Executive Coaching Services: Clarify.  Align.  Act.

by Paul Tripp in August 13th, 2020

"I've been managing people for years and I don't think of myself as an individual contributor anymore, but with the merger, COVID and all of these tight deadlines, I find that it's just easier to do tasks myself because I know I'll do it right.  My problem is I'm working more than ever, my calendar is so full I don't have time to eat or go to the bathroom, and I'm working from home!" a CHRO confessed to me this past week.  He is not alone.  I heard the same theme from a CTO, a COO and CEO of a 10K+ company.  

All four of my clients came to the table thinking that their COVID induced full schedule with zero personal time was the problem.  What do you think?  

Per The Harvard Business Review, the top three reasons that executive coaches are engaged are: to develop high potentials or facilitate transition, to act as a sounding board, or to address derailing behavior. Their corresponding report also notes that personal issues inevitably enter into coaching as these goals are pursued. In all engagements, the underlying expectation is that working with an executive coach will improve both executives’ effectiveness and the effectiveness of the organizations they lead.

So what does the Executive Coaching engagement look like?  Once you’ve identified the need for an executive coach and have chosen your "best fit", the fun begins. 

Introduction (Clarify)

This occurs in two meetings.  The first is our introductory free 30-minute conversation, and once we are matched, the second occurs in our Discovery call.  These two encounters clarify a strategic and personal fit between the executive and coach to ensure that the engagement is founded upon the potential for success.

Analysis (Clarify) 

With fit and rapport established, the initial stages of an executive coaching service engagement will be focused around an analysis of the executive’s skill set and context. During this stage we might use a 360 assessment tool, an attitudinal assessment tool or we may decide to solicit feedback from a comprehensive array of stakeholders to identify, as accurately as possible, any performance gaps that exist between an executive’s current state and their ideal performance.

Goal Setting (Align)

Based on the gaps we identify, areas of high-impact are identified. The goals for improvement are narrowed and defined, giving scope to the coaching engagement and ensuring that its effects are quantifiable.  

Coaching (Act)

The thrust of a coaching engagement is typically a defined series of one-to-one meetings in pursuit of the predefined goals. These may involve workshops, directed conversations around behavior, directed conversations around relevant situations, or organic room for discussion.

Continual Feedback (Act)

Throughout an executive coaching engagement, feedback between the coach and the executive is continuous.  Depending on how you choose to engage, feedback can also be gathered from stakeholders and relayed both to the participant within the engagement and to the organizational stakeholders. The engagement may be refined based on developing outcomes.  It's really up to you.  

Review (Clarify, Align, Act)

At the culmination of a coaching engagement, a final assessment of executive performance is conducted to identify progress toward the predefined goals. I like to use an ROI tool to help my executives quantify the impact of the coaching engagement.  For other executives, I have worked in the larger context of organizational feedback to create a culture of coaching.  

Clarify. Align. Act - it all begins with you and what you bring to the table.    You've now been given some context into how the executive coaching process works.  I have worked with executives in a myriad of industries across the country.

What's stopping you from starting?