Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
What is coaching?
Coaching is a process of one-on-one support to help leaders accelerate their personal skill building.
As top athletes continually strive to improve their game, effective leaders also understand that to truly become the leader they want to be, they must seek ways to continually improve their game. Coaching provides a regular opportunity for the deliberate practice necessary to build and enhance leadership skills. It is a supplement, not a replacement for the day-to-day feedback in the workplace.
Successful coaching happens when specific leadership areas are identified as priorities for development. These become the basis for the coaching process. The coach is and experienced and objective resource of tips and techniques for addressing real challenges in the job related to the skill-building areas.
For the sponsor, a coaching program can be a single project or it may be part of an integrated strategy of a corporate Leadership Development Plan. When aligned with the needs of the business, coaching ensures that individuals are focused on developing those skills with maximum impact on the strategic direction of the organization.
The research shows that coaching is a key strategy for the retention of high performing individuals.
How does coaching work?
The sponsor and the client agree on the goals they want to achieve. The coach and client anticipate meeting, on average, one to two times a month for a designated period. During the sessions, the client and the coach discuss issues or challenges and different tactics, techniques and skills that can be used to develop skill in the agreed upon development areas. The client then tries out new approaches, skills and techniques in handling the real challenges of their job.
Coaching is conducted on a one-to-one basis, in person. It is completely CONFIDENTIAL giving the client an opportunity to share work related challenges while gaining an external perspective.
How do you decide on priority areas for coaching?
Coaching goals are set based on identification of priorities between the client and the sponsor based on the priorities of the leader’s role and the strategic direction of the organization. Successful organizations frequently identify Key Success Factors or leadership competencies required for success in their organizations. The alignment of coaching goals to the Key Success Factors for the organization helps to determine the focus of the coaching experience and where the individual and the organization will most benefit.
Do you know how busy I am…? I just don’t have the time?
It does seem like we are busier now than we have ever been. View coaching as an investment, of one to two hours per month on average, in your continuous journey of leadership development. You will discover ways to maximize the use of your time, to restore and to work more efficiently and effectively. You will find ways to increase productivity and work smarter. One to two hours per month will help you become the leader that you know you can be and get the results that you desire.
I just had an evaluation and I don’t really have problems that need addressing?
Pivotal does not use coaching to address problem areas; it is all about the development and enhancement of leadership skills. Top athletes have top coaches and so should top employees. People who embrace coaching are fully engaged and want to be effective leaders. This is not therapy or counseling. We are not looking to fix something that is broken. We work with “whole” individuals who want to live up to their fullest leadership potential. Organizations view coaching as an investment in their talent.
I should be able to do this myself - why do I need a coach?
You will find that with a coach the journey will be quicker, easier and more rewarding than if you go it alone. When athletes hire trainers, they are looking to get in the best shape possible. Leadership coaches are hired to get you in your best leadership shape. Working with a leadership coach demonstrates to others in the organization the value you place on effective leadership.
Is it really worth the time and money?
The research shows that coaching is a key enabler for individual skill building. It is practical, it cultivates deliberate practice and it is related to real challenges in the job. It is also a proven strategy for retaining high performing employees.
Successful organizations recognize the benefits of increasing leadership capacity and make their executives accountable for making sure that they are successful in identifying and grooming top talent on an on-going basis. As an individual you need to think about what value you place on yourself and other leaders in your organization. Coaching is a highly successful strategy for helping individuals build their leadership skills thereby helping build the leadership capacity of the organization.
How does the organization gain from including coaching in their leadership development plan?
Coaching in the organization will give structure and focus that will help leaders and teams get a clear picture of who they are and what they want to be. They will be clear about what they need to do to achieve their goals.
Here are some of the benefits identified from being coached:
- Provides a venue to create shared vision,
- Accelerates the development of top talent,
- Easily complements other programs with the corporate Development Plan,
- Provides a lasting advantage to the individual and the organization,
- Helps in the development of new skills and competency enhancements,
- Encourages individuals to take responsibility for their own development,
- Demonstrates corporate interest in the employee, and
- Creates a common leadership language among participants
What about the individuals, how will they benefit?
The gains are varied and individual. The popularity of coaching and the willingness by top companies to invest in it speaks volumes to this subject. There is an expectation that coached individuals will enhance their leadership capacities and life quality to become better leaders and advocates of the organization. Some corporate benefits from coaching include:
- Increased responsibility and accountability by the participant,
- Appreciation of the contribution of others,
- Corporate advocacy,
- Improved social and communication skills,
- Enhanced innovative thinking and judgment capacities,
- Trust and commitment to action, and
- Increased time management and ability to multitask.
The coach will work on the area decided on between the sponsor (corporation), and the individual being coached. Desired results and their measurement are always agreed upon prior to the delivery of the coaching sessions for monitoring.
Who should be coached?
Coaching can benefit most if not all individuals providing they are willing and committed to the program. There needs to be a desire for personal development and a willingness to embrace on-going learning. There is usually some doubt in the early stages as there often is with any new initiative. This doubt is quickly gone once the coaching sessions are experienced and the mystery is eliminated. Individuals quickly see the empowerment that can happen as a result of coaching.
There are also those individuals who are not well suited to leadership development coaching. These individuals are closed-minded and are unwilling to accept change or have no interest in personal development. Pivotal does not provided services for individuals with performance or behavior problems. We are not about addressing problems; we are about building leaders.
Individuals in senior management seem to benefit the most because they are able to touch more employees due to their position. Though this seems like a logical assumption, there are also exceptions to this where an employee, not in a senior role, has impact on a considerable number of employees or is an individual with the potential for leadership and therefore may also be a prime candidate.
Why would I hire a coach from Pivotal Leadership Services?
This is what we do. We are committed to leadership development and understand how leaders are developed and the benefits to be gained for the individual and the organization. Our associates have an in-depth knowledge about growing leaders. They have also held executive positions themselves and so they truly understand the challenges leaders face. Our work, processes and methodologies in the area of Leadership Development allows us to incorporate coaching where it makes sense within the organization and for the individuals in order to achieve the desired results.
What does it cost?
Costs of programs vary depending on the specific services to be delivered. The coaching specific fees range from $200.00 - $350.00 per hourly session and are scheduled once to twice per month depending on the desired results and the specifics of the program. We are very clear in outlining our services, fees and measurable results before commencing any engagements.
What about confidentiality?
A relationship of trust and confidentiality is key to the coaching relationship. Though the sponsor pays for the program, we do not report, discuss or divulge the details of any coaching session. In fact, the value will become obvious in the individuals behaviors and there is no necessity for divulging the details of the sessions. Our reputation in the coaching business is all about trust and confidentiality. The details of confidentiality is discussed prior to any program commencement and agreed upon by all parties.
I don’t know if I am comfortable with all this coaching stuff?
It can seem a little daunting when you consider coaching as it can when you introduce any type of change. Others may fear that the coaching will be seen as a sign of weakness and still others will find it hard to justify spending the money.
Top organizations see the value of investing in their leaders and are doing so increasingly as they recognize leadership development as the strategic advantage of the twenty first century. You are entitled to your feelings but should not let them stop you from discovering the incredible personal and corporate value derived from coaching. Contact us and we will answer further any questions that you have and get you on your way to an empowering journey of personal and leadership development.