There is no doubt that developing capable leadership is a compelling need in the marketplace. Many companies know that and are equipped to do so within their organization usually in the form of a formal leadership mentoring and/or training program. Yet, many companies aren't and don't -- and their leadership (and ultimately the profits of their company) suffer because of it.
The basic axiom is "as a company grows so does the need for it's leadership to do so as well." The area of growth can be for example operational or industry specific. But in many cases, particularly in the area of leadership, the compelling growth need is in the area of what we call behavioral-relational.
The coaching we provide doesn't address the operational job description per sae, but the person doing the job; what kind of person they are, how they operate on the inside and how that is manifested in their relational and leadership style - in essence how they behave on the outside.
If you're reading this, I hope you already believe in or have experienced the value of coaching and I think most decision-makers do as well. So why then are decision-makers hesitate to make use of this resource in serving their company's profits?
I think it's because of exactly what I stated above, there is not clarity on the kind of coaching that is needed and sourcing for a coach to fit that need seems daunting. Those factors generate a sense of fear that a "wrong" decision will be made and money will be wasted -- and rightly so. That's why we do not begin an engagement until the deliverables are clear.
Deliverables you say? Yes, the results of coaching can be measured and deliverables identified....and a skilled coach can deliver results even within a single session. I have experienced that myself when I have been coached and I have coaching clients who could fill in this blank, "After one session I....."
Need to have a conversation about your leadership development? Don't hesitate to connect - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or call 630.926.5323.
Executive - Leadership Coaching Resources Case Study: by Sandra Mashihi
Anthony Grant, Linley Curtayne and Geraldine Burton explored the impacts of executive coaching in their 2009 article called, Executive coaching enhances goal attainment, resilience and workplace well-being: a randomized controlled study1. I’d like to share some insights about this study and its findings about how executive coaching leads to behavioral change.
Forty two executives participated in a Leadership Development program aimed at developing leaders and their management capabilities of executives and senior managers. The program was based on individual 360-Degree Feedback, and one half-day leadership training workshop followed by individual executive coaching. They hypothesized that participation in the program would be associated with increased goal attainment, increased resilience, and decreased level of depression, anxiety/stress, and increased workplace well-being. They also hypothesized that the training workshop on its own without coaching would not result in any of these effects. Four coaching sessions were completed within a specified 8-10 week timeframe, using a cognitive behavioral approach.
The study used a randomized controlled study measuring three effects during a current (Time 1), 10 week (Time 2) and 20 week (Time 3) time period. Compared to controls, those who participated in coaching enhanced goal attainment, increased resilience & workplace well-being and reduced depression and stress.
In fact, those that received coaching revealed (qualitatively) that it: increased self-confidence, helped build applied management skills, were better able to deal with organizational change and stress, helped find ways to develop their career.
Coach’s Research Implications
From the Grant et al. (2009) study, we can suggest that coaching is indeed an effective intervention for leaders in organizations. It demonstrated how coaching is effective on multiple levels. First of all, coaching helped those that needed to reach their goals. As a coach, I personally found those who solely participated in a 360 or self-awareness program but failed to pursue coaching support for their behavioral change attempts ended up approaching me in the later future for help as they did not commit to a behavioral change program. In fact, I believe that changing behaviors are difficult enough even with coaching, let alone for change to happen without the appropriate support.
The study also found that those that were coached were able to build more resilience. In my experience, I found that mid-way through some of my client’s development process, negative self talk, feelings of quitting, and resistance arose. Grant’s study also showed that participant’s depression levels decreased, while the depression levels of the control group increased. A coach plays a pivotal role in helping the client overcome beliefs about barriers. So, once again this study seems to be aligned with my experience as a coach. These positive impacts occurred in only four coaching sessions.
So, when organizations spend a ton on building their organizations, perhaps they should consider an intervention that is likely to help leaders and retain their talent. After all, “people don’t leave organizations, they leave bad bosses”, and coaching may actually get to the gist of the problem.
Grant, A., Curtayne, L. & Burton, G. (2009). Executive coaching enhances goal attainment, resilience and workplace well-being: A randomised controlled study. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 4, 396-400 [↩]