As I wrote in my last Blog – What Happens in a Coaching Process – Part I
When I am asked what I do for a living I often answer, “I’m an executive coach.” I do other things as you can see on my website but coaching seems like the simplest answer and if the person is interested, I can add the other roles later in the conversation. I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in people’s responses, that go immediately to the assumption that executive coaches work with someone who is screwing up or not doing their job well. I have worked with people who need to improve but I also work with people who are extremely successful (top talent even) to fine tune their leadership capability. I happened to be writing my first BLOG entry about coaching with the US Open Tennis Tournament playing in the background. Novak Djokovic was humiliating his opponent- no one who watches tennis would say that Djokovic is screwing up yet there in the stands sat his coach. His coach watches him and gives feedback on what he can do to be even better. I don’t always get the luxury of seeing my clients “in action” but the process is very much the same as a tennis coach. Like a tennis coach I’m not a champion business person but I have studied champion business people, I’ve studied the art and science of leadership and I have held several successful leadership positions – I can help!
I thought it might be helpful to describe my coaching process step-by-step so potential clients could understand what they would be getting into should they hire me. I believe understanding the process could also be helpful to some people without involving me or hiring me. To keep the description in BLOG sized chunks will require several entries. My overall model is shown elsewhere on the Noetics Website and reproduced below.
In the last BLOG I discussed the need to understand a desired future toward which I focus all my efforts. Understanding the company’s expectations and the leader’s desired legacy, I am in a position to collect data about how the person is perceived. The box representing this data collection phase appears in the two o’clock position on the model below.
Data Collection with a 360 Inventory
Some companies define the competencies required of all their leaders and already have an instrument that can be used to measure against the competencies. Competency refers to three things:
1. Knowledge – does the person know what they need to know to successfully accomplish the job as envisioned?
2. Skills – is the person able to do the things the job requires them to do to be successful in accomplishing the job?
3. Attributes – is the person able to apply the knowledge and skills in a successful manner to accomplish the job?
360 Feedback is sometimes called Multi-Rater Feedback, I still prefer 360 to describe a process that collects data from all sides of a person – his/her manager, direct reports, peers. Imagine the person who will receive coaching standing in the center of a circle with all these other people around the circumference looking at him/her. The process allows “looks” from the whole 360 degrees. In today’s organizations I often coach people who do not have direct reports in which case I use the term “Multi-Rater.”
720 Feedback starts with 360 (or multi-rater) and then adds an element of validation with extra-organizational participants. I analyze the feedback from the 360/multi-rater to determine themes, then seek data from parents, spouse, children, other professionals who see the coachee regularly (golf pro, personal trainer, hair stylist, auto mechanic, etc. etc.) So for example, if a theme is that the person does not listen well I will inquire with these other participants directly about that – “on a scale of 1 to 10 where would you rate his/her ability to listen with empathy and understand what you are saying?” (I describe what a “10″ looks like and what a “1″ looks like but will not BLOG that here for proprietary reasons.) This 720 round allows me to know if the person lacks the competency or has the competency but just doesn’t practice it at work. With that knowledge, my coaching can go directly to the problem – will we do knowledge and skill building or will we look at the barriers to practicing the competency at work?
But before we talk specifically about that knowledge, skill building and/or barrier elimination, it’s important to talk about analyzing the data and putting it in a format that enables the rest of the process.
If you are interested in hiring a coach or would just like to discuss the coaching process further, please contact me with an email to email@example.com