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Finding The Perfect Coaching Partner

Finding The Perfect Coaching Partner

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Finding The Perfect Coaching Partner

Faced with a pressing need to help your leaders forge ahead through an increasingly uncertain world, you’ve decided to take the plunge and partner with a leadership coaching firm.

What a smart cookie you are.

Coaching is a difference maker. In the world of development, it’s a superpower that can supercharge your people.

It can help leaders at all levels of your organization become more effective, more empathetic and more productive. Ultimately, a well-coached leader will help make all of your people more engaged and productive. It’s the ultimate win-win scenario in leadership development.

But for most organizations, developing an appetite for coaching is not the toughest part. The real challenge is finding the right coaching partner. And that, my friend, can be a real mind-bending experience.

So many providers, so many approaches, so many promises. The leadership coaching industry is a complex matrix of solutions, technologies and philosophies. It’s also an industry that is chock full of posers – fitness trainers, wellness gurus and holistic practitioners – moonlighting as professional business coaches.

In a bid to help you understand the true and full power of coaching and how to find your perfect coaching partner, we’ve decided to pull back the curtain and tell you a few things that many other coaching firms won’t. Think of it as your coaching partner checklist.

What leadership coaching is (and what it isn’t)

In short, coaching is one of the most powerful development tools ever created.

It’s a very personalized, intimate, one-on-one intervention that focuses on collaboration between coach and coachee to achieve pre-defined outcomes, some organizational and some personal. It’s all about setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change in a way that works for an individual leader.

Coaches do not “tell” coachees what to do; they help leaders examine the challenges they face and then identify their own solutions. It’s all about the journey to grow as an individual and the coach serves as a guide. It is, in every way, a true partnership.

If that’s what coaching is, then what is it not?

Coaching is not mentoring, counselling or training. Although valuable in and of themselves, those disciplines are more about imparting wisdom or knowledge to a leader. Although they may involve coaching-like approaches, the relationships are more hierarchical, particularly in a mentor-mentee scenario.

And let’s be totally frank. Although you may have many hobbies and share an interest in a particular type of cuisine, coaching is not about swapping recipes for healthy eating or setting fitness goals. It’s not guidance on yoga poses or meditation. Those are all valuable and satisfying activities. But they do not fall into the realm of professional coaching.

How to start a search for the perfect coaching partner?

If you’re company has never provided coaching at scale, or limited coaching solutions to a select few senior executives, then you’re going to have to do some homework before you can start looking for that perfect professional coaching partner.

To be effective, a coaching solution needs to be fully aligned with an organization and its leadership culture. There is very little value in providing coaching for leaders that is at odds with the expectations the organization has for those leaders.

So, methodically answer the following questions and record the answers. They will help to inform your search for a coaching firm.

  • Who makes decisions about leadership development in your company and what are their expectations?
  • How would your organization define the goals for your leadership and talent strategy?
  • How would you define and measure success in leadership development?
  • What are the ideal behaviour and mindset changes you would like to see from your leaders after they are exposed to coaching?
  • What strengths do you want to see enhanced?
  • How would you like your employees to act differently?

When you can answer these questions, then you are ready to start looking for a coaching partner. You now know how decisions about leadership development are made, the goals and modes of measurement and the desired outcomes. Let’s start shopping for a professional coach.

How to find your perfect coaching partner

Be warned: this is a very competitive industry and there is a huge variance between the real coaching pros and the posers. You will do much better if you understand how to spot a real coach but also if you have a list of must-have requirements.

Your coaching partnership must involve:

A firm that offers certified, accredited and 100-per-cent full-time, professional coaches. A coaching partner that takes the time to ask you question to find out your organization’s needs and desired outcomes. And you definitely want a coaching partner that will ensure that the work completely aligns with organizational and leadership culture.

You can deduce a lot of this information from reading a coaching partner’s website or marketing content. But a better approach is to structure an RFP that will give you all the answers you need to pick the right firm.

The coaching RFP checklist

Here are some examples of questions that absolutely, positively must be part of your RFP:

What professional coaching credentials do your coaches hold? 

There are a lot of self-trained, self-identified coaches out there. You definitely want someone with credentials from a recognized leader in the coaching profession, like the International Coaching Federation.

What experiences do your coaches have with coaching diverse employees from different backgrounds and industries? 

Your employee group is a collection of individuals with diverse experiences, backgrounds and career goals. Your coaching partner should be able to find you coaches that are similarly diverse and possess a wealth of related career experience.

How big is the coach pool? 

It’s important to have a broad selection of coaches to pick from. Both to ensure that your leaders are getting coaching when they need it, but also to ensure that there is proper fit between coach and coachee.

What languages do your coaches speak and where are they located? 

Business is a global concern now and coaching needs to be able to reflect a broad array of languages, cultures, and time zones.

What is the diversity mix of your coaches? For example, gender, racial diversity, LGBTQ+

Diversity and inclusion are important considerations in picking a coaching partner. You definitely want a partner that can draw upon an extremely diverse roster of coaches that reflect the importance of gender, race and sexual orientation.

How do you match coaches with employees? 

Coaching firms with small coach rosters will not allow for an intensive matching process. A broad and deep pool of coaches, and a process that helps coachees identify the kind of person they want to work with, will ensure a good match.

