We decided to follow the path of leadership based on the principles of coaching.
One of our team leaders, Michal Valach, went beyond his role’s “normal limits”. He came to us with a vision to become a coach and to take his own personal development to a new level.
We were thrilled when this idea was brought to the attention of our management and HR. And why? Because beyond Michal’s motivation to help others grow, we saw a deeper meaning. It wasn’t just an idea, but a vision with the potential to bring a new perspective to Axians, especially in employee development.
How did Michal get involved in coaching and how does he see it benefiting Axians? We decided to ask him about it in a short interview:
Michal, why did you decide to become a coach?
About two years ago I started working in a management position. I soon realised that leading people is a specific skill that requires the acquisition of certain knowledge and abilities. Effective leadership requires much more than an intuitive approach and common sense. As I did not know anything about leadership and did not want to be a mere “holiday approver” who only measured the hours worked, I began to study the literature on personal development and leadership in depth. I read books by John Whitmore and Timothy Gallwey. It all started to make sense to me and I saw the huge potential of coaching. So I started down that path, seeking professional training.
How is coaching perceived by people around you?
A lot of people around me think that it is a mysterious method and that you sit with a magical guru who is your mentor and gives you advice on how to live your life. But it’s quite the opposite! Coaching helps you to find your own answers, to move forward and to get where you want to go.
If we focus on coaching in a company, what do you think the benefits might be?
In my opinion, the main benefit of the principles of coaching is the ability to create a safe environment based on trust. This is what I see as the cornerstone of a successful and well functioning team. Trust between team members is key in my opinion. It allows people to work together more effectively and not be afraid to communicate openly and share ideas. Another benefit I see is the development of people. In dynamic times, people often need to cope with change and move out of their comfort zone. This is an area where coaching can be an effective tool.
What is your vision and goals for developing internal coaching at Axians?
My vision is to create functioning teams, helping employees to develop and tackle new challenges. I plan to deepen my knowledge of team and life coaching. I would also like to defend my MBA thesis on using a coaching approach to develop teams, which could help spread awareness of coaching to other team leaders.
Do you have a love for IT and a desire to develop not only in the field, but also in leadership and other soft skills? Then don’t hesitate to join us!
Let us know at email@example.com or check out the currently open positions.
To ensure we’re not just talking about the general benefits of coaching, let’s share a specific example of how it can move a business forward. This year we are focusing on the development of the competencies of our team leaders and on the concept of succession planning. We have developed a career path for our future Team Leaders, which includes training and supporting Team Leaders in their new role through coaching and mentoring.
We all know that the transition from any job role to a Team Leader role is challenging. Therefore, not only do we have support from HR and management for our new team leaders, but team leaders also have coaching opportunities. This synergistic combination of resources and expertise enables us to effectively support Team Leaders to identify with their new role and to grow.
Overall, internal coaching is a potentially very useful tool for developing people and improving team performance. However, it is important to carefully weigh all the pros and cons. Michal has been a great example to us that internal coaching can be a challenge worthy of the effort because it allows us to invest in our colleagues and prepare them for the challenges ahead.