Coaching Basics

My name is Ozi Ré. I’ll teach you some things about coaching.

Ozi Ré

Executive Coaching Process

Good Structure Increases the Chances of Coaching Success.

Consistent process for executive coaching helps companies understand the investment they’re making, and increases the coaching client’s chances of success.

Strong process in executive coaching is not necessarily complicated – quite the opposite. Here are the essential steps:

Context, Background and Desired Outcomes

The coach must understand from the initial inquiry why coaching is the selected development resource. Good questions include whether the individual has agreed and whether they’re committed to their own growth. In addition, inquiries about the company culture and the potential client’s reputation and image within that culture can help determine whether they really can be successful. Is other individual or team development going on, and if so why – and if not, what makes this individual special? Finally, what is the organization hoping will occur as a result of the coaching?

Fit, contracting and goal setting

Coach/client fit or chemistry is critical to the success of an executive coaching relationship. Before committing to an engagement, the coach and client must meet and determine whether they feel they can work together – and assessing fit must be a two-way street such that either party has the opportunity to veto the arrangement if they perceive an issue. Once fit has been established, the coach and client must agree to ground rules and terms of engagement. Meeting frequency and duration, cancellation and no-show policies and agreements regarding confidentiality are typically part of this process.

Executive sponsor

Executive coaching occurs within an organizational context and so must include perspective from outside the individual client. This external perspective ensures that coaching goals and areas of focus are aligned with and relevant to organizational interests. An executive sponsor holds an accountability for the organization achieving a desired return on investment in coaching, however determined. The executive sponsor is ideally, but not necessarily, the client’s direct reporting manager, and the coaching engagement is ideally begun with a three-way meeting to set goals and agree on areas of focus.

Follow a predictable pattern

A predictable pattern of meetings usually supports the client’s needs best, particularly if behavior change is part of the mandate. Once the coaching meeting is understood as a standard part of the individual’s routine, real momentum can be generated. Setting clear expectations as to the client’s responsibilities for setting the session agenda and for completing assignments between sessions, and then holding the client accountable for upholding those commitments, will support accelerated progress towards goals.

Evaluate the outcomes

If goals for the coaching work have been appropriately set at the outset of the engagement, it will be clear to the client when the coaching goals have been achieved. This may or may not be at the conclusion of the engagement period. An experienced executive coach can accurately assess the scope and scale of the expected deliverable of the engagement against the time frame and estimate what, if any, changes should be made to ensure the work is contracted for success and the goals are achievable within the desired period.

Agree to next steps

The final step in a successful engagement is a concluding meeting with the executive sponsor to confirm results and receive feedback on observable changes. This is an excellent opportunity for the client to request support to ensure success doing forward. Properly conducted, the final meeting is also an ideal venue for the coach to inquire as to further engagements within the organization, based on the success of the one just completed. The successful coach is not afraid to ask for more work based on having just demonstrated success.

Working with a Career Coach

Getting Maximum Benefit from the Coaching Experience

Make informed choices when deciding to work with a career coach so you can maximize the benefits and walk away with positive results that can last a lifetime.

The ultimate goal of career coaching is to help you evaluate and direct your goals, including providing insight into skills, work style, enhance your ability to overcome barriers, and assist in translating your skills and experience into accomplishments that matter. You are embedded in a web of perceptions about yourself, you abilities and effectiveness.

coaching

How Coaching Can Help You Gain Insight

The essential tool for increasing self awareness is feedback. Feedback can reveal your underlying style, beliefs patterns, preferences and wants and needs. Feedback is also important to keep you on track with your goals. Most people’s self-esteem and sense of success is tied to satisfying others’ expectations. When this happens you often lose touch with what you value and want for yourself.

A coach can provide this type of honest and objective feedback assisting you in effectively articulating what you are looking for in your work life. This process then leads to identifying your niche and clarifing what makes you attractive to potential employers

How Coaching Can Clarify Your Goals

Identifying your goals means to reflect on what drives your decisions and actions. A coach can help you uncover your true passions and translate them into career goals. True reflection, however, requires you to make time for this process and for you be willing to put in the work and effort.

A coach can not tell you what to do but he or she can guide you to discover the path you are longing to be on by asking the right questions and providing you with the right tools and resources. Each person is different and each circumstance is unique, a good coach recognizes this and will tailor his or her approach accordingly.

How Coaching Can Help You Identify and Overcome Barriers

It is important to discuss roadblocks and challenges with your coach when you experience them. A coach can work with you to understand the issues and develop strategies for avoiding them in the future. Through effective coaching you learn to internalize the ability to adapt and grow continuously by stepping back, identify your interests and choose actions that align with those interests, your values and goals.