Describe your coaching process?

Even with global certifications, different firms still employee different models of coaching. Ask a prospective coaching partner to define their approach. As well, is there a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach or flexibility to design coaching solutions that fit the individual?

What type of technology do you use for the coaching platform?

With the pandemic still impacting face-to-face business interactions, it’s more important than ever to know the full details of your coaching partner’s technology platform. If not in person, then how will they deliver coaching? Will they rely on off-the-shelf video conferencing apps, or do they have a full proprietary platform that allows for seamless integration of coaching with scheduling, feedback and the measuring of outcomes?

Can your coaching partner measure outcomes?

Many coaching providers deliver the service but offer no way of gathering insights or generating reports on feedback and outcomes. If your organization is paying the freight for coaching, don’t you want to know the impact it’s having on your people?

Who are some of your clients and what do they have to say about your work?

Testimonials from other client organizations are a very good way of assessing the quality of any coaching firm. Let’s face it, if a coaching partner is good at their job, why wouldn’t clients want to sing it from the rooftops.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it’s certainly a good start and it captures many of the most important questions to ask a prospective coaching partner.

Coaching can have a profound impact on an organization and its people. But only if you have taken the time to find the best coaching partner. Best in terms of service, technology and outcomes.

Source: helloezra.com

Categories
Change Management Coaching People Development

A Paradigm Shift: Leaders Who Coach

A Paradigm Shift: Leaders Who Coach

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A Paradigm Shift Leaders Who Coach

“We knew at that point that coaching skills would help them slow down, tune into someone else’s concerns while still allowing them the time to engage in some self-care.”

Linda Lindberg, Vice President and Head of Commercial Management for Ericsson Market Area South East Asia, Oceania and India

Is a pandemic the right time to train line managers in coaching culture? 

In early 2020, that was the question facing leaders at Ericsson, the iconic Swedish telecommunications company, across the 11 countries in the Oceania, South East Asia and India market area.

Like many companies, Ericsson was anticipating a paradigm shift in leadership culture, with new behaviors, mindsets and skills emerging to meet new and often unpredictable needs of markets and employees. And with so many restrictions on the normal ebb and flow of commerce, the emphasis on developing home-grown leaders had never been as pronounced.

Ericsson had been planning for some months to do a massive leadership development and coaching skills program for all levels of leadership across the region. But when the pandemic struck, the 450 leaders who were the target for this program and the 9,000 employees they oversaw were suddenly forced to work from home.

Did it make sense to follow through with the training when managers and the people they were managing were so isolated from each other? Very quickly, Ericsson leadership determined that it not only made sense, it was essential.

“We knew for some time that we wanted to help our line leaders evolve into strong coaches,” said Priyanka Anand, Vice President and Head of Human Resources for Ericsson Market Area South East Asia, Oceania and India. “When the pandemic hit, it was clear early on that this wasn’t going to go away anytime soon. We also began to realize that helping our leaders deal with the stress and anxiety that their employees were going through was very important.”

In the past, many organizations would have looked at resilience or change management seminars when faced with an operational challenge like the pandemic. However, Anand said there was a strong sense that giving line leaders some insight into coaching culture might do more than just calm their nerves in the face of an unnerving situation.

The program that had been designed in part before the pandemic hit focused on five core goals, she said. 

  • Increase ability to make courageous and fact-based decisions.
  • Increase empathy for different perspectives and approaches.
  • Increase cross-company cooperation
  • Increase capacity to execute decisions quickly
  • Increase support for a “speak-up environment.”

Coaching culture, Anand said, was a clear path to connect all these priorities. “We wanted to evolve our leaders into being strong coaches,” she said. “To help their employees, we needed these leaders to be more empathetic. To do that, we needed them to know that they didn’t always have to give advice; sometimes listening is the most important thing they can do. And that helps create an environment where employees feel safe to speak up and express themselves.”

Linda Lindberg, Vice President and Head of Commercial Management for Ericsson Market Area South East Asia, Oceania and India, said the strategy behind using coaching culture to help line managers navigate the pandemic and support their employees was an attempt to “take leadership development to a more sustainable context.”

Ericsson performed a pulse survey in the spring to find out how everyone was holding up under the stress and strain of virtual work, Lindberg said. “The results showed that stress levels were up across the board,” she said. “We knew at that point that coaching skills would help them slow down, tune into someone else’s concerns while still allowing them the time to engage in some self-care.”

Although the goal of the coaching culture program was clear, the method for delivering the training was not going to be a challenge. Lindberg said that as a telecommunications company that was performing heroic work to keep people connected during the pandemic, Ericsson employees were very comfortable adapting to virtual technology. That meant they were equally comfortable working or learning in a virtual environment, she added.

“Digital investment has always been part of our DNA,” said Anand. “It’s always top-of-mind in our planning, and we’re always looking at ways of building our digital capacity. So, people adjusted to the virtual nature of the learning opportunities.”

More than 450 of the line managers attended a series of virtual “teaser” sessions. Then, the managers were asked to sign up for a series of intensive sessions on coaching culture and skills. Nearly three quarters of those who attended the teasers ultimately chose to participate in the program. 

