control of their own lives.
Not to mention, coaching does not just help your social network. It expands it. So often charitable endeavors are lonely efforts, starting with the burning passion of one ambitious man or woman. However, coaching helps funders find individuals of a similar mindset. More than that, it helps funders find individuals of a like-mind and then strengthens that social/professional relationship. By sharing perspective, founders and partners are supporting each other. By sharing a vision, both are wholly devoted to the same philanthropic mission.
Just as well, coaching facilitates the development of advanced listening skills. Teaching founders to not just hear, but to truly listen to those around them builds relationships to a degree beyond simple professionalism. By listening, and showing care and compassion, founders are illustrating a sense of responsibility that is not confined to the workplace. This sort of social leadership deepens loyalty, builds rapport, and exemplifies collaboration.
This collaboration then builds into what is known as peer coaching. When employees learn to thrive in an atmosphere that extolls the benefits of listening, they will be more prone to turn to each other as well, not just their leader. When these employees begin helping one another and talking to each other, they learn to voice their concerns out loud, which in turn quiets any potential damaging internal dialogue. Additionally, this verbalization also promotes professional collaboration. By strengthening their trust in one another, employees will bolster their professional collaboration skills as well.
Coaching in charity, like coaching in anywhere else, molds leaders, inspires ambition and shapes the future. By investing time in workers now, founders and co-founders are placing their not-for-profit’s future in capable hands. Create a space where employees can be truly proud to work.