Seven times the initial investment is the median return to businesses that practice professional coaching, according to a study conducted by the International Coaching Federation. Virginia Tech is now offering a course for managers, supervisors, and others who want to develop or strengthen those leadership skills.

Business Coaching is a three-session course beginning April 18 at the Virginia Tech Research Center – Arlington. The program follows curriculum guidelines set by the federation including specific training for those seeking certification.

Participants will learn and practice coaching ethics and standards, foundational skills, key elements of the coaching relationship, effective listening and feedback techniques, how to plan and manage the process, and more. In addition to the three classroom sessions, four group conference calls will be delivered.

Coaching, unlike mentoring, is impartial and focuses on specific performance objectives. This course is designed for professionals who will coach from inside an organization and who are interested in re-examining traditional approaches to managing work groups, according to program developer Ann Brown, assistant director for Continuing and Professional Education.

“High-performing companies often share a similar approach to leadership, and it’s not unusual to discover that effective coaching skills have vastly contributed to that edge,” says course instructor Linda Ferguson, who holds a doctorate in organizational behavior and is the pres15ent of New Paradigm Alliance. “This training gives leaders the tools and models needed to support diverse coaching needs and situations.”

The fee for Business Coaching is $1095 (or $995 for two or more people registering from the same company). For further information and registration, visit the website. Seating is limited and the deadline for registering is April 4.

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