Our Business Coaching Approach
Our executive development process is highly specific and extremely flexible to the individual’s needs and the needs of the organization. We work carefully with you to understand your unique challenges and needs before we prepare a plan and agreement that works for everyone. This might include in-person, phone, or Internet coaching, or a combination of the three.
The Executive Coaching Process – Key Steps
Because individuals are unique, one approach doesn’t work in all situations. However, the coaching process usually includes these basic components:
- Understand client’s needs.
Our coach meets with the individual to be coached (if that person is making the direct invitation for coaching help) to understand the client’s needs and objectives. The meeting might also include the coaching recipient’s supervisor (board chairman, CEO or other key managerial role) or an executive committee. During this meeting, the client provides the context we need to move forward with recommendations. For example, the situation that prompted the coaching invitation and the client’s vision of the future. If our client is the supervisor, executive committee, or human resources, we hold a brief session with the executive to be coached to understand his/her needs. After this information-gathering stage, the coach determines the appropriate assessments to use and the type of coaching that’s needed.
- Develop and administer individual and organization assessments.
The coach will administer one or more assessment instruments to identify productive and nonproductive behavior. These might include a 360-degree leadership assessment, personality assessment or management-style assessment depending upon the person’s responsibility level. An organizational assessment, group interviews, values assessment and other assessment methods or tools might also be considered. The person, situation and climate of the organization (health, culture, norms, etc.) will help us to determine which assessment tools will be most beneficial. Bottom-line: We are very thoughtful when considering the right tools and we’re intentional about how we apply them.
- Debrief with guidance and care.
Coaching often begins with learning how to receive and accept feedback. In debriefing sessions, our coach shares the results of the data gathering, so that the executive begins to learn how s/he affects those around her/him. These are often problems that have been ignored, but can be safely addressed with guidance and care.
- Develop learning objectives.
The executive will collaborate with his/her supervisor and coach to identify appropriate learning objectives – for example, building more effective working relationships with supervisors, peers or subordinates; assessing the individual strengths and vulnerabilities of a new work group; or building trust with other departments. With the executive’s input, we will use the assessment results and the learning objectives to design a development plan that addresses the issues most important to his/her success as a leader.
- Design and implement action learning program.
An individual or team action learning program helps the executive learn within the broader context of his development plan. The coach helps the executive identify learning opportunities from real projects that are tied to the organization’s strategy – for example, researching new markets; developing, driving or contributing to turn-around programs for business units; or launching a start-up.
- Coach and train to perform.
Once the action learning program has been designed, instructors or coaches will help the executive to develop the skills necessary to be successful. These could include interviewing, communicating, and presenting.
- Review accomplishments.
The client’s supervisor will hear reports from the coaching recipient and give feedback on his/her progress based on the agreements and process outlined at the beginning of the coaching relationship. While this can be a delicate situation, by establishing a caliber of honest and frequent communication from the start, there should be no surprises. This should be a constructive discussion that positions the executive for even more success.
- Reassess – take success inventory.
About nine months to a year from the beginning of our work together, we reassess the executive’s performance to evaluate his/her progress. We might include some of the original assessments and also interview peers, direct reports and supervisors. This follow-up ensures that the executive is using the skills and that these skills are producing the desired effect. The reassessment could result in changes to the development plan.