Learn from South Africa’s top coach on leadership

Written by Staff Writer

Aug 24, 2020

In this week’s Top Women podcast, Topco Media CEO, Ralf Fletcher sits down with Janine to discuss the ins and outs of coaching, why we should always look inwards and the secrets to successful leadership.

When it comes to coaching – both personal and professional – there is often a massive misconception around how it’s done and what the goal is. What generally comes to mind is sitting down with someone and being given a set of instructions on how to do things. For this reason, coaching often gets a negative connotation, especially from those who struggle to take orders.

There’s a science behind coaching and a strong link to neuroscience. In order to create change, we need to understand how the brain naturally functions. Coaching, which ultimately aims to transform the way people think, react and behave, takes into account how the brain reacts to change so that strategies can be aligned and implemented accordingly. Our brains have their own inherent way of doing things, but unfortunately, sometimes wires get a little crossed and we need a little help.

Contrary to what many people think, professional and personal coaching is not about giving advice or being told what to do. It’s about being readily equipped with the tools needed in order to improve performance in various aspects. There has been a shift away from telling people what to do and towards making suggestions and collaborating as a team. Moving towards a coaching culture means adopting a specific style in which we interact with people both inside and outside the workplace.

As a professional Integral Coach and Academic Director of the Centre for Coaching , Janine Ahlers is a guru in the field of Integral Coaching – a form of coaching with a sound theoretical base. In this week’s Top Women podcast, Topco Media CEO, Ralf Fletcher sits down with Janine to discuss the ins and outs of coaching, why we should always look inwards and the secrets to successful leadership.

A few key takeaways to listen out for in this podcast:

  • Genuine curiosity is vital when it comes to successful leadership.
  • We don’t always know the enormous pressure on organisation leaders to be seen as always being ‘okay’ – who do they talk to when they need their own guidance?
  • The stress levels of people right now are both high and unpredictable – we need to do everything we can to regulate them in order to be productive.
  • It’s important to identify what underlies the problems we are facing. Often we get caught up in finding solutions without properly addressing what is causing the inherent issue.
  • Understanding ourselves and learning to navigate our lives in a constructive way is a journey within. We cannot look outside for these answers.

Janine is a certified Professional Integral Coach and Academic Director of the Centre for Coaching, a centre for excellence situated at the UCT Graduate School of Business. She also holds the position of Senior Lecturer at the GSB. She lectures at the GSB in Coaching and Leadership Development to MBA and Executive Education students, and is currently doing her research in coaching. She has delivered and published research papers at several academic peer-reviewed conferences, and has published  book chapters and articles on the topic of coaching in leadership development.

Janine spent more than 10 years working in the corporate, manufacturing and business environment where she was required to network and operate at senior executive levels. She held positions as Director, Exco member, Head of HR, and also handled marketing, production & start-up operations. Janine has held a number of musical positions in the National Orchestra before she started her corporate career. She continues to play the violin in orchestras and quartets whenever possible.

Janine has been coaching since 2002, primarily to senior executives who are often working on strategic, leadership and relationship challenges. Her clients span a wide range, from South Africans to clients from Australia, New Zealand, Europe, UK, Japan, Turkey, Dubai, East and West Africa and the full Southern African region. Her work in multinationals has allowed her to develop a keen appreciation for the challenges facing leaders who operate in multi-cultural global organisations.  Janine lectures and facilitates on all courses run by the Centre for Coaching as well as running in-house coaching workshops, Coaching Circles and leadership development interventions for blue-chip clients all over the world.

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