As well, participants were encouraged to participate in “coaching clubs” where they could practice their coach conversations. “Learning theories is okay but you really need to dive in and do it and put it into practice before it becomes part of you,” said Lindberg. “Those coaching clubs created a stickiness around the training. It helped us develop those internal muscles around coaching skills.” 

The initial results from the program were impressive. A strong majority of the participants ranked their group coaching skills sessions very highly, Lindberg said. And seven in 10 participants reported that their performance had improved as a result of being involved in the program.

Ultimately, the coaching skills program served two major goals for Ericsson, Lindberg said. It provided line managers with the tools and mindset necessary to deal with the current virtual work environment. However, there were other, longer-term benefits as well.

“We have always talked about the importance of accountability in our leaders,” Lindberg said. “The best way to enable accountability is through coaching skills. When your leaders realize they are being accountable, it triggers some pride. It allows them all to own their results. And it allows them to grow as leaders and build bench strength for the company. It’s literally a culture where leaders are building other leaders, grooming and preparing them for future roles.”

Kevin Ackermann, Director, Client Solutions, LHH

Source: lhh.com

Categories
Career Transition, Outplacement and Mobility Change Management Coaching People Development

Living Your Best Life: 4 Key Lessons that Will Advance Your Career

Living Your Best Life: 4 Key Lessons that Will Advance Your Career

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Living Your Best Life 4 Key Lessons that Will Advance Your Career

If you want to be the CEO of a Fortune 100 company, then your career path needs to be much more deliberate

Caroline Pfeiffer Marinho

After three years away from the corporate world, Shanthi Flynn knew she was ready to take a step forward in her career.

A former top executive at some of the world’s largest and most iconic companies—including Ford Motor Co., The Boots Company and A.S. Watson Group—Flynn had taken three years off to focus on her family. It wasn’t clear when or even if she would return to the corporate world.

And then one day, she uttered seven words that would ultimately serve as a turning point in the evolution of her professional career.

“My older daughter, who was three at the time, kept biting her younger sister on the face,” Flynn said recently in an LHH Conversations Series live-stream event. “I found myself saying, ‘Stop biting your sister on the face’ repeatedly. It’s not something that I ever thought I’d be saying.”

The desire to return to the corporate world was getting quite strong. However, Flynn conceded that it wasn’t clear she could return to a senior job with a large corporation, something that she very much still wanted. “When I took my career break out, it tested my value proposition,” she said.

“I thought, ‘I’ve got three kids now, it’s hard to step back into a separate world.’ I had been used to making fast decisions and I was confident. Being out of the game for three years created doubt in my ability to return. My confidence had a dent for the first time in my career.”

Unexpectedly, a headhunter contacted her about a high-level job with Walmart Asia and—within months—she was back on her career track once again. “I’m a strong believer that if you make the right choices, you’re competent in what you do and can tell your story in a compelling way, then it won’t matter if you take time out to do different things.”

Flynn would go on to work five years for Walmart before striking out on her own as a strategic leadership consultant. In early 2016, she accepted the position of chief human resource officer with the Adecco Group in Zurich. Two years ago, she went back to her own consulting practice, with a focus on keynote speaking and advising executives and boards, leveraging her deep and broad HR expertise as well as business leadership.

Through her varied, three-decade career as an HR executive and business leader, Flynn said she learned many important lessons about how to manage a career, how to thrive as a woman in what is still largely a man’s world of business and, last but not least, how a well-structured network is your best lifeline at key career inflection points.

How women can thrive without giving into the temptation to ‘act more like a man’

Flynn started her career at the Ford Motor Company plant in Dagenham, a suburb of East London and a seminal monument in the history of United Kingdom labor law. It was there, in 1968, that 187 female Ford employees walked off the job for three weeks. The strike was a catalyst for the 1970 Equal Pay Act which attempted to prohibit the inequitable treatment between working men and women.

“My choice to join Ford Motor Company in the UK was probably my most foundational choice,” Flynn said. “I spent nearly 10 years there; my first three years were in a car plant where there were probably about 30 women and about 10,000 men. So, as you can imagine, it was a pretty male-dominated environment.”

Although the atmosphere was generally tough for the women working there, Ford was a “truly global company that invested heavily in its people.” Flynn was able to move very quickly through several jobs, which not only built out her resumé but “helped me build my confidence.”

The lessons acquired from being one of the few women in a male-dominated company still resonate today. “As a woman, you can be tough and decisive,” she said. “Those are not male attributes. You just have to be yourself. If you try to copy all the men in the room, you’re not bringing anything different to the table.”

If you learn anything in your career, learn to be opportunistic

Flynn said that even with all the best laid plans, no one can completely predict the course of their careers. Especially today, when so few people spend their entire working lives with one organization. The trick for those people who want to get ahead is to focus keenly on what kind of job they ultimately want to hold, and then look for those opportunities to realize that dream.

That will mean using a broad interpretation of “opportunity.” Don’t get hung up on obtaining a particular title, or on the idea that every move you make needs to be upward. Try to assess the potential in every opportunity, no matter how unlikely it may seem at the time.

