How Coaching Works
"The ability to call on an experienced independent view of the world has been, and is, absolutely invaluable."
Every individual executive's situation is unique, thus there is no course or prescribed process which is universally applicable. Many traditional development experiences given to executives have failed to address this problem, and so are increasingly seen as needing to be augmented by a more personalised, development process. Executive Coaching meets that need.
But what is a coaching program like?
Confidentiality is the cornerstone of every coaching relationship. Therefore the content of any conversation between an individual and his or her
Foresight's Global Coaching Coach is always privileged. Similarly, meetings between the
Foresight's Global Coaching and any organisation sponsoring executives for coaching are totally confidential. No feedback of any sort is given unless the Coach has the free and explicit consent of the Client.
The process itself usually has a number of stages. Typically, these are:
- Briefing the Coach: This is usually requested from a senior person within the sponsoring organisation. It centres on the organisation's present situation and the current thoughts and feelings about the individual who is to be coached - known as the Client.
- Setting the Expectations: Once the Coach is briefed, Coach and Client meet to confirm that their personal 'chemistry' will work, and to understand the Client's hopes for the Coaching Program.
- Review: The first working meeting between Coach and Client is a review of the Client's personal values, competencies, skills, ambitions, strengths and weaknesses, in the context of life and career to date; present issues; ad future aspirations. In form it is a structured conversation, lasting up to half a day. It is a stock -take of the Client's life and work designed to produce the agenda upon which they will work.
- Setting Targets: With the agenda agreed, gaining the Client's commitment to ambitious goals within the agenda is a fundamental part o the process. Clients are challenged to set themselves tough personal targets, which are usually a mix of 'stretch' business results and more personal aims. A key part of the Coach's role is to help Clients look at their world from a fresh viewpoint, to stretch their capacity for lateral thinking about what may be possible.
- Regular Sessions: With the agenda running, Coach and Client meet regularly. Although coaching may be used in short-term situations, it is more often used over an extended timescale- typically one year. This is necessary because to achieve more complex development goals, some long established thinking or behaviours may need to change. Progress towards targets is discussed regularly and specific issues relating to achievements (or lack of them) and commitments are dealt with. Targets are further refined as Clients discover new perspectives and are challenged to lift their game, to remove 'road blocks' to success.
- Feedback: 360º review and evaluation techniques may be used to support this process and to test perceptions although most of the feedback comes direct from the client in the regular sessions with the Coach. The Client is encouraged to resolve difficulties and to make progress by his or her own resources and care is taken not to allow the build-up of dependency on the Coach. Better performance and greater confidence come only if Clients 'win through' for themselves. This is a learning process. The Coach does not need to be 'better' in any respect, save at the techniques of coaching, than the Client. There is no magic in Coaching. It is always hard work for both parties but helps Clients to develop their competencies in ways they could otherwise rarely achieve or perhaps even contemplate.