How do you go from good, to very good to your very best?
From being skilled, competent, to performing at your peak?
From very successful to personally and professionally fulfilled?
For many accomplished executives, professionals, leaders and businesses owners, these difficult questions may arise as they struggle to:
- Adapt to environments that require new skills or new strengths
- Prepare for career advancement
- Manage business relationships and enhance team productivity
- Reshape and redefine goals
- Manage partnership relationship
- Cope with challenges of a growing business
- Grapple with feelings that life moves too quickly and important opportunities are being missed
- Get past career burnout
- Balance their personal and professional lives
- Achieve a higher level of professional excellence and fulfillment
When an athlete prepares for an obstacle course race it’s really important to seek the advice and follow the guidance of an experienced coach. The coach provides guidance on strength training, endurance training, speed and agility, techniques for completing the obstacles, nutrition, recovery and mental attitude for peak performance as well as enjoying the experience.
What is coaching?
Definition… “Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”
Role… “Professional coaches provide an ongoing partnership designed to help clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Coaches help people improve their performances and enhance the quality of their lives.”
Preparation and Core Beliefs…“Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs. They seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the client; they believe the client is naturally creative and resourceful. The coach’s job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client already has.”
“Executive coaching involves challenging and supporting executives (and managers) to achieve higher levels of performance through expanding their capacity to take effective action. Executives in the study reported that coaching helped them cope with fast paced change and navigate through a year of tremendous financial challenges. Participants found they were better able to address personnel issues, delegate tasks appropriately, and improve communications. Organizations experienced increased financial stability, improved internal communications, and more ability to realize the organization’s vision.”
How do I know if I need executive coaching?
If you answer “Yes” to any of the following questions, you would benefit from working with an executive coach:
- Would you like to meet your department objectives in a more timely fashion AND with ease?
- Are you ready to move to a more senior position and want some help making that happen?
- Do you want to communicate more effectively as a leader?
- Does your executive presence need a bit of fine tuning?
- Do you have one or two behaviors getting in the way of you moving up in the company?
- Are you a leader who would like to have more clarity on how your own leadership interpersonal behaviors affect team interactions and business results?
- Have you recently transitioned to a senior position and feeling a bit overwhelmed?
- Would you like to understand how your personality, motivations and values impact your leadership style?
- Do you need help to develop the stamina needed to meet the relationship challenges you face in order to work more effectively with others?
- Do you want to understand how to consistently leverage your strengths and manage your challenges so that you can increase your overall leadership effectiveness?
- Do you want to communicate more effectively with your team?
- Would you like to resolve the partnership issues that have been keeping your firm from growing?
- Do you want to retain the team you have, instead of constantly hiring new talents?
- Would you like to successfully navigate internal politics and forge lasting relationships?
- Would you like to take your business to the next level but you feel stuck?
Study shows that the top reasons for offering coaching include:
- Sharpening the leadership skills of high-potential individuals (86%);
- Correcting management behavior problems such as poor communication skills, failure to develop subordinates, or indecisiveness (72%);
- Ensuring the success, or decreasing the failure rate, of newly promoted managers (64%);
- Correcting employee relations problems such as poor interpersonal skills, disorganization, demeaning or arrogant behavior (59%);
- Providing the required management and leadership skills to technically oriented employee (58%).
Executive coaching can be very useful in helping leaders carry what they learn in training situations, such as leadership development programs, to the workplace and in putting those lessons into practice.
One study examined the effects of executive coaching in a public sector municipal agency:
- Thirty-one managers underwent a conventional managerial training program, which was followed by 8 weeks of one-on-one coaching.
- Training increased productivity by 22.4%.
- The coaching, which included goal setting, collaborative problem solving, practice, feedback, supervisory involvement, evaluation of end results, and a public presentation, increased productivity by 88%,
- A significantly greater gain compared to training alone (Olivero, Bane, & Kopeirnan 1997).
If the observations from this study bear out, it means that executive coaching coupled with management and leadership training can boost productivity and help build leadership competencies.
“The key to the new productivity is people – helping them do what they can do, what they want to do, what they inherently know is the right thing to do.” — Paul Allaire, Xerox
When looking for an executive/leadership coach these days there is a lot to choose from.
