economy is turning around. Leaders are looking at their teams and
wondering how to get the most out of them. Managers are trying to do
more with less, working to rebuild loyalty, aiming to develop a next
generation of leaders.
How does a leader do this? Our answer
lies in a process and a methodology we call Guide Coaching. Working with
an executive coach or a leadership coach has traditionally been viewed
as something that was suggested for employees who needed to improve
performance. It was not always viewed as a positive thing.
view evolved, and over the past decade leadership coaches have been used
to help develop talent. Typically, these coaches were brought in to
work with an individual within the organization to assist her in
leveraging her strengths.
Today’s hottest trend is to develop
coaching skills in and across the existing leadership team such that all
leaders are able to provide coaching within their organizations. This
creates a true culture of coaching, which builds alignment and
engagement within the organization.
Our philosophy is that
anyone can be a coach and that anyone can be coached. There is no
requirement for any expertise on the subject area; rather there is an
expectation that the coach will ask the right questions and drive the
right dialogue such that the person being coached – the “coachee” – is
guided toward the right decision for herself.
cover a wide range of coaching realms. These may include coaching to
resolve a certain issue, coaching for personal development, or coaching
for fulfillment within career or life. Coaching is not to be confused
with giving feedback and/or providing mentoring, which is a different
subject requiring more formal relationships or expertise. Coaching
simply requires five steps. As our methodology implies, “guide” is the
key word, thus:
Ground – In this step, leaders
establish expectations and set boundaries with their coachees. This
where the coach begins to understand what motivates the coachee in terms
of her values, her vision for the future, and her goals.
– In this step, the coach and coachee gain mutual clarity on their
intentions and vision. They clarify those things that drive intentions
and often serve to unknowingly confuse the issues and inhibit positive
momentum in the workplace.
Incite – Here
coaches are encouraged to foster multiple perspectives and ways to view
the topic being discussed. Coaches help the coachee identify obstacles
and analyze various options. The pros and cons of each opportunity can
be evaluated to drive commitment.
Decide – In
this step, the coach facilitates the coachee to make a conscious choice
about achieving her vision by clearing the obstacles, confirming buy-in,
and guiding the coachee toward the necessary next steps.
Encourage and Execute
– As a final step, the coach encourages the coachee to build upon the
commitments made. The coach builds confidence, provides encouragement,
drives accountability, and generally acts as a champion to ensure the
coaching session ends with positive momentum in place.
Leaders who follow these steps and create a culture of coaching within their organizations help build engagement and alignment.
employees aren’t engaged. They are bored. Their values don’t align with
those of the organization. They feel disconnected. They wonder about
their purpose and the value they are providing. They may want to do
their best, but they just aren’t engaged or motivated. They don’t have
any initiative. They are merely the good soldiers following orders.
Coaching an unengaged employee can lead her to understand more fully how
her values align with the needs of the organization and instill a sense
of purpose and passion.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are
those employees who aren’t aligned. They work hard. They have tons of
energy, but that energy is misspent. These employees may spin their
wheels by focusing on the wrong things and wonder why they don’t feel in
sync with their company. They become the rebels without a cause. They
want to do what’s right, but their energy is misdirected. Coaching an
unaligned employee can lead her to understand how best to focus her
energies and her passions in a directed fashion that will lead to
fulfilling commitments and adding value within her organization.
Monique Honaman is the founder of ISHR Group
which provides leadership assessment, development, and coaching
services to Fortune 500 clients globally. This article is based upon the
book, Guide Coaching: Building Alignment and Engagement in the Workplace
written by Honaman, and her two business partners, Stacy Sollenberger
and Ellen Dotts. The book is schedule to be published later this year.