Executive Coaching

Goal
To enable valued executives in high-impact positions to develop the interpersonal, communications and leadership skills necessary to: attract, develop and motivate people; successfully negotiate organizational dynamics and politics; contribute effectively as part of a group; and lead to the best of their potential.

Background
At some point in their careers, most executives find themselves in a “high impact” management or leadership role for which technical talent, business knowledge and experience only partially prepare them. In this role, strong performance requires increasingly sophisticated and effective interpersonal management, political and communication skills – skills that will enable them to successfully assess and respond to the needs of their subordinates, peers, superiors, customers and organization.

While these executives bring with them a predominance of strengths, technical skills and natural abilities, most will have “blind spots” or weaknesses that may, if not identified and addressed, prove to be barriers to their success as their team playing, people management, and leadership roles become more complex and demanding.

Strategy
Executive Coaching is a confidential, assessment-based, development program designed to:

  1. Enable participants to more fully understand their unique management style, the impact of their style upon others, and the fit between their style and the demands of their current and/or future position.
  2. Assist in assessing, understanding and making best use of the different personality, learning and problem solving styles of the individuals with whom the participant works most closely.
  3. Work with participants to identify any interpersonal or communications limitation that may prevent them from reaching their full potential;
  4. Provide individualized coaching in those interpersonal and communications skill limitations identified in the assessment including listening, assertion, conflict resolution, and team leadership.
  5. Reinforce participant’s ability to cope effectively with the stress endured as a manager in a highly pressured situation.
  6. Help participants work effectively with difficult people and sensitive situations.

Steps:
Coaching focuses on the development of the participating executive. It is a confidential process; the decision to share material or information is at the discretion of the participant. Periodic discussions with the participant’s supervisor and/or HR representative are held at strategic points throughout the process to assure that coaching meets expectations and has maximal impact on performance improvement.
I. Initial expectation setting and planning

  • The executive coach works with the participant’s boss and HR representative to set expectations and develop a plan to introduce the process to the participant.

II. Assessment
Participant’s performance is assessed using a number of tools:

  • Extensive interview with the participant along with a brief battery of management style questionnaires.
  • Definition of the core or desired competencies that define stellar performance in participant’s role – these competencies will be used to construct a customized 360° survey.
  • Assessment of the gap between current and desired performance using a 360 Degree Survey.

III. Feedback
Based on data gathered during the assessment, the coach prepares a written report that is shared in an interactive session with the participant. The feedback report includes:

  • A profile of participant’s strengths, developmental needs, and untapped potential.
  • A composite picture of how others in the organization perceive participant’s interpersonal management skills and how this perception compares to his/her own self-assessment;
  • A summary of the critical development objectives identified.

IV. Development Planning

  • The coach and participant work together to create a customized development plan that takes into account the participant’s skill level, motivation, and learning style, as well as the demands of the position. The plan also establishes observable measures of success.

V. Coaching

  • Coaching focuses on helping the participant reach the developmental goals identified and interact more effectively within the context of his/her specific circumstances. With the guidance and support of the executive coach, the participant applies new skills and insights to solve the people, political and organizational problems he/she faces. The participant and supervisor monitor performance progress to assure that the coaching is having an impact. Coaching meetings are conducted every three to four weeks over a period of six months to a year. Meetings start with greater frequency, and then taper off as the participant absorbs new skills and incorporates them into his/her leadership style.

VI. Reassessment

Supervisor’s Role

  1. Critical meetings between the executive coach and the participant’s supervisor occur at the following points throughout coaching:
  2. Expectation setting and designing the process, including determining the best approach to introduce the process to the participant
  3. Reporting back after the initial interview with the participant as to the projected benefits for this individual
  4. Providing input on who should be interviewed for the 360 survey
  5. Providing feedback as a 360 respondent
  6. With participant, discussing and agreeing upon development objectivesWith participant, signing off on development planning
  7. During the coaching phase, periodic progress updates focused on the how the process is going, respecting participant’s confidentiality. Throughout the process, the coach is likely to be in contact with the participant’s supervisor, either to obtain feedback about participant’s performance or to offer advice about how to best help in participant’s development.