Executive Coaching - A Tool of Choice
Because of its obvious trickle-down effect and overall benefit in any organization, the successful training and development of managers and leaders is an ongoing quest. The Human Resources staff at Intel recently sought to determine the "best practices" in the training and development of managers and leaders. Key among their findings was the meteoric rise in the use of coaching. Conferences are frequently devoted entirely to the use of coaching as a development tool in the workplace. Why? Because coaching works. As the CEO of a Fortune 100 Company said, "Even if executive coaching costs $50 K (which it doesn't), it's barely a rounding error to invest in the coaching of a key player who has responsibility for millions of dollars and for key human resource assets".
Why Executive Coaching Works
Coaching works because it is a targeted, customized, and individualized approach to improvement. Traditional training is "one size fits all". For some, the timing and the content of the training are right, and they will take advantage of it. For the majority, however, it fails to hit the mark accurately enough, hard enough or at the right time. Coaching, is contrast, starts where you are. You work individually with a coach on those objectives you desire. It is not surprising that a leading consulting firm found that the overwhelming majority of those coached showed meaningful improvement.
Objectives of Coaching
Coaching can accomplish a number of objectives. It is commonly used to:
- Achieve improved performance by substituting effective behaviors for ineffective ones.
Mark was brilliant technically, but had alienated peers and subordinates. Chasing helped him to see the impact of his actions and taught him to build stronger working relationships with others.
- Develop full potential by identifying strengths and the strategies to permit them to flourish and by identifying limitations and the strategies to either correct them or shore them up.
Ruth was trying to be responsive to feedback and be more assertive, the way that other leaders in the company were. Coaching helped her to see that her natural style of sitting back in a meeting and subtly redirecting the conversation had more impact than being another table pounder would have. By expressing her natural strength more freely, others saw a value that they had not previously and she achieved a prized promotion.
Joan was miscast. Her interests and strengths in setting strategic direction were not being utilized and her heart wasn't in her job at a high technology company. Coaching helped her to redirect her career.
- Help resolve challenging problems bet wen individuals or workgroups.
Bill was having trouble getting through to one of his people. Coaching helped him understand the person and his reaction to the offending characteristics of that person. Bill was then able to modify his behavior and the communication was vastly improved.
- Get a person in a new role off to a fast start and avoid misfires.
Neil joined HealthCare Inc. had worked with a coach familiar with the company. Neil came up to speed on the culture and operating style of the company quickly. He was able to make meaningful contributions in a shorter time than if he had not received the support.