The purpose of being the MAC in a business context is to help employees consider how they might work and behave differently with more effective behaviours that produce better outcomes, without a reliance on the formal authority the manager possesses. As a MAC, I was able to support a care home team in achieving an ‘Outstanding’ rating from the CQC two times in three years.
Being a MAC brought added complexity to my job, but it led to an increase in staff engagement and motivation. Similarly, factors such as trust shared values, and benevolence, have strengthened the relationship between myself and the team, leading to success in the whole business relationship. This is called the “Humanistic Coaching Approach” (Gregory and Levy, 2013). Staff confidence has taken a spike in the few years I have been in post that has resulted in staff retention. On the quest for achieving high standards of care, I also used “Emotional Intelligence” together with humanistic coaching to empower staff in their individual roles. The essence of Emotional Intelligence is to bring self-awareness to the fore. By having a better insight into their own actions and feelings – and how these affect those around, the staff was able to empathise or identify with them on many different levels.
As a coach, I was able to identify weaknesses in the team and use focused intervention and support to unleash staff potential and empower the staff team to use problems as opportunities to grow. For example, unleashing staff intrinsic skills of one particular staff member – compassion and empathy, (although English was not her first language), to provide person-centred dementia care to one of the residents living with advanced dementia.
As a Manager, I have used coaching and mentoring to elevate organisational performance, hence the “Outstanding” rating. KLOE (Key Lines Of Enquiry) prompts encourages providers to be creative and innovative. By using the humanistic coaching methodology, the staff was able to understand how important the KLOEs were in every aspect of their day to day work. They were able to view our residents from a holistic point of view, encouraging the staff to focus on the resident’s self-concept, revealing staff’s authenticity in a work atmosphere of empathy and unconditional regard.
As a Consultant for Fulcrum, I was able to support managers in terms of building a team, optimising staff skills for better results, using my knowledge of the KLOEs as a catapult for managers to place the emphasis on how internal systems and processes would upgrade their current ratings. By using mentoring and coaching, I was able to support managers in mapping the KLOEs with internal audits documentation, hence maintaining strong and effective governance systems in terms of quality assurance and audits.
I am currently using the humanistic coaching methodology to help mitigate the negative psychological impact of crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. This has permeated in creating a positive engaging atmosphere, using all the internal protocol regimes in place. With the team, we have successfully achieved a positive internal quality audit as well and positive results in the recent CQC – COVID-19 Infection Prevention Control inspection. This process in itself supports to elevate both staff personal development and the success of the organisation.
As technology continues to advance, organisations will need even more human skills and competencies to get their staff to perform well. For a manager to become a coach he/she needs support and mentoring as the skills required are not mechanistic, or simple skills that are easily trainable. The core competencies of a MAC involve dealing with inherent human complexities, which are essential to being a change agent and the required skills need to be mastered.
In my experience, humanistic coaching and mentoring offers powerful benefits to both staff and organisation and is a sound development investment.