What makes Dr. Lisa Walker different than any other executive coach? The difference lies in her years of experience as a successful business person married with her deep psychological understanding of human behavior. She doesn’t work with theory but with practical hands-on assessment-based approaches that are proven to work. Dr. Walker brings a research-based, data driven approach to her work.
Her coaching process focuses on partnering with her clients to build core communication, interpersonal and cultural competence, leadership and management skills, as well as improve emotional intelligence — thereby developing a greater sense of self-awareness. She believes this is the foundation for success in one’s professional and personal life.
Coaching is delivered by customized one-on-one coaching sessions that are designed around your specific areas for leadership development. This process is therefore all about you. I begin our sessions with a focused dialog to determine the most important concern you have right now about your job or business. No concern is too big or too small. The important thing is that it matters to you.
Coaching is generally offered for a six to twelve month period and is designed to meet your scheduling needs. Although customized to meet the client’s objectives, key competencies are incorporated in the design to assist each individual in optimizing their development. This length of time is necessary to facilitate the change and growth.
Each phase of the coaching process builds upon the information and insights gained in the previous phase. Together we develop a plan customized to meet your specific needs and objectives.
Executive Coaching will:
- Identify where you are and where you would like to be
- Provide clarity on your intentions to reach your goals
- Identify primary dependencies and deliverables
- Identify blind spots and behaviors that are limiting effectiveness and career growth
- Assess your impact
- Build emotional intelligence
- Evaluate your feedback agility
- Build resilience
- Evaluate your conflict management strategy
- Develop a plan of action to establish, measure, and assess goals
- Provide accountability, challenge and support
Phase I: Connection
The key to a great coaching relationship is the alliance formed between the coach and client. Let’s first discuss your needs and determine whether there is a good fit.
Phase II: Engagement & Contracting
The purpose of this phase is to develop clarity around who you are, where you are and what you and your organization want to achieve. We will set specific, measurable goals you would like to work on during our coaching contract. We will identify the business results, your own leadership interpersonal behaviors, and the team interactions needed to ensure success. We will ensure business results are linked to key behaviors you need from yourself and others.
We’ll explore your professional and personal values, work expectations along with who you are as a leader, peer, communicator, coach, problem-solver and overall member of your organization.
Next, we’ll examine essential skills as they relate to those with whom you work. We’ll examine how you relate to peers, managers, direct reports and others throughout your organization. We’ll explore questions such as “Where do you excel?” “How can you improve?” “What can you do differently”? We’ll explore these questions throughout the coaching relationship.
We’ll use valid and reliable assessment tools designed to help you get a clearer understanding of how to better lead and manage. These tools will evaluate the following areas:
- Listening, Communication and Feedback skills
- Interpersonal Skills: People reading, adapting, building trust with others
- Emotional Intelligence – emotional and social effectiveness
- Teamwork and Team Building
- Leadership and Management skills
- Conflict management skills
- Cultural Competence and Diversity
- Personal Behavioral Style and Problem Solving
- Self-Management: Time Mastery, Stress Management and Work/Life Balance
- Ability to effectively meet Organizational Goals and Objectives
The information obtained from initial evaluations and assessments will help us to set goals and measure behavioral changes and overall outcomes.
Phase III: Evaluate and Design
We will evaluate the outcome of the assessments and our initial discussions and design the coaching relationship and plan that best suits you. We’ll develop a strategy to best achieve your goals and strengthen core executive, leadership and professional competencies.
Phase IV: Development Plan
Together, we’ll develop a customized plan designed to fit your unique behavioral and work style. The goal is to create an action and development plan to help move you towards success.
Phase V: Sessions
The coaching meetings are conducted in one 50 minute meeting each week. Frequency of meetings depends upon your needs. They can take place over the phone or in-person, if feasible. You’ll be asked to bring real-world, real-time challenges to our coaching meetings to gain immediate insight into new ways of handling these situations. All information shared with your Coach will be held strictly confidential.
Phase VI: Wrapping Up
During this phase we will evaluate the work we have done, using assessment such as 360 interviews to identify areas of progress and areas of potential growth. You will be able to calculate you and your organization’s return on investment (ROI) at the end of our contracted time.
- You will understand your preferences, attitudes, and behaviors in key dimensions of leadership.
- You will enhance your qualities of good leadership and create a more flexible leadership style.
- You will have great awareness of your signature strengths and the ability to leverage those strengths and build on areas of potential growth.
- Greater ability to influence your team, build trust and increase productivity.