3 Elements of a Successful Coaching Engagement

Just pick up any business periodical, view them on-line, read industry journals, blogs, posts, to see the hundreds, if not thousands of articles stating the benefits of executive coaching. Executive coaching has now become a buzzword and something many high-performing organizations are using within their business.

Executive coaching is still often misunderstood in terms how it differentiates itself from performance management and other leadership development offerings. The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment.”

A professional coaching engagement helps improve performance and personal effectiveness while reducing stress. It offers a rare opportunity to stand back and take a fresh look at the experiences and assumptions of a lifetime. Keep in mind that a professional coach is potentially the only person one interacts with who has a single focused agenda: the success of their client.

The coaching process is highly personal, and structured to meet the needs of both the leader as well as all the staff within that organization. Different leaders focus on different goals; different approaches or methodologies are effective for different leaders; and different coaches are needed for different leaders.

The Harvard Business Review conducted an online questionnaire for coaches and consultants to provide feedback on their insight into their own practices.  The results showed 3 main factors that are critical to a successful coaching engagement.

Level of motivation of the executive. According to the survey, executives who get the most out of coaching are those with a fierce willingness to learn and evolve – these individuals are often referred to as “coachable.” Leaders who are motivated and prepared to make changes are more likely to make dramatic positive results within their businesses.

Chemistry between coach and leader. The relationship and dynamic between the coach and the leader is critical to ensuring success. Allowing the leader, the opportunity to meet several coaches in person, or to consider their biographies, allows the leader to make the determination of which coach is best suited to working with them. There are many factors that are involved chemistry on the part of the coach – background, advanced degrees or training, expertise or niche, etc. This alliance will allow the coach and leader to build trust and rapport.

Commitment from the leader or top management. The final key element to a successful coaching engagement is support and commitment from the leader and their organization. There must be a desire to develop and retain the leader who is taking part in coaching; at the same time, there must be alignment on the goals and objectives that the leader is undertaking during the coaching program. Conversations with key stakeholders, such as the leader’s manager or Human Resources business partner, ensure buy-in and support.

These elements are just three of the many factors that are critical to support the coaching engagement. Others include utilizing appropriate assessments to understand personal leadership capabilities and environmental dynamics; creating an individual develop plan with actionable or SMART goals; and having an underlying methodology or process to follow, with milestones to track progress.

Steve Feld, Certified Business Coach provides training and business performance coaching to business owners, professionals and executives. He also conducts workshops and training on a variety of subjects for business owners, executives and their staff which he customizes to every organization to provide the greatest positive impact. Contact Steve today to see how he can assist you grow your business, 602-750-3017. He is in the business of business.