“If you want to be the CEO of a Fortune 100 company, then your career path needs to be much more deliberate,” Flynn said. “You need to know all of the steps you have to take on that journey. Look for those opportunistic moments that allow you to make a different decision or take a different course.”

No matter where you go or what you do, keep building your network

When Flynn first went to Hong Kong in 2002—she followed her husband who had received a teaching position—she admitted to having a huge gap in her career network. Back in the UK, Flynn said she had developed an extensive, high-level network of contacts who both sought and offered support.

In Hong Kong, however, it was like starting over. “I had absolutely no network in Hong Kong,” she said. “So, I went to a headhunter and said, ‘I’m not looking for a job, but I would like to know who are the best networkers in Hong Kong in my space. Ultimately, the headhunter helped connect me to a network with nearly 200 people.”

After developing a new network, Flynn said she set about applying best practices to allow her to get the most out of the people she was meeting. At the top of that list was to not rely solely on connections made through social media. 

“LinkedIn is a blessing and a curse,” she said. “With social media, sometimes you can be in contact with people and not really in contact with people. You have to meet people and have a tangible conversation to develop a network connection. Go for a coffee or try to have a phone or video call, to build presence.”

After building presence, it is important to also remember to be deliberate in what you want from your network. “Before you reach out to your network, you have to have an idea of what it is you want from them in terms of advice or even sponsorship. ‘I’d like to work for the company you work for, how do I do that?’ You have to have some questions that you need answered.”

The best advice I’ve ever received

Flynn said that one of the best parts of cultivating a solid professional network is that you are exposed to some truly sage advice. Of all the things she has been told over the years, Flynn said advice on being “bold and fearless” stands out.

“Sometimes, people overthink things. You have to think through your career decisions carefully but there’s always an element of leap, where you cannot know everything, you cannot gather all the facts.”

Now having moved from an operational role into an advisory and consulting role, Flynn said she still tries to practice a bold and fearless approach to her life and career. She will never stop learning new skills or challenging herself. Her focus, as always, is to help others grow.

“I don’t think I would change anything about my career,” she said. “I very rarely ever look back. Learn from the past and always look forward.”

Source: lhh.com

Categories
Change Management Coaching Organizational Development Workforce Transformations

5 Core Practices to Build an Effective Virtual Onboarding Program

5 Core Practices to Build an Effective Virtual Onboarding Program

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5 Core Practices to Build an Effective Virtual Onboarding Program

Onboarding has always been a critical link in the talent management process at Numeris. Jennifer Knibbs, National Director of People and Culture talks about what went into the design of their award-winning virtual onboarding program and how it ensures new hires are prepared to hit the ground running in their new roles.

Cara Danielson, SVP, Leadership Development Programs, LHH

When Numeris realized the pandemic would indefinitely put the brakes on in-person onboarding for new employees, they knew they were prepared to meet the challenge. Fortunately, well before “pandemic” and “COVID-19” became part of our lexicon in human resources, Numeris—an audience measurement whose origins go back nearly 80 years—had built the foundation for its virtual onboarding program.

All onboarding documentation had been migrated to fully digital channels, a digital toolkit was built to help new hires navigate onboarding, and a comprehensive online “100-day journey” was formulated to introduce and immerse a new employee in the company’s culture and values.

“We worked very closely with LHH, particularly on the digital toolkit, to ensure our onboarding program gives our people a complete sense of the values of our organization, our history and structure,” said Jennifer Knibbs, National Director of People and Culture at Numeris. “Everything we created and had been using prior to the pandemic has been shifted to virtual in a seamless fashion. We focused on a program that was flexible and easily adapted. That has really helped us through the crisis.”

Onboarding has always been a critical link in the talent management process at Numeris. Making sure new hires are prepared and equipped to hit the ground running in their new roles is essential to retaining top talent and keeping them engaged.

Research reported by the Society for Human Rights Management (SHRM) has clearly established the relationship between effective onboarding and both retention and engagement. SHRM reported results from a survey conducted by BambooHR, a workforce management software company, that showed up to one-third of respondents had quit a job in the first six months because of what they perceived to be an unfriendly environment, a lack of guidelines about responsibilities and too few training opportunities.

Conversely, research by the Wynhurst Group, a Washington D.C.-based consultancy, showed that employees who had the benefit of a structured onboarding process were nearly 60 percent more likely to be with the same company after three years. The Corporate Leadership Council weighed in with yet another study that showed properly onboarded employees were more engaged, more productive and more likely to engage in discretionary effort for their new employers.

Knibbs said Numeris has always tried to keep in mind that new hires who struggle with onboarding—which can leave recruits with too many questions and not nearly enough answers—are unlikely to become highly motivated, highly engaged employees. 

A degree of virtual onboarding has always made sense for Numeris, Knibbs noted. With a head office in Toronto, and three additional offices in Montreal, Richmond (B.C.) and Moncton, New Brunswick, the Numeris workforce has always been highly dispersed.

When social distancing and working from home became standards in the response to COVID-19, it created an opportunity for Numeris to test the limits of their virtual onboarding experience.

“The nature of our business, and the structure of the company, meant that we were already changing how connections were being made between new hires and our managers,” Knibbs said. “Now that we can’t do any of the onboarding process in person, we’ve found that our program does a very good job of creating a good experience and makes our new people feel welcomed and supported, and that they have all the tools they need to succeed.”

