Executive and Team Coaching FAQ for potential buyers
What is professional coaching?
ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honour the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole.
How can you determine if professional coaching is right for you? (Adapted from ICF)
To determine whether you or your company could benefit from coaching, start by summarising what you would expect to accomplish in coaching. When an individual or business has a fairly clear idea of the desired outcome, a coaching partnership can be a useful tool for developing a strategy for how to achieve that outcome with greater ease.
Since coaching is a partnership, ask yourself whether collaboration, other viewpoints, and new perspectives are valued. Also, ask yourself whether you or your business is ready to devote the time and the energy to making real changes. If the answer is yes, then coaching may be a beneficial way to grow and develop.
Professional coaching focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change. Sometimes it’s helpful to understand coaching by distinguishing it from other personal or organisational support professions.
How is coaching distinct from other service professions? (Adapted from ICF)
Therapy: Therapy deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict within an individual or in relationships. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past that hamper an individual’s emotional functioning in the present, improving overall psychological functioning, and dealing with the present in more emotionally healthy ways. Coaching, on the other hand, supports personal and professional growth based on self-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. Coaching is future focused. While positive feelings/emotions may be a natural outcome of coaching, the primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one’s work or personal life. The emphases in a coaching relationship are on action, accountability, and follow through.
Consulting: Individuals or organizations retain consultants for their expertise. While consulting approaches vary widely, the assumption is the consultant will diagnose problems and prescribe and, sometimes, implement solutions. With coaching, the assumption is that individuals or teams are capable of generating their own solutions, with the coach supplying supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks.
Mentoring: A mentor is an expert who provides wisdom and guidance based on his or her own experience. Mentoring may include advising, counselling and coaching. The coaching process does not include advising or counselling, and focuses instead on individuals or groups setting and reaching their own objectives.
Training: Training programs are based on objectives set out by the trainer or instructor. Though objectives are clarified in the coaching process, they are set by the individual or team being coached, with guidance provided by the coach. Training also assumes a linear learning path that coincides with an established curriculum. Coaching is less linear without a set curriculum.
b: Though sports metaphors are often used, professional coaching is different from sports coaching. The athletic coach is often seen as an expert who guides and directs the behaviour of individuals or teams based on his or her greater experience and knowledge. Professional coaches possess these qualities, but their experience and knowledge of the individual or team determines the direction. Additionally, professional coaching, unlike athletic development, does not focus on behaviours that are being executed poorly or incorrectly. Instead, the focus is on identifying opportunity for development based on individual strengths and capabilities.
What are the specific criteria that trigger the use of leadership coaching?
Latest global research by ICF/HCI 2017 includes Leadership development and performance; increased levels of employee engagement; reduced attrition and improved team working.
Below is a shortlist of the most common situations in which I work with an executive or a team as an external executive coach paid by the sponsoring organisation:
First 90 days – I trained with Michael Watkins author of same book in supporting leadership transition – newly promoted leaders who are identified as leaders positioned
for growth and success in the organisation (features 10 to 20 hours working over a 3 to 6 month period for transitioning leaders and emerging leaders).
Leadership Developmental coaching - Supporting leaders to transition to later stages of development – vertical learning - to meet the VUCA challenges in their current roles affirming organisational goals and individual leadership success (process features 40 to 60 hours over a 6 to 12 month period).
Preparing high potential leaders (i.e. top performers) for roles of greater responsibility (features 10 to 20 hours working over a 3 to 6 month period for leaders and emerging leaders).
Performance coaching – mainly for managers in building a micro-leadership skill set that is perceived as critical for success in current role. Provides focus, support and strategic business knowledge to executives whose units are behind plan and at risk of failure - minimum 6hrs
Team Coaching - developing a climate of psychological safety, conducive to collective learning by coaching a Pseudo-team to a Real team on the Katzenbach team performance curve (process features minimum 20hrs over a 6-months period).
360 Feedback - Administering a 360 feedback tool (i.e. Belbin Team roles) by providing the leader with feedback and creating an individual personal development plan (PDP) - minimum 6hrs.
What is my coaching process?
What theories inform my practice?
My coaching practice is grounded on an interdisciplinary approach as oppose to one model. I rely upon theories from the fields of Integral Leadership; Professional Development (i.e. NLP); Jungian and Evolutionary Psychology such as adult development; Organisational Change and Development especially ORA (Organisational Role Analysis) and Systems Thinking; Indigenous Wisdom (i.e. Eco-spirituality)...all in service of supporting change and ongoing learning.