Greetings to all,
Many times I am asked, "What is coaching?" My response is usually something like, coaching is an ongoing partnership that helps clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Through the process of coaching, clients deepen their learning, improve their performance, and enhance their quality of life.
What and Why of Executive Coaching
Driving the trend for executive coaching
is the business reality that good people are hard to find
and harder to keep. With a constant need to stay competitive,
companies are seeing coaching as a way to help valued employees
develop swiftly in a rapidly changing business environment.
A growing number of Fortune 500 companies offer executive
coaching to their top people. Whether hiring external coaches
or training their own leaders in coaching skills, companies
find that coaching is essential for evolving people towards
their highest performance potential.
Research shows that the quality of the relationship between
manager and employee is a major predictor of an employee's
intentions to remain in an organization. Coaching helps managers
talk with subordinates about their developmental needs in
a coaching manner. There's a potential exponential payoff
in developing positive relationships through coaching.
Defining Executive Coaching
A brief definition of coaching as formulated by the International
Professional coaching is an ongoing partnership that helps
clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional
lives. Through the process of coaching, clients deepen their
learning, improve their performance, and enhance their quality
The Executive Summit of the ICF further defines executive
A facilitative one-to-one mutually designed relationship between
a professional coach and a key contributor who has a powerful
position in the organization. The focus of the coaching is
usually upon organizational performance or development, but
may have a personal component as well.
Why Executive Coaching?
Executive coaching can be very useful in helping executives
carry what they learn in leadership development programs back
to the workplace and applying those lessons into practice.
One study examined the effects of executive coaching in a
public sector municipal agency. Thirty-one managers underwent
a conventional managerial training program, which was followed
by 8 weeks of one-on-one coaching. Training increased productivity
The coaching, which included goal setting, collaborative problem
solving, practice, feedback, supervisory involvement, evaluation
of end results, and a public presentation, increased productivity
by 88%, a significantly greater gain compared to training
alone (Olivero, Bane, & Kopeirnan 1997).
If the observations from this study bear out, it means that
executive coaching coupled with management and leadership
training can boost productivity and help build leadership
The objectivity that an executive coach brings to a developmental
opportunity is helpful to managers seeking to make difficult
changes in attitudes, work habits, perspectives and interpersonal
There seems to be little question that coaching is a valid
method of producing desired change with leaders. Companies
that have employed coaches will agree that, overall, there
are performance improvements, as well as improved well-being
About 6 out of 10 organizations currently offer coaching or
other developmental counseling to their managers and executives
according to a survey by Manchester, Inc., a Jacksonville,
Florida, career management consulting firm. Another 20% of
companies said they plan to offer such coaching within the
The top reasons for offering coaching include:
Sharpening the leadership skills of high-potential individuals
Correcting management behavior problems such as poor communication
skills, failure to develop subordinates, or indecisiveness
Ensuring the success, or decreasing the failure rate, of newly
promoted managers (64%)
Correcting employee relations problems such as poor interpersonal
skills, disorganization, demeaning or arrogant behavior (59%)
Providing the required management and leadership skills to
technically oriented employees (58%).
The Masterful Coaching Experience
What makes a masterful coaching experience, one that provides
long-lasting and magnificent results? On the face, coaching
sounds like simple goal setting with accountability and motivational
pep talks thrown in.
The athletic coach comes to mind, transformed into a business-like
version. Even Ken Blanchard co-authored a book with football
legend Don Shula, Everyone's A Coach. But the truth is, not
everyone's a masterful coach.
The work of truly effective coaching within organizations
involves much more than goal-setting. It involves unleashing
the human spirit and expanding people's capacity to achieve
stretch goals and bring about real change.
This does not start with simple coaching techniques like setting
goals, motivating people and giving feedback. It starts with
considering and altering the underlying context in which these
The underlying context is all of the conclusions, beliefs
and assumptions people in the organization have reached in
order to succeed. This context is shaped by the shared interpretations
people make about their business environment. And it also
includes the management culture that is inherited or self-imposed.
This basic cultural context must be considered in creating
a framework for effective coaching.
Xerox's Paul Allaire says, "The key to the new productivity
is people - helping them do what they can do, what they want
to do, what they inherently know is the right thing to do."
Developing individuals' capacities for productivity is critical
to the competitive life of business organizations today.
In its simplest terms, masterful coaching involves expanding
people's capacity to take effective action. It involves challenging
underlying beliefs and assumptions that are responsible for
one's actions and behaviors.
At its deepest level, masterful coaching examines not only
what one does, and why one does what one does, but also who
I hope you and your coach are having
a lot of fun and creating a lot of energy through personal
coaching. If you know of anyone that is interested in exploring
coaching, I offer a complementary coaching session so you
can determine if coaching is right for you. If it is, I
will help you find the right coach for you.
Have a GREAT month,
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