Our Executive Coaching and our Corporate Level Coaching (CLC) programs are based on the same Leadership Principles we teach companies and organizations to respect. The same principles that have worked for over 500 years still work every time they are used by those caring enough to learn and use them. The reason why we are usually called in to help with a Subject (note the capitol “S” designating the person who will receive the coaching) is because some how these principles have either been forgotten or the Subject has never been properly exposed to them. Most high-level achievers are good at their job, but that does not mean they are effective leaders. Competence does not automatically breed good leadership skills. And that is the reason we concentrate on solid Leadership Principles. This emphasis helps to give supervisors, managers and upper level management a laser focus on the skills, techniques, and values that ameliorate anyone in a supervisory position.
Coaching is all about the person and a specific need or problem he or she has. The simple fact is that unless this person is content with themself and his/her immediate surroundings, they will not be able to focus on their professional concerns. Our number one rule is to help a Subject be comfortable with who they are and what they are doing first. Then we work on whatever comes next.
We use the “0ne-on-one” coaching model, at all levels, to develop and enhance a Subject’s potential. Our concern for the individual coupled with the hiring agent’s objectives always garners a positive result. Because we promote “one-on-one” coaching it should not be automatically expected for this coaching to be conventional, because it may not be. Depending on the individual Subject, the coaching may vary. At the risk of sounding vague, we do more than sit and talk with the Subject in person or over the phone for hours on end. Sometimes there is far more to be learned “outside” the business environment then inside the four constructed walls of a company. We are very client oriented.
The questions we always ask to the hiring agent and to the Subject (separately) is, “Why am I here?” and “What do you want us to accomplish?” In the beginning of a coaching term the answers may be pretty close, but by the end of six months the answer to the question, “What did we accomplish?” will render conspicuously different responses from each party, even though the original objective was achieved.
Depending on your needs, our Coaching typically deals with these four main areas:
- Leadership principles and dynamics
- Communication in all forms
- Stress management/prevention
- Change in all forms
When someone in a managerial position is not performing as expected, there are only three basic reasons for their lack of excellent performance:
- They are incapable
- They have not been trained adequately for their position
- Something is stopping them. There is something in their background prohibiting them from reaching their potential or there are present obstacles in their professional (or personal) life they have difficulty with. The first two enumerated above are possible, but rarely happen in upper management. The good thing is, once accurately diagnosed these two are the easiest issues to address. The third, however, is the toughest and unfortunately, most prominent.
Let’s go back to the third and most difficult reason supervisors fail to perform. In many cases people are struggling with workplace situations because they are either new in their position, overwhelmed with their work, or have difficulty with a particular aspect of their work (communication, conflict, discipline, or motivation, to mention a few). In the plainest language possible, they have a problem. This is “their” problem, but it needs to be “heard” and in most cases the solution to this problem will result in them making a change.
Our concept is simple (notice we didn’t say easy). We need to make sure their “problem” is “heard,” but not so much by you, or even by us, but by them. Once that is accomplished we can help them find the answer they need to hear, but again, it doesn’t come from us. It comes from them. Recognition can lead to solutions with proper encouragement and reinforcement. When the solution comes from the Subject, the chances of success are extremely high.
Our coaching process includes the following stages:
Our formal coaching process is a combination of Co-Active coaching and my own blend of the process. The steps of the process are listed below with a brief description.
This is the initial point where the hiring agent recognizes a need for a coach for a specific Subject. Again, this could be for a variety of reasons, but until it is recognized and stated as a requirement there is no action necessary. It is the first step toward developing and enhancing someone’s potential.
In addition we must start with a “healthy” person. Someone who is mentally stable, active, suitable for the job they hold, and desires to learn and be coached. Some subjects may not seek coaching themselves, but are at least open to the idea. In essence, the subject recognizes what is happening and why.
The first session is always in-person. Personal interaction is required to sense the compatibility between the coach and Subject. This session can be as short as a luncheon, or three hours depending on the accessibility of the subject. It’s a rare occurrence, but if there is a lack of compatibility, another coach will be asked to take the case. Money is not the driving factor here. Helping and supporting the subject and your company respectively are the goals.
Every Subject has a past and a future. This is a relatively short timeframe usually completed in 2 to 3 weeks. Although not all the information required is gathered in this short time, a significant amount is gathered allowing the coach and the subject to construct the next segment of this process. This portion may suggest a personality or leadership survey to be administered, again depending on the subject. For leadership concerns a 360 review is typically a good indicator to work from or if more of a personality survey is required a Myers Briggs assessment would work. If any of these assessments, or the equivalents have already been accomplished (recently) we will use them.
Every subject has at least one issue that needs to be addressed. During this portion of the term the coach and the subject work together to uncover the issue(s). In reality, there will be a series of questions asked by the coach, which will allow the subject to uncover the issue for themselves. As in any good plan, measurable goals will be set so that completion can be recognized. In addition the exit strategy will also be planned at this time.
The bulk of executive coaching is absorbed in the execution of the plan that has been developed. Consistent contact between the coach and Subject is mandatory for the purpose of completing the previously developed plan. Accountability from all the participants is required.
The exit strategy consists more of the Subject being responsible for their actions and taking control over their previous issue(s). Coaching sessions are further apart and consist of the Subject demonstrating his or her ability to be accountable for what they have learned and agreed to change in order to improve their performance. For example: making changes or creating positive habits that demonstrate their improvement in the specific behavior of detrimental traits previously indicated by the hiring agent.
Both one and six month follow up sessions are planned with both the subject and the hiring agent to discuss the coaching results.
Typical coaching terms last six to nine months, but twelve months is not uncommon to ensure results. The time depends on the issue or issues each individual subject may have. In-person sessions usually number between three and four in a six month coaching term. This includes the mandatory Initial Session and a final exit session.
Accountability and responsibility are critical elements during a coaching term with the Colorado Crimson Group. The Subject is accountable to him/her self and the coach. The coach is accountable to the subject and the hiring agent. The coach will be responsible to ensure the coaching sessions are completed as dictated. Typical sessions are once a week but in no case less than once every two weeks. However, the Subject has the option to contact the coach any time. The coach will contact the hiring agent at least once a month to report on progress and to relay an “attendance record.” It serves no one to employ a coach and not have the subject do his or her part to ensure attendance for planned sessions.
This is a good place to bring up confidentiality. The coach / Subject relationship does not legally have a “client / lawyer” confidentiality agreement and if ever placed in a court of law the coach will be required to tell the whole truth. On the other hand, illegal activities aside, hiring agents should not expect to be told intimate details shared between a coach and their subject. The goal is usually to help a Subject improve in some way and how that change occurs is up to the coach and the Subject.
Which leads me to the next declarative statement: we may not be the most conventional in our coaching. There are times when unconventional “means” may deliver better “ends” sooner. Hiring agents should be aware that a half or full day out of the office may be requested in advance. We understand workload and business tempo should be balanced in the decision to approve a day or two off, but don’t be surprised at the request. There will be a reason.
Executive Coaching or Corporate Level Coaching is an incredible way to improve performance, demonstrate confidence in a person, raise the trust level between Subject and company, and strategically plan a profitable future for all involved.
For a downloadable qualifications summary of Ken Fritz click below on “Ken Fritz QS” See why Ken is so effective.