Hello to you all,
One of the keys to effective coaching is knowing where
you are and having a clear picture of where you want
go. Once you have a very clear focus of where you are
and a very clear focus of where you want to be, developing
the strategies to get there becomes fairly easy. This
month I would like to explore some of the basic concepts
Using Assessments with Coaching
Many coaches begin the coaching process with assessments.
The DISC assessment process is used by many coaches and is
the assessment that I use. Some coaching involves extensive
feedback from 360 degree surveys in which the person being
coached receives input from peers, subordinates and superiors.
Initially there may be extensive work examining one’s personal
values and interests and creating a personal mission statement.
This is similar to a business
strategy and mission statement
for the organization. There may be coaching around aligning
the personal purpose and objectives with those of the organization.
The astute coach helps the person examine gaps between what
they believe they do and what they actually do. This is fertile
ground for personal growth and development, but is also the
area where people become defensive and resistant.
It takes a talented coach to help someone out of these stuck
areas or blind spots where they may not see with clarity.
This is where the effective coach uses finely-tuned listening
and observing skills. Some talented coaches speak of the magic
of asking the right question at just the right time.
Goals and Outcomes
What are the goals and outcomes of effective executive coaching?
Traditionally, the goals have been fairly specific and have
focused on preventing executive derailment. The coaching process
may also address a specific behavior that is causing managerial
conflict, improve specific managerial competencies, or help
executives address behaviors or issues that are impeding job
Increasingly coaching seeks to enhance the performance of
high-potential executives. The goals of executive coaching
are shifting and broadening as more and more executives seek
out coaching for a variety of different reasons.
Here are some other important results cited in research on
the outcomes of executive coaching:
1. Enhanced ability to navigate sensitive political
2. Stronger strategic decision making
3. Enhanced openings to organizational and self explorations.
Intelligence and Coaching
Research by the Center for Creative Leadership has found
that the primary causes of derailment in executives involve
deficits in emotional competence. These are listed as:
1. Difficulty handling change
A study of 130 executives found that how well people handled
their own emotions determined how much people around them
preferred to deal with them.
2. Not being able to work well in a team
3. Poor interpersonal relations
It is becoming obvious that coaching is not only about behavioral
changes leading to improved performance on the job. The masterful
coaching experience goes deeper than behavior changes into
real and lasting changes through mind shift. Many call this
transformational or masterful coaching.
Coaching is effective when it leads to behavioral change,
particularly when it affects the bottom line. However, for
change to be lasting and meaningful, the coach must reach
for deeper levels of commitment and explore core issues with
David Whyte puts it eloquently: “It is incumbent on each of
us, to start telling our story in such a way that you can
grant magnificence back to your work and back to what you
“If you can’t grant magnificence to your work, you grant magnificence
to yourself and have the courage to step out of it into something
that is really commensurate to your gifts and is a place where
you can really feel like you come alive again at the frontier
of your own destiny” (1999).
How to Get the Most Out of Coaching
1. Talk about what matters most. Talk about
your important needs. Be selfish about your coaching time
– talk about what really matters rather than what you “should”
2. Focus on how you feel and want to feel, not just on what
you want to produce. Don’t avoid talking about your feelings,
no matter what your opinions of them are. Feelings drive
behaviors. To change your behaviors, change how you feel.
Be willing to explore and discuss your feelings with your
coach. Awareness is the first step toward change.
3. Get more space, not more time, into your life. Coaching
needs room in order to work. If you’re too busy, you’ll
use coaching to push yourself harder, instead of using coaching
to become more effective. Simplification gets you space.
You need space in order to learn and to be able to evolve
beyond where you are today.
4. Become incredibly selfish in order to reduce energy drains.
Coaching will help you to identify and reduce things that
drain and strain you such as recurring problems, difficult
relationships and pressured environments. It’s up to you
to ask your coach for help in reducing energy drains.
5. Be open to see things differently. You will get more
out of coaching if you are willing to examine your assumptions,
ways of thinking, expectations, beliefs, and reactions.
As David Whyte has said, “Nobody has to change, but everybody
has to have the conversation.”
6. Sensitize yourself to see and experience things earlier
than before. Coaching conversations will lead you to increased
awareness. The more you sensitize yourself to your feelings
and thoughts, the faster you can respond to events and opportunities.
This may mean eliminating alcohol, stress, caffeine and
an adrenaline-based energy system for living.
7. Design and strengthen your business and personal environments.
The value of coaching can be extended if you use part of
your coaching time to design the perfect environment in
which to live and work. If your surroundings are unpleasant,
unhealthy, or disorganized, they can affect your success.
Clean up, organize, beautify.
8. Be clear about your goals before ending the coaching
session. Coaching is just conversation unless it leads to
action. Make sure you know what your goals are, both immediate,
near future and long term.
9. Spend part of your coaching time to improve your ability
to give feedback. Successful leaders know how to give positive
feedback to their key people. They do it frequently and
with authenticity. They never hesitate when feedback is
less than positive. You should give your coach feedback,
especially at the end of each session. Say what worked,
what didn’t, and what you’d like next.
10. Be willing to evolve yourself, not just increase your
performance. Coaching is a developmental process and an
evolutionary one. You’ll learn how to accomplish more with
less effort. But you will also think differently, adopt
a new personal vision of yourself, change outdated beliefs
and assumptions and expand your view of yourself and your
place in the world. Work with your coach to become more
magnificent in your work and in your life.
I like the DISC assessment and
use it with most all of my coaching clients. It provides
a very good foundation for discussing strengths and areas
for improvement. If you would like a complimentary DISC
profile, please give me a call at
312-842-4577 or e-mail
me by clicking here . I will send you a link
so you can complete the short questionnaire and receive
your report. This will help develop the base line and help
you see how coaching may be something to consider.
The highest compliment you can give us is to refer your
family and friends.
For the last twenty
years Jerry has been president of his own firm. He has spent his
career helping small business organizations grow and succeed. He
has a passion for success that he shares with his clients. His current
focus is providing executive and personal coaching to persons who
are interested in improving their effectiveness and their ability
to be successful. He is a facilitator for peer advisory groups with
The Alternative Board and is a Certified One Page Plan Consultant.
Jerry has facilitated planning retreats and planning sessions for
Jerry’s experience includes serving as Vice-president of Marketing
for IGA staff office, Vice-president of membership for the National
Grocers Association, Sr. Vice-president of procurement for Shurfine
International and the Managing Director of The Zenon Hansen Foundation.
Jerry is an Eagle Scout. He lives in Chicago with his wife Terri.
Jerry spends his volunteer time as a coach and consultant for The
Executive Service Corps of Chicago, an organization committed to
help the non-profits in the community improve.
Pinney & Associates
102 East 32nd Street
e-mail me by clicking here