Executive Coaching can take a number of forms depending on who is delivering it. Coaches come from different backgrounds and often combine their expertise with the guidelines for coaching as per the International Coach Federation (the independent accrediting body for coaches). We outline here our recommended design for an Executive Coaching engagement.
- As a company, you’ve identified the high potential or top performer you’d like to provide an Executive Coach for. Sit down with the employee to discuss their goals in working with a coach. This will help you determine any questions you want to ask of perspective coaches.
- Seek out a coach who is certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF). This assures you of the ethical standards and basic structure and practices of the coach, so that you don’t end up with someone who is calling themselves a coach, but really doing something else, like giving advice or mentoring. Note: the ICF has different levels of certification. For a professional environment, you want someone with either a PCC (Professional Certified Coach) or MCC (Master Certified Coach) credential. Only 3.6% of coaches worldwide meet this standard. All of Arden’s coaches are certified at these levels. Also note: coaches have other certifications they put after their name – these are usually just from a school they attended, not a post-study, independent credentialing body. Be sure to ask them about it if it isn’t one of the above.
- The company (represented by a supervisor, or HR, or another), the coach and the client then align on the goals for the client. We recommend as much transparency in this process as possible. You want it to feel like everyone is on the same team because they are: all of them desire growth for the individual and the impact that will have on the company.
- At Arden, we will then perform a 360 assessment of the client, either through interviews (qualitative) or through The Leadership Circle™ tool. This provides an overview of “where we are now”. Often this will reflect the things the client is already aware of, and it frequently brings up additional items they “didn’t know they didn’t know”. New awarenesses begin here.
- Based on the client goals and the feedback obtained, the Coach and Client will design at least one project that will focus on these areas of development. The key here is to create tangible measures for tracking progress. (Again, ask coaches as you interview how they do this – not all have a system.)
- Coach and Client meet regularly, either in person or via phone, for 3-4 hours a month to work on these issues. That time is spent in discovery of what has created the current situation and on creating new pathways to view and handle the situations arising. It is not simply strategizing. It is doing the personal work to get to the heart of the belief system that is driving the client’s actions. This is the difference between a client getting a “fish” for a single situation, and getting “fishing” to have for life.
- With new awarenesses, we couple actions. This moves the work from the individual and from their own head, out into the world so that we can see the impact.
- Reports are generated from the client to the company at the beginning, midpoint and end of the engagement to provide a progress report. The Executive Coach maintains confidentiality with the client throughout the process.
- As the client shifts and makes changes in their beliefs and behavior, results are evident in the workplace. For instance, a recent client Abby was working on letting go of control of her department’s details in her new role and delegating more to her team. Throughout her coaching, we tracked the number of projects handed off to direct reports. This number increased over four months. We also started to notice her direct reports coming to her with a new level of question: they were no longer just reporting details on projects, but requesting training on managing their direct reports. Abby had successfully taken on a new level of leadership to where her focus was less on the work details and more on the people: an appropriate shift at the VP level. She began to have multiplied impact through how she was able to mentor and develop her own staff.
- At the conclusion of the engagement, the client creates a plan with their coach’s support to maintain their progress and continue their growth. Exit interviews are conducted with the supervisor and company and next steps suggested by the coach.
If you have questions about Executive Coaching Design or would like to discuss how we might customize this process to your needs, please contact us.
New York Executive Coaching Design