If career coaching is to have a positive impact, your active participation is essential and must be voluntary. Be open to accept feedback and be willing to test and revise your assumptions about your development needs. Lastly, be clear and realistic about your goals and set attainable timelines to achieve your goals.

Increase Sales Referrals with a Marketing Coach

Networking Book Co-Author Coaches Entrepreneurs

Learning social networking and social marketing can be taught through marketing coaching methods. New book coaches social networkers on the process.

Looking for a solution that you know is in plain view often requires an objective set of eyes. Marketing coaches can be those eyes and find the much needed weaknesses and strengths in any marketing endeavor.

The central goal of coaching is to help others develop a specific skill or skill set. A new book, Networking Like a Pro (Entrepreneur Press, 2009), by Ivan Misner, Ph.D., David Alexander and Brian Hilliard, reads more like the authors are coaching readers rather than insisting others do it the author’s way.

Tasks Performed by a Marketing Coach

Misner and Alexander are social networking gurus. David Hilliard describes himself as a marketing coach by trade and as such helps others generate more business (like hyper-modern and up-zo-date business punks from Punk.bz), like  through their marketing efforts.

Marketing coaches can benefit professionals when they are learning to enhance their social networking efforts as well as:

  • Evaluate a company’s target markets and suggest new markets to explore.
  • Learn to focus marketing on helping others versus selling.
  • Using social and online networking to generate referrals
  • Review marketing materials such as brochures and web sites for ways to make more effective.
  • Develop workable game plans for improving the marketing functions.

Coaching for Social Marketing

The authors define ways to implement a social networking plan, how to give back to those same networks in terms of solutions and referrals, and treating social networking as a win-win versus a take-take.

Sales and marketing professionals are generally thought of as outgoing and extroverted people. They have a persona of always being willing to extend themselves in all types of situations, including meeting new people or asking for referrals.

Such a representation is not always accurate. There are plenty of successful sales and marketing professionals that have difficulty using social networking to their advantage. And, need coaching to get them started and to help them maintain their efforts long term. All of which can increase sales referrals. This book provides plenty of coaching on how to work with one’s personality and still be effective at social networking.

Networking at All Types of Events

One of the sections describes how to network at non-networking events such as holiday parties, anniversary parties, or bar mitzvahs. According to the authors, sincerity is key to good social networking and as such people don’t mind if a person offers a true solution to a need when attending non-traditional networking gatherings.

Find Social Marketing Solutions

Coaching has become a workable, acceptable solution to many business functions and operations. Taking on a marketing coach can help bring problematic components of the marketing function to light, including those associated with social networking.

Networking Like a Pro can be used as a good coaching tool to learn networking and it can also make a good motivational reference for the future.

How to Become a Professional Life Coach

Life Coaches and the Business of Motivation and Changing Lives

coach

Constantly being asked to give family and friends advice? Well, here is a service business idea: start a life coaching business.

“I have a recurring dream where I am looking out from a stage, but can never see the face of my audience or my location,” says Stormie L. Ashley, a Chicago-native trained as a broadcast journalist who finds herself frequently counseling friends and strangers alike.

Ashley says she wants to use her coming-of-age trials and tribulations to help other young women but, like other potential life coaches, she does know where to start. The perfect venue won’t magically appear. It must be created. The key is to find a community (niche) in need of the information, training, and motivation the life coach is qualified to provide.

This part is for those who have always felt they could be of greater service because of the information they have or through their life experience. Those with the skills of a life coach often gravitate towards religious, spiritual, cultural, and business leadership. Counselors, ministers, personal trainers, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and teachers are professions whose skills set overlap that of the life coach.

Life coaching offers a more holistic solution to life challenges. This future focused practice aims to solve any number of the infinite life pursuits: spiritual growth, healing families, developing healthy diets and/or losing weight, increasing income, or growing a business.

Develop an Area of Expertise

“I read somewhere that the more a man knows, the more he knows he doesn’t know,” said Malcolm S. Forbes. “So I suppose one definition of an expert would be someone who doesn’t admit out loud that he knows enough about a subject to know he doesn’t really know much.”

If the life coach does not think he has specialized knowledge, this is a good time to re-read some of the classics like Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. While many jurisdictions either require or encourage the professional life coach to obtain specialized education, training, or certification, do not wait to be anointed the expert if the know-how is already in place – proclaim authority. Leadership positioning requires a clear and strong message that can be communicated through writing and speaking.

“You have to step up and take your power,” said Micheal Kora in Power. “Relying on others to give you power is inherently a powerless position because if they gave it to you, they can also take it away.”