The key element in Numeris’ virtual onboarding is the “100-day Journey” for employees and leaders. Knibbs said the program features a broad array of programs and content that covers company values, culture, history and structure. The online materials are augmented with a “Leader Stream,” where new employees can meet virtually with many of the company’s leaders and directly discuss culture and expectations. 

The journey concludes with a survey which asks employees if they got all of the information they need to integrate into their new organization, she added.

Organizations that have acted proactively to embrace virtual onboarding build a foundation on a handful of core principles

1. Onboarding is a journey; take your time

Many organizations try to compress onboarding to limit the amount of “down time” an employee spends getting acclimatized. But a rushed or incomplete onboarding process will create a myriad of problems down the road, including an increased likelihood the employee in question will leave within the first six months.

2. Embrace onboarding as a best practice

According to onboarding research by TalentLMS, only 27% of companies have a fully online onboarding process, 33% use a blended offline and online approach, while 40% have yet to move any part of their onboarding program online. But organizations that do embrace online onboarding and make full use of virtual technologies retain top talent longer and have better overall employee engagement. Map out everything a new hire needs to know in the first 30 days, 60 days and 100 days and make it a formal offering.

3. Think like a new hire

If you ask new hires what they really want, they would tell you that logging onto the company network and meeting key leaders and peers are two of their top priorities. Unfortunately, many onboarding programs get bogged down at the start with endless paperwork. Identify, simplify and digitize all forms and resources so that new hires can complete everything online without feeling overwhelmed on their first day.

4. Reach out and make contact with managers and mentors

Take steps to recreate formerly in-person aspects of onboarding in a digital environment by making full use of video conference calls with managers and mentors. New hires need to work with their managers to make time for self-directed learning, mentoring, coaching and cross-functional knowledge sharing. Build in milestones that allow new hires to develop a goal-orientated mindset.

5. Get an early start

There are huge benefits to be reaped by starting the onboarding process before a new employee’s first day. Introducing them to the online onboarding journey and getting HR paperwork done as early as possible will allow new hires to focus on absorbing the culture and values of their new organization. 

Focusing on these core elements, Numeris was able to create a virtual onboarding process that was purpose-built for the pandemic. “We were thrilled to be recognized with a Brandon Hall Award for our all virtual onboarding program. We don’t expect employees to simply figure things out for themselves. We’ve created a scalable onboarding journey that’s driving efficiencies and consistency. When lockdown hit, we were ready.” 

“A lot of organizations think onboarding is something that you can do in one week,” said Knibbs. “It takes much longer to prepare a new employee. And the research shows that the first 100 days is a critical period in the process of building that new relationship. We didn’t want the pandemic to impact our onboarding process and it appears that we haven’t skipped a beat.”

Source: lhh.com

Categories
Coaching Organizational Development People Development Workforce Transformations

HR Professional’s Top Concerns When Facing Seismic Change

HR Professional’s Top Concerns When Facing Seismic Change

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HR Professional’s Top Concerns When Facing Seismic Change

This white paper covers the big concerns of HR professionals when it comes to the new challenges they are facing due to seismic workplace changes.

When the landscape of work gets more challenging than usual, as it has around the numerous difficulties faced by workforces because of COVID-19, what are the top concerns of HR professionals in terms of managing and maintaining their talent? Ezra compares the popular opinions to our findings from participants in our Free Month Of Coaching program for HR leaders.

The industry press said:

  • Only 38% of companies had work from home policies in place at the start of the pandemic.
  • 14.83% of HR professionals were issuing communications around remote work.
  • 11.29% were developing standards for remote work.
  • 88% of organizations have transitioned to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, we expected participants in our coaching program to want to focus on helping others to work effectively in a remote setting.

What we found was actually that HR professionals prioritized support around how to lead change effectively, along with how to demonstrate confidence and build it in others.

  • 62% requested coaching around projecting and instilling confidence.
  • 55% of participants requested coaching around leading change.
  • 33% selected achieving results virtually as a target.
  • Just 17% selected virtual collaboration.

As HR were the ones needing to provide the info about change to employees, they were more focused on how to communicate this effectively and confidently rather than the mere logistics of leading Zoom calls etc, which shows how good professionals will focus on the bigger picture of leading rather than just execution.

Source: Ezra

Categories
Coaching People Development

Diversifying Talent Pipelines With Democratized Coaching

Diversifying Talent Pipelines With Democratized Coaching

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implicit bias

This article discusses how democratizing coaching initiatives can remove problems with implicit bias, helping organizations to make the most of their best people and potentials.

Did you know that individuals are more likely to promote and hire people who look like them? This is called implicit bias, the way that people unintentionally exhibit preferences for one group over another (often without even realizing they are doing it) and it stops many organizations from building out the kind of diverse and inclusive talent pipelines that they aspire to have.

  • Today 3 out of 4 C suite executives are male.
  • In 2019, more CEO jobs at top companies in the US went to men named Jeffrey than to women.
  • Workplace equity is the top driver of job satisfaction among professional women.

