Nanyang Business School recently invested in a carefully crafted coaching initiative for its EMBA students.
“Leadership development is such a key component of the EMBA Program,” says Joo-Seng Tan, associate professor of management and EMBA academic director, Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University. Coaching offers another key avenue to enhance the leadership capabilities and personal growth of students throughout their learning journey in the program.
“Coaches are not just looking at the leadership side of business but also on the personal side,” says Tan. “I think the personal dimension is very important to the EMBA Program and its students.”
“I see the coach like an explorer,” says Tan. “Coaches don’t provide solutions, but the coaches have the coached explore and weigh the options.”
Coaches help guide students to realizations they might not otherwise reach. “Self-awareness is key. Without self-awareness, you are not able to grow and develop further.”
One important realization that Tan wants EMBA students to understand: “We are all human and we are not perfect. We do want to unlock our potential as humans, so we can bring our best selves to work, so every EMBA student can bring their best selves to work.”
The modular program includes five segments, and coaching takes place during each segment. All coaching sessions are confidential. While the issues and concerns may vary, the coaching outcomes remain focused on the kind of personal growth that strengthens leadership, which in turn creates value for companies and society, he says.
EMBA students benefit through the peer coaching experience that occurs during each coaching module. Coaching takes place in a small group setting where they share, learn, and support each other.
Given a future with increasingly complex business issues that require thoughtful leaders, Tan sees coaching as part of the EMBA leadership journey that will remain key. It also helps differentiate the program in the marketplace, he says.
Nanyang went through a thorough process before deciding to offer coaching for EMBA students, which included assessing the value and fit with its mission, ensuring support from leadership, and finding the right coaching partners.
“We believe this adds value to the program and students, because we are able to produce leaders who are able to make greater contributions to business and society.”