I tailor my coaching programmes in discussion with the client (person being coached),
and typically with input from the line manager, team, and HR responsible. While each programme is unique, my programmes typically
have several consistent themes:
1. Clear contractual context. Client, line manager, team members, HR, and others are all clear on their roles vis-a-vis the coaching, and the boundaries of confidentiality.
2. Explicit goals. Early on we agree clear goals for the coaching and milestones. We revisit these periodically and may adjust them.
Goals typically relate to delivering greater and more effective personal impact at the level of team, enterprise, market, or society more broadly. At a more detailed level these goals may relate to building specific knowledge, skills or habits - such as in the areas of team leadership, delegation, communication, external relationship building etc. In parallel, clients may set goals of a broader nature such as greater confidence, more or less assertiveness, or greater charisma.
3. Measured impact. Measuring impact and progress motivates the client, allows course-correction, and assures value to the organisation that may be making the investment of time and money.
Different goals will have different types of measure; I typically employ the Kirkpatrick model to identify four different types of potential measure. Level 1: Reaction - client reacts favourably to the coaching, Level 2: Learning - client acquires intended knowledge, skills, attitudes, confidence, and commitment Level 3: Behaviour - client applies what they learned during coaching, Level 4: Results - targeted outcomes occur as a result of the coaching.
4. Grounding in fact. To focus the coaching I typically use three types of information: 360* information available or obtained, psychometric information available or obtained, and potentially further perspectives of team, colleagues, customers, or other external parties gained through interview.
5. Robust conceptual approach. My approach to coaching is inspired by a range of sources that include:
o The professional coaches including Blanchard, Gallwey, Whitmore
o Selected personal development thinkers including Carnegie, Covey, Robbins
o Experts on leadership, teams, culture and learning such as Adair, Argyris, Belbin, Bennis, Hofstede, Katzenbach, Kotter, Pfeffer, Ulrich
o The great psychologists and lesser-known ones such as Adler, Balint, Bion, Ellis, Erickson, Jacques, Maslow, Reich, Rogers, etc
6. A broad range of activities. Although much of coaching involves conversing, I believe it is easier to act your way into a new way of thinking
rather than vice versa. Activities thus include planning, drafting, role playing, guided trialling of new techniques in real life, etc.
While I believe much of the best coaching is non-directive, there are times when the client can
benefit from explicit guidance. In doing so I draw on 20 years of strategy experience and 7 years of leadership consulting at the sharp end of
executive search; I am also able to suggest other sources of expertise and mentorship as required.
The intensity and duration of my programmes are customised to the client's needs. As a purely illustrative example, one of my programmes:
- Was aimed at helping a COO prepare for his transition to CEO
- Focused on the themes of Team Leadership, Delegation, and External Network Building
- Included psychological profiling, feedback discussions with team and Board to the client, with 1/2-day or longer session every 3-4 weeks with the client over six months
- Achieved specific goals for transition set by the client and the Board
- Involved fees of $45,000
Other programmes have been of shorter and longer durations, involved lesser and greater intensities and involvements with the organisations, resulting in fees that were lower and higher.
My aim is to trigger benefits to the organisation that would be at least 10 times the fees charged.