Social Responsibility

Small and expanding firms will become more prominent, and generate the majority of new jobs created. They will also contribute to changing apartheid-legacy patterns of business ownership. They will be stimulated through public and private procurement, improved access to debt and equity finance, and a simplified regulatory environment”

- National Development Plan, SA

South Africa’s National Development Plan envisions a central role for small and medium enterprises in achieving the country’s 2030 vision. If small and medium businesses are to provide of any of the benefits expected or take advantage of the more favourable environment government wishes to create, they will have to be led by executives who are at the top of their games and supported by high performing teams.

Despite the very valuable contribution short focused corporate training workshops have, Ascent Coaching realizes still, that while they may reap significant benefits, this segment of the business world may, unfortunately, have difficulties raising the budgets necessary for either one on one or group Executive Coaching, particularly with a boutique firm such as ourselves.

Good social responsibility requires our firm to have a special interest in assisting these executives realize their potential nonetheless. We have therefore compiled a set of free resources which could help you begin the process of enhancing your abilities by coaching yourself in the first instance.

"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new".

-Socrates

The world has come out of the COVID-19 pandemic a different place. Indeed, many people are referring to a “new normal”. Among the significant changes that have emanated from our experience of lock-down, two aspects are likely to be part of that new normal – telecommuting and the increasing need for teams to collaborate remotely. During and after the crisis our firm was called upon regularly to act as external facilitators to what would have been “regular in-person” meetings at our client’s businesses. From that experience, we have seen that where online discussions became vehicles of potential, there was still a need for experienced facilitators to serve as the navigational system (and the seatbelt), helping conversations stay on topic, time-efficient and secure.

We have therefore expanded our in-house capabilities to include the ability to serve as external facilitators to client’s businesses. Our process is two-fold. We encourage our clients to invite us to sit in on a regular meeting, whether it be the senior team or in a board-executive setting, where the need for collaboration and active participation of all stakeholders is required. We will audit your meeting style and discuss with you just where weaknesses lie. Then we will demonstrate how such meetings should be facilitated so that your team develops this strategic skill. We will demonstrate tools of facilitation that bring focus, clarity, fluidity and harmony to your meetings, saving businesses time and money in the long run.

The development of this new wing to our practice is an important goal for our firm because we have seen that when people have gathered to share opinions, the environment can become stagnant, devolve into aimless chatter or even become hostile. This is where we could step in fulfilling multiple roles that encourage safe, productive, insightful discussions. Read more about this initiative.

Brett Ledbetter is creator of FilmRoomTV.com, a website that features champion coaches, professional athletes and best selling authors. He also works with 200+ athletes, on a weekly basis, with a focus on skill development. Watch as he provides, in this TEDx GatewayArch video, insight on self-coaching, gained from champion coaches, a world renowned performance psychologist and a surprising ESPN game clip!

Free Resources to Self-Coach

Among the resources, you will find our proprietary Brain Walk® tool which is designed to help you find innovative solutions to any challenge or goal you have, increase positive self-talk and raise both your IQ and EQ. You will also begin to work smarter with greater focus, amplify those values in which you already have great competency and improve your bilateral thinking abilities. Should you find the tools of value to you, voluntary donations to the CLI Foundation are most welcome. These help us provide private or group coaching to selected international non-profit institutions.

As part of Ascent Coaching's CSR, and given the importance of the non-profit sector in South Africa, we, together, with our CLI-Foundation, have secured specialised training for CBO staff working at a "grass-roots" level in the country. We will make available, again, at no-cost, training related to:

  • assisting cummunity workers understand the impact of stress on their lives and build personal and organisational resilience [recognising that the wellbeing of frontline humanitarian aid workers is the responsibility not only of the individual themselves but equally of the CBO's who employ them and broader society which benefits from their services]. Individuals will be coached on how to build their wellbeing capability, employ skills for managing stress and increase resilience; and
  • assisting CBO managers be aware of how high workloads and limited resources affect their frontline workers as well as develop mechanisms for staff care after a critical incident - the goal being to develop protocols for their own organisation's based on international best practice.

Have you heard?

We also have training resources for South African non-profit leaders to introduce them to the 9 commitments of the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (the "Core Humanitarian Standard"). Participants will leave the training programme better able to deliver quality, effective and accountable humanitarian responses. Each of the 9 commitments will encourage NPO leaders to reflect on their key actions and organisational responsibilities ("what should we be doing?"), indicators ("are we doing it effectively?"), as well as the link behind CHS and technical standards, increasingly becoming an essential element for donor proposals.

Applications for these additional resources are considered on a rolling basis each year. Contact our offices for more information on how to apply.

Additionally, once you have thoroughly worked through these tools, you may find yourself wishing for more assistance. You should then contact our offices which will assist you find a coach through our Power Coaching® network, who is trained to help you discover the root causes of your difficulty in achieving a certain goal or competency and who, more importantly, has the tools to assist you make positive changes in your life. Many of these coaches may be prepared to offer you a coaching service, perhaps through electronic means (such as via web-conference) which you may find more financially accessible.