Research from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University found that the hiring decisions at 40 top financial and law firms had more to do with the interviewer’s similarity to the candidate than the candidate’s qualifications.

Since women and people of color are often underrepresented at senior levels, this affinity bias risks entrenching existing gaps in opportunity.

Gender disparity gets worse further up the chain.

  • Men hold 62% of managerial positions.
  • Only 22% of C-suite executives are women, and only 4% are women of color.
  • White men represent just one third of the entry-level workforce in the US but represent more than two thirds of the C suite.

Removing bias can massively help! When the US Department of Agriculture began a blind hiring process – removing names from the resumes of candidates for two Senior Executive Services (SES) classes – the number of women in the SES at the department increased by 41%.

  • Equalizing access to resources such as coaching supports a more diverse workforce.
  • Historically, the high cost meant that it was only provided for a few individuals; over 40% of companies that offer coaching provide it to 15 or fewer employees.
  • This generally gets “rationed” out to the C-suite.
  • Only 4% of employees receiving coaching were in non-managerial positions.
  • 80% of workers in a recent survey said that coaching boosted their communication skills, productivity and job satisfaction.

Gender and race disparity only gets worse up towards C suite level, but an open and easily accessible coaching solution can help companies move in the right direction by ensuring that pathways to promotion are opened up for all employees, getting rid of unintentional biases.

Source: Ezra

Categories
Coaching People Development

There Isn’t a Better Time to Build a True Coaching Culture

There Isn’t a Better Time to Build a True Coaching Culture

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building coaching culture

When building a coaching culture, leaders must keep these three must-know qualities in mind to successfully create the conditions to generate new ideas while keeping employees confident and engaged.

Margo Hoyt, Managing Director, Talent & Leadership Development, LHH

There are a lot of people in the human resources world talking about building a “coaching culture” and encouraging leaders to have more “coach-like conversations.” But how much do we really know about the work involved in making these shifts?

The focus on coaching culture comes out of a recognition that, more than ever before, we need leaders who can quickly adapt their mindsets and skillsets to respond to rapidly changing conditions.

Thanks to the pandemic, many teams are working from home, well away from direct contact with their leaders. There are also a whole range of challenges that existed prior to the arrival of COVID-19 that have not gone away. We still need to contend with multiple generations in the workplace and changing organizational priorities as we adapt to shifts in the social and environmental fabric of society.

To face all these forces, we need leaders who reject traditional top-down strategies in favour of collaborative approaches built on productive conversations. Leaders who can build strong individual connections with employees, establish safe environments for everyone, engage diverse perspectives, give regular and meaningful feedback and – through all these tasks – demonstrate genuine empathy.

This is where coaching culture comes in.

To help cut through some of the misconceptions in this discussion, I’ve assembled a list of three ‘must-know’ qualities of a coaching culture that not only explain what it is but also why you should start building one right away.

1. It all starts with leadership. 

Leaders who adopt a coaching culture have an entirely different approach to conversations and relationships. They avoid the temptation to just tell people exactly what to do and how to do it. Instead, a coaching culture allows everyone to play a role in finding solutions. And that builds trust and engagement.

In a coaching culture, leaders serve as role models by sharing personal stories about the challenges they face, and the importance of getting feedback and support to ultimately improve. Leaders who share their own stories help embed the values of a coaching culture in the very fabric of the organization.

It’s also essential that senior leadership champion the coach approach. The executive team needs to explicitly state the reasons why it is important for the organization to adopt this new mindset, and be clear on expectations for leaders in terms of learning and applying new skills.

2. Coaching culture needs a learning architecture.

Although you want all leaders to have some grasp of coaching culture, that doesn’t mean that you should expect every leader to achieve the same level of coaching skill. A learning architecture needs to be established, so that coaching skills can be matched with leadership roles to ensure that those who most need them, get them.

For example:

  • For the training of internal coaches, an organization may need to consider a relevant, coaching certification from entities like the International Coaching Federation. This will allow internal coaches to meet higher expectations around coaching skills and capabilities. 
  • Certification is likely not needed to train leaders to have coach-like conversations to engage and develop their teams. They will need some fundamental coaching skills, along with regular peer feedback to keep their coaching skills sharp.
  • Internal support for leaders working in a coaching culture often comes from the HR, Learning & Development and Organizational Development practitioners. While this group needs to adopt similar coaching skills, they also need a strong grounding in the application of coaching, roles, ethics and how to coach for change.

Learning architecture must also provide regular opportunities for leaders to practice coaching skills. The practice can take the form of regular meetings of leaders to discuss their coaching challenges, peer-to-peer coaching or even allowing your leaders to work with external coaches.

3. Build a community to cement a coaching culture.

A community focus on coaching and continuously enhancing skills will ensure that coaching becomes fully integrated into how the organization operates. Technology platforms can help leaders connect and learn from each other about how to handle specific coaching scenarios. This may also allow for tracking and reporting on formal coaching engagements, with both internal and external coaches.

As well, rewarding and recognizing coaching behaviour within can also reinforce the importance of coaching and celebrating its impact. 

Ultimately, coaching culture is about adopting a different way of thinking about our day-to-day challenges. It’s about quickly pivoting from intractable challenges to new strategies and solutions. A coaching culture is one of the best ways to create the conditions to generate new ideas while keeping employees confident and engaged.