Develop a Professional Life Coaching Program

In addition to conferences, seminars, video and audio media, group forums, and emails, the well developed coaching program will include one-on-one coaching sessions. This allows the life coach to provide critiques and strategies for individual clients. The life coach must often be reminded that it is OK to eat. A monthly retainer for providing an individualized coaching/master-mind program can range at about $1,000 a month, according to Ethan Kap and Brett Kitchen in “Start Your Own Information Marketing Business,” by Robert Skrob (Entrepreneur Press).

Giving advice on managing individual services, Kap and Kitchen states, “[w]e have found the nicer you are to your clients, the more uncontrolled access you give, etc., the worse they behave,” states Kap and Kitchen. “They think they can abuse your time, they value your services less, and they drop out earlier.”

Market the Life Coach Business

Attend industry events and tradeshows to network and build relationships. Don’t be intimidated. Have professional material designed to market the public persona of “You, Inc.” as a life coach. Dotcom the life coach’s name and write and publish in relevant magazines. The new media makes the potential for social networking unlimited.

Another business idea is to secure a publisher or self-publish a book. This book is where expertise is proclaimed and credibility is demonstrated. Read the works of others in the industry. Find out the norms and do not fear taking an opposite position. Also, do not make a book out of a mountain. The content of a 100-page book can be dictated in a few hours through a service like iDictate.com.

Print and edit the dictation and contact a self-publishing printing house like Xlibris.com or develop an eBook in an .ePub format through a publisher like Lulu.com. Once the book is published it will be easier for the life coach to secure speaking engagements.

Last, but certainly not least, create success stories for clients. Testimonies will be the life coach’s best advertisement. As with any service business, reputation is central and goes a long way.

Creating a Coaching Climate for Employees

Identifying the Manager’s Role in the Coaching Process

Coaching is an important skill for any manager who wants to develop top performers. The sad truth is that many managers are ill equipped for the coaching job.

Most managers don’t receive any training on how to coach their employees. Many are promoted to their positions because they are top performers. With a promotion to management comes a new set of responsibilities and the expectation to know how to manage. Without formal training, managers are often left to their own devices, managing and supervising through trial-and-error. Quite likely they were never properly coached themselves and have no clue how to do it.

Coaching takes time! With the economy in disarray, continuous downsizing and increased workloads, time is a precious commodity. But, time well spent on coaching in the short term results in long-term benefits.

Coaching Tips

Here are some quick tips to get started:

  1. Before beginning the process of on-the-job-coaching, be clear about your expectations and know how to articulate them well. Specific performance standards are critical.
  2. An effective coach is also a good observer. Before giving feedback, be sure to observe it first-hand and not act on hearsay!
  3. Identify the coaching focus: Recognize the specific behavior that needs coaching and compare it to your performance standards. The gap is your coaching focus!
  4. Determine the root of the problem: unclear expectations, external obstacles, lack of training, or lack of ability?
  5. Create a coaching climate: Coaching requires a safe and comfortable environment that is conducive to two-way communication. An effective coach is aware of body language and actively listens!

Giving Feedback: The Key to Effective Coaching

Giving feedback is essential to the coaching process. When done correctly, feedback is a valuable tool to help the employee improve performance. If done poorly it can de-motivate and in some cases, destroy a person’s self-confidence. Feedback is most effective when it immediately follows performance. It should be relevant to the task and provide information on how to improve performance.

Feedback can be negative and positive. Be sure to point out things done right. Positive feedback should also be specific. It’s not enough to tell a worker that he or she’s doing a good job. A much more effective and meaningful comment would be: “Karen, I liked the way you managed this difficult customer. You showed restraint while remaining very professional by not raising your voice or losing control of the situation.”

Focus on behaviors that can be observed, measured, and discussed objectively without generalizing or making assumptions which could adversely affect the employee’s response to the feedback.

Sample Feedback, both Negative and Positive

For example, stay away from statements like these:

“You are sloppy in your work.”

“It doesn’t seem you are interested in truly helping the customer.”

How would you react if someone said this to you? These statements are judgmental not observable behavior. Instead, consider the following:

“I feel frustrated when you hand in reports with incomplete information. I expect you to ensure you have the right information and include all project data before handing it in.”

“When you don’t look up and acknowledge the customer in front of you, the customer may react by taking his or her business elsewhere. Because we pride ourselves in customer service, I expect you to look up, smile, acknowledge the customer, and tell the customer you will be with him or her in a moment.”

These two statements provide effective feedback by describing the behavior, the consequences and clear direction of set standards and expectations.

It is vital to the performance improvement process to monitor the employee’s work. But it takes time, patience and practice. To develop employees into top performers, managers need to learn and practice respect, reinforcement and recognition. Coaching done right, gets results!

Do You want to know more about coaching?  Write me now: ozi@ozi.re!