June 4, 2023
Executing a coaching program typically spans a duration of six months or longer, subject to variations based on individual circumstances. Engaging in a longer-term coaching relationship allows ample time for skill refinement and meaningful transformation. At the onset, the coach’s primary objective is to deeply understand you as a client, delving into your work environment, personal history, and motivations. This initial stage is dedicated to fostering a strong bond of trust and intimacy between both parties.
The coaching assignment typically progresses through four distinct stages, which are sequential and somewhat overlapping. It is recommended that all coaching, whether conducted by an external professional coach or an internal coach, adheres to this four-stage process or a similar framework tailored to the organization’s needs:
In this stage, the coachee engages in shortlisting and selecting a suitable coach. It is important for the coachee and coach to have a “chemistry” meeting to assess their compatibility and determine if they can work together effectively and productively.
The contracting stage involves the participation of the coachee’s line manager. Together, they define clear expectations, outcomes, and boundaries for the coaching engagement. This ensures alignment with organizational objectives and facilitates accountability.
This stage encompasses the core coaching process, typically spanning an agreed-upon period, such as 6-8 sessions over 6-9 months. During this time, the coach and coachee engage in regular coaching sessions, focusing on the coachee’s growth, development, and achievement of their coaching goals.
The final stage involves evaluating the coaching process to assess its success against initial expectations. This evaluation encompasses reviewing the benefits experienced by the individual, team, and organization as a result of the coaching. Additionally, any valuable learnings from the coaching experience are identified and can be applied elsewhere within the organization.
These four stages provide a framework for effective coaching assignments. However, it is important to adapt and customize the process to suit the specific needs and context of the organization.
To assess progress quantitatively, executive coaches often employ a comprehensive scoring system. They diligently seek tangible evidence of behavioral changes and tangible outcomes. Through thought-provoking questions and soliciting feedback from your colleagues, coaches gain valuable insights into your capabilities and identify effective strategies. This ongoing evaluation process enables them to tailor subsequent coaching sessions to your specific needs.
Throughout the coaching journey, periodic debriefings occur, providing crucial opportunities for coaches to share their observations and assist you in deepening your self-reflection. These discussions profoundly impact the content and direction of future coaching sessions, ensuring a dynamic and personalized approach.
As the coaching process nears its conclusion, a pivotal final interview takes place, involving both clients and their colleagues. This interview serves as a comprehensive evaluation, comparing the initial stages of the journey to the achieved results. By assessing the transformation and growth experienced, this conclusive step reinforces the value and impact of the coaching program.
If you want to know how Executive coaching work in detail, here’s how:
In your initial session, the primary focus is on building a strong foundation between you and your coach. This involves:
The majority of your coaching journey will be spent in these sessions. You can expect regular meetings every two to three weeks, typically totaling between six and twelve sessions (on average). During each session, you will:
When you are not engaged in coaching sessions, it is essential to put your learnings into action. Your coach will hold you accountable during subsequent sessions, so make sure to:
As your coaching journey nears its end, your final session will involve the following elements:
So, how are these coaching sessions structured? To make the most of your executive coaching sessions and maximize the time with your coach, here is a suggested guideline for a typical 50-60 minute session. Remember that this is a starting point, and you can collaborate with your coach to tailor the structure to your specific needs:
Take a few minutes to update your coach on any significant developments or insights since your last session. Share relevant experiences or challenges that may impact your coaching progress.
Clearly articulate your specific coaching request or intention for the session. This can be related to areas where you feel stuck, obstacles you’re facing, or goals you want to achieve. State what you aim to gain or resolve by the end of the session.
Engage in an in-depth exploration of your coaching request. Your coach will ask thought-provoking questions, challenge your assumptions, and offer guidance to help you gain clarity and perspective. This is the core of the session, where you dive into the heart of the matter.
Identify actionable steps, practices, or projects that you commit to implementing between sessions. These commitments should align with your coaching goals and intentions. Your coach may provide additional suggestions or support to enhance your progress.
Summarize the key insights and action steps from the session. Confirm the date and time for your next coaching session. This closure ensures clarity and accountability for the ongoing coaching process.
During the initial sessions, the focus will be on determining the direction of your coaching work and identifying projects based on your goals and areas for growth.
As you progress, you’ll take a more active role in shaping the sessions. Come prepared with a clear “request for coaching” and be specific about what you want to achieve by the end of the session. This could involve addressing obstacles, building on recent discoveries, or finding ways to overcome challenges. Remember to frame your requests in terms of the desired outcome you seek.
So, this is how executive coaching work. By actively participating and taking ownership of the coaching process, you accelerate your progress. You are responsible for the direction, pace, and effectiveness of your coaching. If any part of the coaching process feels ineffective or unsatisfactory, communicate it to your coach so you can collaboratively find solutions and optimize your coaching experience.