Executive and Leadership Development Coaching
Change is a constant in our human journey. Some transitions across our lives are predictable and inevitable, others catch us by surprise. Often these can be energizing and exciting, full of new learning and opportunities, offering both risks and rewards. At other times we can get stuck, lost or disengaged. Regardless of the response, it can be helpful to have an objective thought-partner to help us navigate the transition and reach our goals. Together, we clarify intentions and goals, explore assumptions, habits and stories, develop insights, and take actions that close the gap between current reality and the desired future. In the business setting, these changes are made within the context of the organization’s culture, strategy and goals, and can bring significant value to both individuals and their organizations.
“Each of us guards a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside”
~ Steven Covey
We can unlock these gates through coaching–an inside-out process of discovery
Coaching Relies on:
- a partnership of equals,
- unconditional regard, trust and candor,
- a future focus, working toward goals that draw us,
- building on our existing strengths,
- taking a whole person perspective, and
- a commitment to change, and the reflection, practice and action involved.
My role as coach is to:
- serve as a trusted partner and champion for your success,
- guide the process,
- ask direct questions,
- help synthesize feedback from assessments and/or key stakeholders,
- invite you to take action,
- create a safe and confidential coaching environment, and
- hold you accountable for the actions you commit to.
Your role as client is to:
- identify the agenda for change,
- be willing to change,
- embrace reflection and experimentation in addressing goals,
- receive constructive feedback from the coach, and provide the same to the coach, and
- take accountability for following through on commitments made.
My beliefs about Leadership and Coaching:
- Leadership is fundamentally about relationships. Business competence is necessary but not sufficient; the higher one rises, the more time and focus is spent on people.
- Leaders have a tremendous impact on organizational culture, through what they say, what they do, and any disparities between these.
- The most effective leaders have developed, often with help, the personal self-awareness and communication skills to understand and rectify when there are differences between their intentions and their impact.
- People can change and grow no matter their age, through building new skills, awareness, and behaviors.
- Building on strengths provides the greatest leverage for growth.
- Leaders have great personal resources on which to draw, but may be blocked from accessing them.
- Leadership coaching brings a disciplined process to provide observations, recommendations and tools that help leaders get “unstuck from their dilemmas and assisting them to transfer their learning into results for the organization”, Mary Beth O’Neill, Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart.
- The leadership coach must bring a systems perspective in recognizing and working with the complex organizational dynamics in which leaders are operating.
The Coaching Process–Phases
A typical engagement runs for 6 months. In more complex situations more than 6 months may be appropriate. In some cases, if the goals are narrow and very clear, 3-4 months may be all that is needed. Each engagement is geared to meet the specific needs of the client.
Sessions are generally 60-90 minutes, every other week, on the phone or in person. Ideally, the discovery session, meeting with supervisor, and final progress check-in are in person, at a minimum.
- Review our mutual commitments and broad goals or changes desired.
- Understand the current situation from a whole person perspective, and the expectations of the organization.
- Review available assessments or feedback.
- Align understanding of goals and outcomes between client, supervisor and coach.
Building and executing the Plan
- Identify obstacles and strengths related to making the desired change.
- Build awareness and practice new behaviors/approaches.
- Re-calibrate goals as needed.
Debrief, Evaluation and Plan for Sustainability
- Review effectiveness and outcomes from perspective of client and supervisor , and others, as relevant.
- Discuss plan to hold the gains.
Measurement of Coaching Outcomes
Measurement is specific to each situation; the goals and measurement outcomes are created at the beginning, between client, supervisor and coach. There are many possibilities, including:
- a subjective assessment that the desired behavior changes are being evident,
- evidence of a team accomplishing a specific shared business objective,
- improved 360 feedback, and
- meeting targeted performance goals.
Consulting and Advising
Leadership coaches work within a broad array of organizational dynamics, strategies and needs. Coaching is one defined relationship and skill set that has many intersections with the organization’s business and people strategies. Coaching with a systems perspective, combined with other expertise, allows a coach to additionally serve organizational needs, as guide and advisor. I am experienced in working with leaders, boards and management teams on their internal strategies.