How does business coaching work?
Business coaching relationships are custom designed to match individual goals and objectives. A typical set of stages could look like this for an external coaching program:
Step 1: Contracting or Intake Stage.Meetings typically occur between the client coachee and the coach to discuss coaching services and to define the strategic business context. These one or two contracting open dialogues set the stage for a solid coaching process. Successful coaching relationships require trust, safety, honesty, support, challenge and high-quality feedback. These contracting open dialogues set the stage for a solid coaching process and program.
Once all key parties (client, coachee, coach) are ready to move forward, these contracting objectives including clearly defined processes, roles, responsibilities and expectations are typically formalized into several documents including a Coaching Agreement and Confidentiality Agreement.
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Step 2: Assessment and Debriefing Phase.
Appropriate business and organizational information is first gathered and reviewed by the coach. Typical information includes personnel file, organizational values and principles, mission and vision, ethical statements, organizational charts (formal and informal), annual reports, policies and procedures, internal correspondence, operating plans, product literature, analyst’s reports, and public files.
Your business and/or organization are a complex system. Thus, business coaches can use a variety of assessments to assist them:
In general terms, expect that assessments will almost certainly include the coachee’s interpersonal, communication and leadership styles; emotional and attitude management; and physical comportment.
In-Depth Structured Interviews These are custom designed interviews with key stakeholders to specifically target the coachee’s business issues.
Step 3: Feedback Stage.
Following each assessment, the coachee will receive verbal, written and/or audio feedback. A discussion will establish the purpose of each assessment, and when and how feedback is to be delivered before each assessment is conducted.
Step 4: Planning and Active Coaching Phase.
Equipped with powerful baseline data from these assessments, the coach and coachee can now diagnose intelligently what needs to be done next-at least in broadest terms-to work towards the establishment of significant goals and an action-results development plan
Step 5: Reassessment Coaching Stage.
A reassessment phase every agreed upon number of months consists of an abridged version of the initial assessment and allows the coach to evaluate, refine and enhance the coaching program. The results of this reassessment are shared with identified organizational change partners to help fortify the coachee’s change initiatives and ensure business or organizational alignment.
Step 6: Final Evaluation Coaching Stage.
Towards the end of the coaching program, the coach and the coachee identify suitable evaluation processes (such as‚ shadowing, interviews with key stakeholders) to provide a final measure of the extent to which the goals have been met and what impact the accomplishment of these goals has had on the coachee and the business or organization. An evaluation of the coach and the program is also conducted.
Formalized feedback is provided to the executive leadership only if this is applicable and was agreed upon during the contracting phase of the coaching program.
Step 7: Follow-on Coaching Stage.
In the final session, the coach and coachee discuss next steps. Follow-on coaching is often suitable to further support and reinforce the learning and new behaviors that have been established.
Alternatively, the coach may work with the coachee to create a game plan that the coachee implements on his or her own with the assistance of other business or organizational partners to help ensure permanent positive behavioral change and sustained success.