An increasing number of people are engaging with a coach to assist them with further developing their business acumen. In considering such, it is important to ensure the following five factors are incorporated into the coaching relationship in order to ensure the desired outcomes are achieved.
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1. Clear objectives. What are the desired outcomes from the relationship? If the objectives are not clear and documented at the outset of the coaching arrangement, it will make it difficult to determine if the relationship delivered on what was originally intended.
2. Measurable outcomes. How will you be sure that your desired outcomes are achieved? If you have taken the time to document the desired outcomes, how will both parties be sure they have been met? You can’t track what you don’t measure. Some examples might include: increased feelings of confidence in leadership meetings; reduced tendency to question subordinates views; increased frequency of departing the office at a reasonable hour.
3. Frequent interaction. Coaching relationships are proactive, and therefore they should be involve pre-scheduled meetings that occur on a frequent basis as a means of monitoring progress towards desirable outcomes. If you encounter a coach that is not firm on setting a schedule at the outset of the relationship (i.e. we will speak every 2 weeks), then find another coach.
4. Mutual respect. Entering a coaching relationship requires mutual respect between both parties. Early in my career I joined a coaching program with a well known organization, however found that the coach assigned to me in fact had very little experience in dealing with the challenges I was trying to overcome. In attempting to find a new coach I was advised that the one selected for me was the only option. As I suspected, the individual lacked understanding of my challenges, and hence the relationship had little value for me. If mutual respect does not exist, the relationship will be of little value.
5. Unique approach. Many coaches attempt to apply a blanket approach or methodology, however this is not in the best interest of either party. Why for example, might you need the six step process to something, when in fact you may have already surpassed steps 1 and 2? Every coach should be looking at your relationship as unique, in turn bringing tools and approaches that bring about the most rapid development of skills and abilities possible. If someone is attempting to force you through their pre-developed coaching process, find another coach.
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© Shawn Casemore 2012. All rights reserved.