Success Factors in Coaching, Part 3

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August 9, 2013

There are phases that are common to all individualized coaching programs, and the lack of any of these phases significantly decreases the likelihood for success in executive coaching.

Reassessment – A formal approach to examine the challenges and goals of the coachee. In coaching engagements that continue over many months, reassessment of the coachee’s goals are likely indicated due to progress made. In some cases this may involve reassessment via administration of instruments (normally a follow-up 360 after 12 months but often also include a focused survey based on the stated developmental goals, or another round of interviews for more significant engagements). Again, data are powerful and exposing reality is the beginning to seeing what’s really happening around you.

Through these phases of coaching, the Center for Creative Leadership’s model of Assessment, Challenge, and Support form a cogent basis for human developmental success. Trust between the coach and coachee is the container that holds the relationship in operation. Such trust is demonstrated initially during the good fit and planning & contracting phases where the coach attempts to show their ability to help the coachee in both understanding and with ways of addressing their stated challenges. Trust further develops as the coach works with the coachee, demonstrating honesty and openness via sensitivity and in creating rapport, and by showing integrity of sound moral principles and dependability to put the coachee’s needs first.

Throughout the preceding discussion of the phases of coaching, strong focus on Assessment (exposing reality, defining and clarifying the need), Challenge (creating the behavior- or thought-changing assignments into a specific, metric-driven action plan), and Support (providing, organizing, or arranging for the environmental, knowledge, and structural supports to help achieve the goals) can be seen. We like phrases like knowledge is power; we like to think that if we know what’s necessary we can simply do it. The reality is truer: We humans respond to incentives in nearly everything we do. When faced with a challenge that aligns or resonates with a desired outcome we stand a greater chance of working toward and achieving that goal. Assessment, challenge, and support is the framework for making that happen. I like to use the phrase, “reducing the likelihood for failure” (or increasing the likelihood for success) because it keeps focused on looking ahead and moving the impediments out of the way.