Coaching Report # 8

Developmental Coaching should be viewed as an Entitlement.
In some organizations management still perceives all coaching initiatives to be remedial rather than a developmental process. It’s viewed as the “fix” for managers who are in trouble, have plateaued or are falling behind. A lot of successful executive coaching is indeed designed to address a specific problem behavior or large holes in an executive’s managerial skill repertoire. This form of remedial coaching is typically short-term focused and cannot be compared to developmental coaching designed to assist successful executives to further develop themselves through personal self-discovery, self-understanding and self-mastery.

If an education program isn’t first established some simply view the process as help or punishment for stragglers.
Any organization contemplating using the coaching model should first implement an education program on the benefits of 21st century, professional, behavioral-based coaching for their management. Otherwise outdated, negative perceptions (where coaching is viewed to be counselling in disguise) can prevail versus seeing coaching as a invaluable reward for the valued executive. This viewpoint isn’t likely to appeal to fast-trackers/high-potentials, who may already think that leadership is a lonely art and that the best leaders can take care of themselves, particularly in aggressive, performance-oriented organizations or professions.

To support the move towards the general introduction of coaching initiatives many organizations first begin by sponsoring a series of intensive coaching workshops, such as on: Coaching Best Practice and How to build an accountable coaching program. These custom-designed workshops address the needs of all levels of management and are conducted over a period of days. The workshops typically focus on the experience of other organizations (case studies), the latest types of validated coaching technology available, implementation challenges and the developments in some specific coaching applications.

Some of the key findings of some of the educational workshops conducted by Dr Skiffington and the Behavioral Coaching Institute are:

1.The focus on the logistics and the bottom-line ROI of the coaching initiative can sometimes obscure the need for the program’s managers to educate staff on the personal as well as the professional benefits of coaching.

Staff were not always clear about where coaching fitted-into the organization. The sponsors of the coaching programs need to communicate a clearer vision of the ultimate destination of the program and where it fits into the culture and L & D profile of the organization.

The direction and benefits of coaching may be obvious to some senior management but not to middle or line-management. As a result senior management is frequently required to put greater effort into communicating the compelling reasons for coaching.

Coaching doesn’t just have to be managed; it needs to be sold to the people in the organization. It’s ironic that even organizations that excel in explaining to the public the benefits of their services never think of targeting those same skills at their own employees. Organizational sponsors of coaching projects need to adapt the tools and techniques, and even the budgets of consumer marketing, to their internal initiatives. An educated possible participant in a coaching program is one who understands its context and larger significance –the why as well as the what. Educating employees about coaching has a dramatic effect on their receptiveness to it.

Successful coaching program managers are those who have built a network of relationships across the organization that can support their efforts. In contrast, those who have had less success have been relying solely on the formal hierarchy and structure to get things done.
There is a realization by senior management that success is more assured when all staff believe they are actively involved in the implementation of the coaching program.

  1. Best practice coaching has largely shifted in emphasis from correcting performance problems (weaknesses) to performance optimization (strengths). The duration of the engagement is getting shorter as coaching becomes more of a precision change and learning tool focused on specific objectives.
  2. Few coaches at senior levels are “general practitioners” – most are experts in specific areas. Coaches have distinct professional experience and are experts in certain interventions.

 

  1. Organizations who use internal leadership coaches or have institutionalized systems are most concerned about: the selection, certification and the quality of training of internal coaches and issues of confidentiality.

 

  1. The available industry coaching research (for public viewing), focuses on the benefits of coaching and validating the decision to use coaching rather than defining best practice.
  2. Line managers need to continually develop their toolkit of coaching techniques and employ the latest measurement tools to benchmark and cost-justify the results of their coaching programs.
  3. An organization’s coaching programs ultimate success depends upon the standard of the coach training, the coaching models and technology sourced/employed and the project support provided by an experienced expert/educator in best practice organizational coaching.

Dr Skiffington’s industry-proven, fast-tracked, 4-Day Certified Master Coach Course (in N.Y., London, Sydney etc. ) meets the critical needs for an organization’s coaches to be trained and mentored in the use of validated, reliable behavioral coaching models, tools and techniques.

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