How Behavioural Coaching is being used today:
(Adapted from the new book ‘Behavioral Coaching’ by Skiffington and Zeus -released 2004. -With permission from the publisher McGraw-Hill Professional -New York)
During the years of conducting our coach training and certification courses, we have tracked the ongoing development of Behavioural Coaching (BC). Some of the major areas where we have trained coaches to successfully work/specialize in include: executive coaching (CEO’s), transformational leadership coaching, coaching female executives, coaching in education, business coaching, cross-cultural coaching, sales coaching, coaching in the health care industry and personal coaching.
Executive behavioural coaching
Coaching for leadership development occurs with selected executives, senior managers and teams or as part of a company-wide coaching initiative. Coaches, both internal and external, are also contracted to work within a specific business unit or with individual referrals. Some areas of leadership coaching include: leaders in transition, new hires, high potential individuals being ‘groomed” for promotion, individuals in new positions, management competencies to complement technical expertise, developing and communicating a strategic vision, strategic planning, culture change, ambassadorship, leading executive teams, overcoming isolation and interpersonal skills such as communication and dealing effectively with colleagues and with power.
Business behavioural coaching
Business coaches work with small to medium enterprises to develop and grow the business. Coaching entrepreneurs, start-ups, mergers and developing a business in order to sell it are some of the more common areas of business coaching. Within these broad categories, Behavioural Coaches, who usually have a background in small business, coach for business or strategic planning, developing and growing the market, staff relations, networking, life balance, time management and partnership conflicts.
Transformational leadership and behavioural coaching
Coaching leaders for transformational changes involves changing the very way they think, increasing their ability to deal better with ambiguity and be more creative and reflective. It effects change in what the leader knows and enhances their ability to step back and reflect on assumptions previously taken for granted. These may be about culture, values, the self, organizational objectives and vision.
Some documented benefits of leadership coaching include: enhanced ability to develop and foster trust; increased accountability within the organization; developing and maintaining more satisfactory relationships with the Board, shareholders and employees; enhanced credibility and influence as an ambassador; increased ability to align others to the company’s vision and mission; successful change management projects; enhanced managerial competencies; a growth in self-responsibility in self and others; developing a culture that truly values learning and development.
The manager as coach and behavioural coaching
Coaching involves managers aligning their team and employees to the organization’s objectives and vision and fostering independent and creative problem-solving. Another expectation of managers is that they develop their staff. There is, after all, a consistent body of research that shows a direct link between human capital management and superior shareholder returns.
Coaching offers managers a methodology for enhancing the individual or team’s current skills. They thereby develop employees who are committed and trusted to use their discretion and judgment to act in ways that are congruent with organizational objectives and goals. Managers have to manage and coaching is simply a vehicle for them to enhance their management skills.
Coaching executive women
Women executives not only face those issues common to all leaders as discussed above, but have to contend with other challenges, some external and some a function of their internalized beliefs and misconceptions about women in leadership.
Coaching Program Managers (CPM’s)
Coaching Program Managers, trained in Behavioural Coaching methods and techniques, fulfil many roles. Typically, they are involved in coaching programs from their inception. As internal coaches, they often introduce coaching into the organization and oversee and manage its delivery. They may also be the person designated to manage a coaching program introduced by an external coach provider.
Behavioural Coaching and Education
One of the expanding areas of Behavioural Coaching is in the field of education. Behavioural Coaches provide individuals, groups, teachers, students and administrative personnel with a wide variety of coaching interventions. They train senior teachers to coach new and experienced teachers and students as well as establishing and monitoring peer coaching programs. Coaches also work with students on life skills, study skills and social skills as well as career choice and preparation.
Career coaching and behavioural coaching
Coaching for careers and career transitions offers individuals support, resources and guidance during what are often stressful times. Many organizations recognize the importance of career development as a means of retaining staff. Hence, they offer internal career coaching programs often conducted by external coaches.
Behavioural Coaching in health-care settings
Behavioural Coaches work with individual physicians, supervisors and administrative personnel in hospitals and other public and private health organizations. Some of the coaching areas include: personal leadership, management skills, managing interpersonal conflicts with and among staff, career development and career transition. Executive coaching services around leadership and management skills in hospitals typically focus on competencies for doctors in management and leadership positions. These include resource allocation, strategic planning and meeting the demand for profitability while maintaining medical values and ethics.
Sales coaching and behavioural coaching
In our first book (‘The Complete Guide to Coaching at Work”), we explored sales coaching in relation to the following areas: negative beliefs and expectations that can impact on sales performance and the coach’s role in working with salespersons in the ‘flow’, ‘panic’ and ‘drone’ zones. We also discussed coaching skills for the sales manager. Increasingly, Behavioural Coaches work with sales managers to enhance their management and coaching competencies.
Cross-cultural behavioural coaching
Coaching individuals and teams in cross-cultural settings is a rapidly expanding niche for Behavioural Coaches. Such coaches are specialists who know about and can guide and support others through the complex process of cultural adaptation.
Chartered Public Accountants (CPA’s) and behavioural coaching
Increasingly, Chartered Public Accountants (CPAs), attorneys and other financial advisors are coaching other practitioners and entrepreneurs as an add-on their traditional services. CPA’s particularly, are recognizing the need to become a trusted advisor to their clients, being able to work on vision, mission and strategic planning. Studies show that their clients benefit from coaching especially in the areas of smarter goal setting and a more balanced life style.
Others areas where Behavioural Coaching is used:
The application of Behavioural Coaching is not limited to the above mentioned areas. It also entails coaching coaches including those in the executive, business, personal and sports arenas. Furthermore, Behavioural Coaching is carried out in the military, the civil service and other public institutions and non-profit organizations as well as the legal profession. Christian coaching and Spirituality coaching also employ behavioural coaching methods, tools and techniques.
Because of the increasing number of women in the workforce and in executive positions, there is a greater demand for women to be coached. Some of the most common coaching issues that surface include: life balance and the expectations of peers and family, political manoeuvring and relationship building with key stakeholders, being assertive, delegating and managing dissent and conflict.
In summary, the application of behavioural coaching methodologies is employed in a growing number of areas. These include corporations, small businesses, public and private organizations such as health and education and the personal development realm. Within this vast arena, Behavioural Coaches form an alliance based on trust and commitment that aims to foster productivity, growth and well being according to the coachee’s agenda.
Note: One of the first published case studies (Mold, 1951) on the effect of coaching was Manager’s as a Coach. The case study focused on creating a coaching culture and involved each manager coached by their superior. The program objectives, including the manager’s exploring and accepting their emotional competencies, such as fear and aggression, were all met.