Newsletter: Push the Envelope with Coaching

Performance increases become apparent after the successful utilization of a professional coach who guides leaders through difficult situations, tackles special problems and challenges, and develops and hones leadership skills. Did you know that the preparation and planning that precede the coaching sessions significantly boosts the success of the coaching investment? Plan now for maximum benefit and impact of coaching for yourself or for your employees.

Top Reasons To Work with an Executive Coach

Many leaders decide to work with a coach when they move into the executive ranks. Executives in the top layers of an organization find it extremely beneficial to be able to discuss the tough business and interpersonal challenges they face with someone outside the political structure. Commonly, managers find that they are isolated at the top of the organization, they don’t know who they can really talk to, or who they can trust.

Another discovery that many executives make is that the strategies that worked well for them in lower level management positions, surprisingly, now yield less than stellar results. Many find that their previous “strengths” are viewed negatively and that they need the assistance of a coach to guide and assist them through this bewildering time.

Identifying the Recipients of a Coaching Investment

Organizations have various methods to determine which employees are allowed to utilize an executive coach. Excellent candidates for coaching are employees that are extremely competent in certain areas but could be even more effective if they could improve some specific leadership or people skill area. Other likely possibilities include, employees that are new to the organization or who have recently been promoted to a new position, and employees who are talented and at the same time considered to be at-risk. Be deliberate and thoughtful when determining the employees who are to receive coaching.

Cultivate a Point-by-Point Coordination of Coaching with the Objectives of the Corporation

Coordination of the coaching process with the objectives of the corporation cannot be stressed highly enough. The coach(es) that will be selected, must be made aware of and have access to the objectives of the corporation in order to deliver “on target” coaching to your employees. Prior to the commencement of the first coaching session, arrange to communicate to the coach the corporate objectives along with any other parameters for the coaching relationship, such as non-disclosure agreements, frequency and particulars of coaching meetings, and fee payment plans.

Coaching: A Step-by-Step Process

Though coaching program design varies from coach to coach, the program that you choose should have the following fundamentals. First, the coach should be made aware of the employee’s development plan and will use it along with the objectives of the corporation as a framework for the coaching sessions. The coach will use 360 Degree Feedback assessments, self-assessment tools, past performance appraisals, and personal interviews to get to know the employee’s strengths, weaknesses, goals, perceptions, (both how the employee perceives and how the employee is perceived). Finally, in facilitating personal development, the coach and the employee work together to define goals, assess progress, re-direct activity, and evaluate results. The time span of the coaching relationship, typically, should not be less than six months nor longer than eighteen months. The lower end of that limit doesn’t give the coaching relationship the time needed to develop to its full potential.

Life-Long Benefits from Coaching

The coaching relationship has life-long and career-long benefits in that when the formal, coaching relationship ends, the employee has developed, and retains, stronger leadership skills, has benefited from the outside perspective of the coach who has business leadership experience, and has developed new habits in terms of goal setting, evaluation, and feedback. The return on investment of a year of professional coaching is priceless in terms of developing a comprehensively, greater leadership effectiveness. This benefit is seen both in the view of the employer and in the view of the employee.