EXECUTIVE COACHING FROM SHOEMAKER & ASSOCIATES
The recently completed Cornerstone International Group global senior management survey reflects that more than 70% of the respondents will use an outside consultant to coach their leaders this year. Other articles quote statistics showing that “up to 80%” of all organizations use external coaches. Executive Coaching has become a key ingredient for success.
The complexity of leadership roles has created an environment where even the strongest leaders are more effective when they have a one-on-one strategic relationship with an experienced, skilled coach. Your coach is able to help you see things that you perhaps have not recognized; they will encourage and challenge you to achieve your potential. Using a combination of proven tools and concepts, along with a great deal of personal experience, your coach helps you:
- Bring things into focus
- Develop strategies
- Generate ideas and possibilities
- Put thoughts into action
- Increase skills
- Maximize performance
- Enhance success
Focusing on inner motivation, your coach supports you as you attain short and long term personal, professional and organizational goals. The use of real-time feedback and guidance ensures effectiveness of the process.
There are a great many ways to describe what an Executive Coach can accomplish. My philosophy is to be a partner who can support and guide you in dealing with complex issues, bring depth and focus to specific challenges, help you define your goals, and support you as you arrive at the solutions. 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.” Whatever the definition, the concept is to have a partner who helps you attain your goals.
Selecting a Coach
The relationship between you and your coach is crucial for a successful outcome. Select someone who you trust. Honest, open communications are required for success, along with respect for other’s ideas, perspectives, time and commitments. Confidentiality is the foundation of the relationship.
While there currently are no specific educational/training requirements for someone to call themselves a coach, those who have invested in training that leads to certification should be better prepared to effectively partner with you in this process. Consider the coach’s career success, as well as work/life experience in evaluating if you want to work with them.
For much of my life I have felt I acted like a coach. Dealing with people one-on-one, and effectively understanding them made me a very good search consultant. After more than 20 years of experience in the retained search industry, becoming a coach seemed like a natural “next step.” Once I began my formal Cornerstone Coaching Certification program I found the training provided important knowledge and structure to add to my experience. I also learned there was much more required to be a great coach than just experience: it included skills and knowledge to truly help others focus on what was important to them. I continued my development by obtaining the International Coach Federation ACC Credential: today I continue to develop my skills in this exciting field. My coaching helps individuals bring clarity to issues and develop a plan of action so they can attain their goals. Executives being coached benefit from my knowledge and experience, as well as my perspectives, which are based upon my successful career in business. This makes me unique.
With things changing so much in our world today, there is a great deal of “clutter,” making it difficult for you to set priorities (both professional and personal) that are important, to put together a plan to attain them, and to “stay the course” until these are accomplished. That’s where a coach comes in. Much like with athletic teams, we are not there to do – but to help you attain your goals.
The Coaching Process
Our Executive Coaching programs are personalized to fit the individual and the situation. Each program is approximately 6 months in duration, and consists of two-three scheduled sessions per month, along with unlimited communications in-between. Statistics reflect that people being coached typically have gained awareness at about 3 months, competency at 5-6 months and proficiency at 7-9 months. Our coaching program is designed to get the individual to the competency level. Many choose to extend through the proficiency level, realizing the contributions our coaching is making to their career. Our coaching can be a combination of face-to-face and virtual meetings, although it almost always begins with a face-to-face meeting. Appropriate tools, including assessments, are included in the process. At the inception of the program a customized strategy and action plan is developed, including measurable goals to be achieved.
We also have the ability to deliver a “rapid coaching” program that addresses “hot issues” that need immediate attention. You choose the issue and we help you find clarity and direction in just a few sessions.
From a business perspective there are significant reasons for Executive Coaching. It makes sense both in financial and people terms:
- Recent studies reflect that the ROI of coaching is in the neighborhood of 700%.
- Coaching allows fuller use of an individual’s talents.
- Coaching demonstrates a commitment to individuals and their development.
From a personal perspective, Executive Coaching signifies your commitment to enhance your personal effectiveness, including satisfaction with life and work.