“Coaching is most well-known as a collection of techniques or a professional service, but beneath the prominent public face are key assumptions and a philosophy of human change, accomplishment, and well-being. Coaches ask questions, encourage exploration, reluctantly advise, and show well-developed listening and feedback skills. These are the superficial manifestations of a view of human relations that radically embraces the competence of each person. A coaching view affirms that by inspiring discovery, reflection, and persistence in another person, that person becomes capable of significantly greater achievement, deeper and broader thinking, and more consistent expression of their values over time.” Douglas Riddle, Center For Creative Leadership
In a typical coaching engagement, coach and client talk for an hour or so once or twice a month over the course of 6-8 months. Coaches ask questions to help the client clarify developmental goals, make a plan to achieve those goals, monitor progress, and hold the client accountable for meeting their goals. A good coach will not tell a client what to do - that is "consulting". A coach will offer knowledge and techniques for clients to consider, test, and adopt as the client wishes. At the end of each meeting, the client usually departs with "homework" such as observing themselves in certain situations, practicing a new skill, reading an article or book, or whatever the client thinks will most help him or her progress toward their developmental needs. In fact, most of the work is done by the client between coaching conversations.
Coaching is client driven. Every Client Is Unique, with their own development needs and goals. Although the coach may offer knowledge or techniques - and may give advice if requested by the client - it is the client who decides what to try and what to reject.
Coaching typically covers topics such as:
The goal of every coaching engagement is for the client to develop new capabilities and capacities they can employ for their entire career so that coaching is no longer needed.
Coaching can be enhanced through self assessments and feedback from others. Many clients find it helpful to start a coaching engagement informed by a 360 assessment and/or personality profiles Feedback from such assessments helps clients see themselves - often for the first time - as they are seen by others.
Coaching works well in any format - in-person, telephone, or video-conference conversations.
Coaching conversations are unique and customized – no two are identical – and are jointly created by coach and client to meet the client’s unique development needs.
Coaching is Confidential. Any disclosure concerning a client is only as permitted in advance by the client and is limited to the type of information permitted by the client and only to those individuals designated by the client. Sometimes, clients just need a safe place to vent.
International Coach Federation Code of Ethics: Graybeard Leadership and Executive Coaching strongly endorses and strictly adheres to the International Coach Federation Code of Ethics.
Managers transitioning to executive positions. The leap from making a company’s “trains run on time” to charting the company's future can be very challenging, particularly for high achievers whose success is built on carrying Herculean workloads. Coaching helps executives better develop the managers who work for them, cope with uncertainty and chart the future course of their organization.
Individual contributors transitioning to their first supervisory position. It happens every day in businesses, non-profits and government – a supervisor is promoted, transferred, or retires and the search for the next supervisor begins. Instead of selecting the new supervisor based on leadership skill and potential, organizations frequently turn to the best project manager, engineer, software developer, analyst, technician, or sales person. In other words, the most effective subject matter expert is chosen to lead the other subject matter experts. Sometimes they succeed because the new supervisor possesses natural leadership ability, attended leadership training, and/or carefully thought about how to lead. More often, first-time supervisors struggle to lead recent peers, micro-manage employees, endlessly revise their subordinates’ work, or take other actions that aggravate their employees. Coaching is a great tool to help new supervisors develop their innate capabilities and transition to leading.
Good leaders who want to become great leaders. In many organizations, much of the profit, innovation, strategy, and shaping of corporate culture is driven by a small percentage of people who do a few things extraordinarily well instead of by those who do lots of things fairly well. A coach can help leaders further refine strengths to accomplish greater results.
Leaders who wish to transform "toxic" office environments into healthy workplaces where employees want to perform their best. Coaching can be a powerful tool to help leaders build an organizational culture that values employees, increases customer satisfaction, unleashes innovation, reduces turnover, and improves productivity.
Eliminating career detailers or stallers: Nobody is perfect and many of us have a habit or trait that, if not corrected, reduces effectiveness and could lead to lack of promotion, demotion, or termination. We all know brilliant, hard working people who are challenged to balance their work load, are poor briefers or public speakers, demonstrate weak interpersonal skills, struggle cooperating with colleagues, or don't handle pressure well. A coach can be a powerful ally in helping people get accurate, unbiased feedback and crafting and implementing a plan to overcome such challenges.
Assessments are great ways to learn how we are perceived by peers, direct reports, superiors, and ourselves and provide useful input for guiding client development.
Graybeard Coaching offers two types of 360 assessments:
Benchmarks 360 - Center For Creative Leadership. With versions for managers and executives, this extensively tested industry standard has provided valuable feedback to thousands of leaders. Coaching clients and peers, direct reports, and supervisors - selected by the client - complete a web-based survey to provide the coaching client with numerical and written feedback on key leadership dimensions. The feedback, which is anonymous for peers and direct reports, is compared with the client's self assessment to highlight disconnects, verify strengths and identify areas for development.
Custom Personal 360 Interviews. For a more personal approach, the coach interviews peers, direct reports, and supervisors selected by the client, and asks questions crafted by the client and coach to obtain input on specific topics of most relevance to the client. The coach summarizes the feedback from peers and direct reports to protect their anonymity and provides the client with a report to inform their personal development plan.
Graybeard Coaching offers two personality assessments:
The Work Place Big 5 Personality Assessment is an on-line self assessment that gives clients a better understanding of their personality and preferences. Clients learn how their preferences effect interactions with others, and how other people - with different personalities - perceive them.
The Hogan Personality Inventory is an on-line self assessment that describes one's personality characteristics and how we relate to one another. Better understanding their personality gives clients insight for how to better relate to their employees, peers and superiors, and how to develop their authentic leadership style.