Building a coaching culture will involve some hard work. It requires investments in training and external coaching. It also requires faith and commitment at the organizational level. The intimate details of coaching conversations must remain confidential. 

However, those organizations that make the investment in a coaching culture will see a very high return: employees who are more engaged, productive and innovative.

Source: lhh.com

Categories
Coaching Organizational Development People Development

Performance & Feedback: Is Coaching The Missing Link?

Performance & Feedback: Is Coaching The Missing Link?

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Performance & Feedback: Is Coaching The Missing Link?

When it comes to feedback from performance reviews and improving employee responses, could coaching be the key factor that too many businesses are missing out on?

Could coaching be the missing link in the feedback conundrum?

Let’s face it, well before the pandemic hit, most of your employees were craving feedback. They wanted to know how they were doing, how they could do better and how they fit into the organization’s future plans. The pandemic has not extinguished that craving; in fact, it may have made it more acute because feedback is harder to come by these days.

Everyone is struggling to manage workforces that have been forced to work remotely. Leaders and the people they are leading are still searching for new ways of keeping in touch and measuring progress. The line between ‘work’ and ‘home’ continues to blur, which is straining relationships.

However, even in the midst of all this disruption, there has been no reduction in the desire of employees to know how they are faring. A major challenge before the pandemic struck, winning strategies for regular, effective feedback seem to be even more elusive than ever.

The pre-pandemic deficit in feedback

A Gallup survey released earlier this year found that Millennial employees – who are the fastest growing cohort in the global labour force – were increasingly desperate to get “meaningful, individualized feedback.” Gallup defined this as feedback that helps the individual learn, grow and succeed at their jobs. And they’re desperate because – for the most part – they are not getting that feedback in a regular or meaningful way.

Gallup found that only 19 per cent of Millennial workers worldwide strongly agree that they receive routine feedback at work; only 17 per cent reported receiving meaningful feedback.

Gallup attributed part of the problem here to a general breakdown in the effectiveness of performance reviews. It’s not just millennials; Gallup found that fewer than one in five American workers believe that existing performance reviews inspire them to be better and achieve more at work.

The chronic feedback gap

The inability to ask for, or provide, meaningful feedback is something researchers call “the feedback gap.” Although a lot of the gap can be fairly laid at the feet of managers who are simply bad at talking with their employees, there is an argument that employees ultimately share in the blame.

Or, put another way, when they don’t get the kind of feedback they want, or sense that managers are reluctant to engage in a frank performance discussion, they stop asking. Gallup, for example, found that only 15 per cent of the millennial workers it surveyed – a group infamous for its appetite for guidance and advice – actually asked managers for feedback.

If employees are bad at asking for feedback, largely because managers are bad at providing it, then what’s the solution? This is where coaching comes in.

Coaching to make people better at asking for, and providing, meaningful feedback

Feedback is one of those commodities that requires both a willing employee and a committed leader. That requires both parties to possess sufficient quantities of emotional intelligence, particularly self-awareness, self-regulation and empathy. And one of the best ways of developing these qualities is through one-on-one coaching.

Coaching guru Daniel Goleman has consistently linked effective coaching with emotional intelligence and the capacity to provide meaningful, productive feedback.

“As a coach, you know that the feedback from people who know you well lets you recognize gaps between your self-awareness and others’ perceptions of you,” Goleman said in an essay for the International Coach Federation. “This lets you spotlight your limitations, as well as strengths, and gives you potential targets for strengthening your emotional intelligence.”

It doesn’t take long to realize that coaching is the missing ingredient in a truly constructive feedback culture.

Leaders who have worked with a coach not only know themselves better, but are also willing and able to provide meaningful feedback to the people they lead. And those employees are better able to process and apply feedback when they have worked on their own emotional intelligence with a coach.

Quality, meaningful feedback can boost engagement, performance and employee retention. And that raises an important question.

Given the close association between feedback and those major drivers of business success, it makes you wonder why more organizations don’t take the time to coach managers and employees to give and receive feedback more constructively?

Source: Ezra

Categories
Coaching Organizational Development People Development

Why Coaching Works

Why Coaching Works

Why coaching? – It’s good for people, and good for business. It gives you all the benefits of corporate training – except people actually enjoy it and learn from it.

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the value of coaching

Imagine what your organization could achieve if everyone were coached to be their absolute best. – Sure, there are other ways to invest in your people. But have they ever brought someone to tears through self-reflection? Doubt it. Through coaching, your people get to know themselves. Their goals. Weaknesses. Hang-ups. And once they know all that, they can build on the good stuff and work on the rest.

Coaches change lives. And organizations. That’s why we’re here.

The Value Of Coaching

A Business Superpower For Everyone

Why not away days? Bigger bonuses? More vacation time? Those are fine. But they’re not tailored to each person. And they don’t have the same tangible impact.

Coaching is good for people, and good for business. It gives you all the benefits of corporate training – except people actually enjoy it and learn from it.

The personal power of coaching

According to the International Coach Federation (ICF), 99% of people who get coaching are satisfied with it, and 96% would recommend it to others.

