As an individual progresses within your organisation, they may benefit from the opportunity to work with an external, objective coach who would provide a secure, reflective environment in which they could learn from their past experience, gain a realistic view of their present situation and plan for the future.
I would help each person to explore and assess their current situation, identify aims for the future, and plan the steps needed to achieve these.
Whilst the detailed content that would be covered with each individual would be very different depending on their circumstances and needs, the broad objectives of the coaching could include:
– help the individual to form a more objective and comprehensive view of their strengths and weaknesses
– assess current performance in relation to where it should be, and plan strategies to close any gaps
– explore behavioural styles and what changes might be needed to improve impact
– identify future career aims and plan for how to achieve these.
There may also be specific areas which the coaching covers including:
Leading and managing people
Persuasion and influencing
Dealing with conflict
Personal impact and presence
My role would be to challenge in a supportive way and act as an independent and objective sounding board. By using active listening techniques – reflecting, probing and clarifying – ownership of the process and its outcomes would lie firmly with the individual.
I have an extensive toolkit of exercises, questionnaires and structured discussions which I would draw on. These can cover looking back over life/work and achievements to date, analysing career anchors, values and interests, looking at the role the individual plays within a team and identifying skills gained both in and out of paid work. We might then look to complete a SWOT analysis of current circumstances, and I can also carry out psychometric testing – SHL OPQ.
An exercise which I regularly complete uses 3rd party references (360° appraisal) to help the individual gain a clearer, more objective view of how their performance is viewed by others (such as colleagues, direct reports and contacts in other organisations) and to provide the motivation to change. This would involve gaining agreement from the individual about who to approach, emailing a questionnaire to each referee, compiling the overall results to maintain anonymity and feeding this back to the person in a supportive and constructive way.