Establishing a professional approach to executive coaching in an organization can be challenging. Taking the randomness out of executive coaching is precisely what Focal Leadership can help organizations do. Based on direct experience of helping organizations do just that, our 1-day workshop can develop your whole HR team to serve your organization well in getting the best from executive coaching:
How can you get better at facilitating executive coaching?
1. What is coaching?
Executive coaching is a profession that has exploded in the past decade. There are many who don’t fully understand what it is. This might sound elementary, but there are many variations of coaching and coaches. For example, some coaches are ‘life coaches’, others are ‘career coaches’, others are ‘business coaches’, and others are ‘performance coaches’. Some coaches practice certain approaches to coaching, e.g. Gestalt. Knowing what variations there are will help to understand how it might match the need of the client.
2. Is coaching needed?
Before committing to coaching as a solution, it’s important to understand the need. Whether it be career development, performance, transitional, or remedial, coaching may or may not be the right intervention. Coaching can be instigated as a singular solution to a need, or it can be integrated into a more modular development program.
3. How qualified is a coach?
Just because someone says they are a ‘certified coach’ doesn’t mean that they are the coach you need. Certification comes in different shapes and sizes – it can result from a 1-week on-line course, a 3-year Masters degree, or experience based on many previous assignments. Understanding the coach certification background is important to how well grounded the coach is – I have come across coaches who are retired executives who ‘just like talking to other people’!
4. How can you validate the quality of the coach?
Creating a structured interview for a coach is as important as any job interview. Getting behind the CV and references is critical. Knowing what experience the coach has of profiling tools, what psychotherapeutic approaches they favor, what their business background is, how they stay current as an executive coach, and how they would structure a coaching assignment, are all areas to explore.
5. How do you match a coach with a client?
The process for matching a coach with a client is critical. How does the chemistry work? Is a background in the same industry or profession important? What is the desired outcome of the coaching? How involved is the sponsor in the coaching engagement? Does the coaching need to be face-to-face or virtual? There are many questions to resolve before the coaching program commences.
6. How do you manage a coaching assignment?
Structured processes to set up the coaching assignment, manage it, monitor it, evaluate it, and close it, are all essential. It is also critical to have an effective contract with the coach or coaching provider to ensure that you get what you pay for.
Executive coaching can deliver results. It is also not a cheap option. Having a professional approach to providing this service to organizational leaders adds significant credibility to the HR function.