Why? Unlike other benefits or training, coaching’s personal. It’s about your people, not the company agenda or corporate tick boxes. Sessions can touch on mindsets, beliefs, internal barriers, self-doubt, perspectives, work issues, home issues – whatever the coachee needs.

They feel more confident. They know what to do in tricky situations. They become better leaders. If that doesn’t sound like the model employee, we don’t know what does.

What’s in it for your organization?

It’s like supercharging your workforce.

Coaching makes them happier, so they’re more likely to stay. It makes them more confident, so they can tackle whatever they face. And it creates a culture of learning, so the coaching goes on outside the sessions.

We’ll show you the proof, too.

Coaching sessions are always confidential. But we’ll send you a monthly report outlining everyone’s feedback. And you can see data on how people are getting on with their objectives too.

All of which means you don’t have to take our word for any of this – you’ll be able to see the progress for yourself.

What is Coaching?

A quick intro to professional coaching

Professional coaching has definitely seen an upswing in recent years as companies grow larger and jobs become more complicated. But what exactly is it, and why might you need it for your team?

What actually is it?

The International Coaching Federation describes coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

This means that a coach works with a client to define their professional goals and encourage self-discovery, and assists them in designing a plan that holds them accountable for making changes.

A growing demand

The stats alone show that the demand for professional coaching is constantly growing. Rapid changes in the way we work and our business environments has meant traditional methods of developing our companies and staff no longer yield the same results that they used to. As the landscape changes, it becomes a constant battle for employees to stay on top of their shifting responsibilities and goals.

In order to combat this, companies have to start committing themselves to developing their staff and encouraging their growth. Hiring a professional who can be trusted and who knows what needs doing is the obvious answer.

Why Get Coaching?

Why bother with coaching in your business?

The results from coaching will vary from person to person but, whatever your end goal is, it provides a perfect opportunity for both personal and professional development for your team.

Improvements across the board

According to the Harvard Business Review, ten years ago coaching was mostly used to fix toxic behavior. Nowadays it’s used for all manner of reasons across whole companies, not just at the top.

Whether it’s developing high-potential staff, helping to facilitate transitions, or encouraging someone in a new role, coaching is a way of supporting your team and promoting a positive environment.

Results for the long-term

It used to be that staff would be sent on short-term improvement courses, but this often only promotes a short-term change. In order to see long-term development, managers and leaders need to consider an approach that works to change internal thought processes and patterns. That’s where coaching can help.

As coaching grows, more studies are undertaken and the takeaway from them is that you can expect to see a marked improvement in your team’s positivity and productivity, their confidence and their ability to adapt and be flexible, and their attitude when it comes to facing challenges or obstacles.

Source: Ezra

Categories
Coaching

Driving Sustainability in Your Coaching Practice

Driving Sustainability in Your Coaching Practice

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Driving Sustainability in Your Coaching Practice

We all aspire to have a thriving coaching practice. One of the biggest indicators of a thriving coaching practice is sustainability.

What does the word sustainability mean then in building one?

Sustainability is “the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.” Thus, sustainability is a level determined by us and it needs to be consistently maintained.

For me, it means I have a monthly profit that will allow me to:

  1. Have the lifestyle I want
  2. Reinvest in my professional development as a coach
  3. Give back to my community

How then can you make sure sustainability is built into your practice? Here are three top things that you must have in your coaching practice to make it sustainable.

1) Credibility and Visibility

To be credible builds trust and belief in your skills and professional development. There are many ways to do this, including getting ICF Credentialed, getting certified in a program specific to your target niche, writing a book and contributing articles on different platforms.

Having  credibility does not mean that you are visible. If you are not visible to your clients, then you are not going to be able to enroll them, and they cannot access what you offer.

Visibility means that you must put yourself out into the world. This includes speaking at events related to your target niche, attending events where your clients would attend, partnering with other coaches to get clients together, using appropriate social media platforms that will boost your visibility and engage in regular networking events.

Thus, credibility and visibility go hand in hand in contributing to your growth. How do you then know you are sustainable? Have clear measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)!

2) Clear Measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Do you know your average charge rate? What about your revenue, profit and costs? How many clients do you need to fill your practice and attain your sustainability goals? Do you know your conversion rate; i.e., how many prospects after a discovery session sign up with you?

These KPI’s may sound technical and overwhelming. However, until you see your coaching practice as a business, you cannot attain the sustainability you desire. Thus, you need clear, measurable KPIs. This will help you see and know if what you have been doing on your social media is working or whether you need to tweak your discovery session to get more sign ups.

The formula is simple. No clients mean no coaching. So just as we skilled up as coaches, we also need to skill up as business owners.

3) Get Coached!

Especially for solo coach practices, it is important to get coached. If you don’t get coached, why would your clients sign up with you? This is an important mindset shift to make sure you are constantly reflecting and getting rid of your blind spots. Your coach will help you get out of your comfort zone and help you see what you need to do to reach your sustainability goals.

As you work hard to get to your sustainability goals, it will get hard and stressful. Getting coached will allow you to stay the course and have the support you need to stretch and grow. A budget should be set aside annually to hire a coach for your own personal development.

Do you know your sustainable business goals?

What will you change to have what you want

Source: International Coaching Federation

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