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• Cost-effectiveness. It can be more cost-effective for coaches to deliver services electronically.
• Technological improvements. The improvements in voice quality in cell phones, computers with video, and other technological devices have increased the level of comfort in conducting long-distance conversations about personal/career issues.
Use of Emails
Many coaches will use emails as a way of following up on points made during a session or will send information on topics related to the client’s goals for the client’s use between sessions. Emails can be very effective in fostering clients’ abilities for reflection. They require that senders be more thoughtful in their choice of words, and they allow readers more time to review and think carefully about the contents.
Whether or not emails are utilized more in the coaching process, the steps in the coaching process should remain the same. Usually, the initial contracting and goal setting can still occur via several face-to-face meetings in which the coach and client have
60 Executive Coaching
the opportunity to forge the chemistry essential to a good coaching relationship. The ability of the coach to see facial expressions and body language is important for the coach to get to know the client. It also allows the coach to create a visual picture of the client, to more accurately interpret the client’s communications, and to see exactly what others also see when they engage with the client.
The electronic administration, scoring, and feedback of tests and assessments has made data-gathering more efficient and rapid. Because feedback from assessments still requires some careful interpretation, however, many coaches will provide an overall summary from the various data reports. The summary can then be delivered either electronically to the client, in face-to-face sessions, or in some combination of both.
Over time, the coaching with an individual client might shift from face-to-face sessions to a greater preponderance of electronic coaching. In those circumstances, the coach must pay extra attention to the value of the message content. In making the comparisons between face-to-face and electronic coaching, the coach has to monitor the quality of the interactions. Are topics covered in the same depth? Is the client using the same richness of language? Does the client express feelings as readily? The coach should solicit feedback to find out whether the client is comfortable with the quality of the interactions via email.
In this chapter you have been shown a logical progression of the steps in the coaching process: contracting, goal setting, assessing results, action planning, and evaluation. You have learned about the
What Are the Steps in the Coaching Process? 61
importance of having a good structure for the coaching assignment and what elements should be in a good contract. You have been given brief descriptions of different forms of assessment data and their value, such as interviews, multi-rater feedback, surveys, and direct observations. Various forms of action planning for development were explained so that you can see what the client may need to do in order to learn new behaviors. Finally, this chapter posed some questions for you to consider to enable you to evaluate the overall outcome of the coaching process.
The next section describes the roles played by the HR professional, the client, the boss, and the coach. You will learn how each role, and the teamwork needed across the roles, contributes to a successful coaching outcome for both the client and for the organization.
The Roles Involved in Coaching
This section clarifies the roles that each of the parties plays— the HR professional, the client, the boss, and the coach. For the coaching process to be successful, all parties must be able to fulfill the expectations of their roles and work as a team.
Chapter 5. What Is the Role of the HR Professional? In this chapter we clarify the significant role of HR professionals as “stewards” for coaching in their organizations. HR professionals often can position coaching as an important HR strategy that helps executives achieve business results. We review the tasks for management of the overall coaching process and the support of all of the phases of coaching assignments.
Chapter 6. What Is the Client’s Role? This chapter enables the HR professional to learn more about the client’s role so that he or she can be more instrumental in helping clients understand more about their roles. This chapter also provides some insight on what the client might be experiencing during the coaching process.
Chapter 7. What Is the Boss’s Role? This chapter enables the HR professional to learn more about the boss’s role in the coaching process. This role may include identification of the need for coaching, rewarding progress, and providing the budget for the coach. The HR professional can help the boss understand his or her pivotal role