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 of coaching.

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 effectiveness.

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 issues
2. Stronger strategic decision making
3. Enhanced openings to organizational and self explorations.

Emotional 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
2. Not being able to work well in a team
3. Poor interpersonal relations
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.

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 the client.

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 do.

“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” be addressing.

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.

Final Thoughts:

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.

Coach Jerry


The highest compliment you can give us is to refer your family and friends.

Jerry Pinney

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 many organizations.

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.

Jerry Pinney & Associates
102 East 32nd Street
Chicago, IL,
phone: 312-842-4577,
fax: 312-842-4705

e-mail me by clicking here


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