5 Steps That I Follow in My Corporate Coaching Sessions

5 Steps That I Follow in My Corporate Coaching Sessions

I am convinced that trust and intimacy, which is the foundation of a successful coaching relationship, gets first established in the chemistry session with the potential client (coachee). So, this becomes a critical prequel to the coaching journey and therefore a non-negotiable step!

What makes my chemistry session so fulfilling?

STEP 1) SHARING BY THE CLIENT

I invite the prospective client to share about own self. Mostly the client is forthcoming and open, thanks to the initial 2-3mts that I would have spent in making the client comfortable. If for some reason the client is not being open, I probe gently to bring forth their vulnerability. On the sharing, I ask one or two powerful questions that gets the client to reflect, go a little deeper into the soul and share their realizations. This gives me an opportunity to listen for feelings and demonstrate that I’m mindful, empathic and totally engaged.

Most importantly, it gives the client an opportunity to get a quick preview of a typical coaching conversation. This takes about 20-30mts of the total one hour that’s been scheduled for the chemistry session.

STEP 2) RECIPROCAL SHARING BY ME

I then share about myself in 5mts, as crisply as possible. I’m transparent and vulnerable…to reciprocate the same trust placed by the client in me. I share both professional and personal aspects of my life. I make it a point to find some common ground – either the tenure in the company or the way we deal with challenges or common values or common natural gifts and talents or common experiences. This helps in establishing a connection. This takes about 10mts with QnA.

Needless to say, I would have shared a one pager bio on email before this first time chat!

STEP 3) DE-MYSTIFYING COACHING

The last 15mts, I try and understand the client’s interpretation and knowledge of executive coaching.I get into details on explaining how executive  or corporate coaching is different from training, mentoring and counselling, role of the coach, role of the client, how coaching helps to cause needle movements, why is it primarily used for behavioural and leadership skills, what does the ICF certification and credentialing really mean, what exactly happens in a typical coaching conversation.

STEP 4) THE NEXT STEPS

In the last 5mts, I summarize and work out next steps. I always offer a 45-60 mts sample coaching session to enable an experimental decision-making, promise to email a couple of videos on a typical coaching process for better clarity, commit to share the ICF code of ethics to help build the initial trust and confidence of the client and finally address any gaps in the overall understanding of what the next few weeks and months will be all about.

STEP 5) ENSURING ALIGNMENT

I invite the client to share their expectations from the coaching journey and how exactly are they willing to move forward in their process of self-discovery and self-development. I also seek an understanding of how aligned is the client with their HR and their reporting manager on the objective of this intensive exercise. A few times, I see a gap in the alignment within the sponsor company. It is then that I make it a point to connect back with HR and the reporting manager to make sure that they connect up to ensure that all of them, especially the prospective client, are on the same page on the specific reason for the coaching intervention, expectations as a leadership coach in India and the expected outcome!

This 5-step process seems to work very well for me. And works for my clients as well because the ensuing coaching sessions, post this chemistry session, have always been intimate and very trusting?

What makes it more gratifying is that the client is here by their very own choice; just like as a coach, I was free to not accept him/her as a client, they are also free to reject me as a coach, post the chemistry session!

Would love to hear what works for my fellow coaches? What do you do to make your chemistry sessions meaningful for your client and yourself?What are the best practices that we can learn from each other? If any of my fellow linked in members have been coached, then what has worked for you as a client in the first chemistry session?

Blog Writer – Shampi Venkatesh

Why Do People Become Coaches?

Why Do People Become Coaches?

“Why did you become a Coach?” was a question posed to all coaches recently at a coaches forum, as a precursor to a panel discussion. We were asked to write three words on post-it notes and stick it on the whiteboard at the front of the room. In a few minutes, the whiteboard seemed colorful, decorated with all the post-its. Words such as – Empowerment, Making a Difference, Listening, Learning, Grow, Help, People, Joy, Satisfaction, Serve, Contribution, Passion and many others, occupied the board. The question really made me think again,

“Why at all did I chose to become a business coach about five years back?

These were the three words that I wrote and what they meant- Human Connection, Making a difference and Fulfilment.

  • Human connection: To me, connecting and communicating with people gives great joy. Coaching gives me that opportunity every day and with every conversation with my clients. Management coaching allows two human beings to get together and have a heart to heart conversation. In today’s fast paced world, we have great technological advancements and are connected with the whole world through the internet. But how well are we connected with the humans around us? How frequently do we get the opportunity to have candid, unbiased conversations? We may spend hours in meetings for work, but how much does that count for a meaningful conversation for individuals involved? How frequently are we heard, how carefully do we listen in order to fully understand the other person’s thought process? How much do we care as to what the person in front of us is dealing with? How frequently do we ask people around us, “What’s important to you?” Coaching makes all of this possible in every single conversation.
  • Making a difference: Many clients have told me that they sought a coach mainly at times when they could not resolve issues on their own. They reached out to a professional only when they felt the issue or goal was really important for them. People are increasingly recognizing the value coaching can add to their lives. Just as we need doctors when we are unwell, we need lawyers for legal matters and Chartered Accountants for financial matters, we need coaches to achieve personal or professional goals. So, the opportunity for me as a coach is to make a difference to my clients’ lives. Here are two live examples which I can quote.

    Anjali (name changed) would have given up on her career when she felt that she cannot handle her job along with caring for a young baby. Through the coaching session, she realized that she has the ability to handle both these important areas of life & without the need to compromise. Rajesh (name changed) would have continued to live a dissatisfied life when his career was not going well. After going through the leadership coaching sessions, he became aware of his strengths & blind spots and took certain actions that helped him bring his career back on track.
  • Fulfillment :There’s no better satisfaction than to serve the other person with all your heart (and mind). When a client says, “Thank you for listening to me, thank you for helping me develop clarity, thank you for making me aware of my own feelings and thoughts about this issue, thank you for making me think beyond my current realm, thank you for showing me the mirror, thank you for challenging me, thank you for helping me resolving this issue and making me feel lighter, thank you for inviting me to create a new future, thank you for making me believe in myself again”, and the list goes on….as a coach you are left with a sense of satisfaction that cannot be described in words.

    These are my reason for becoming a Coach and have been inspiring me every day for the last 5 years to continue my work.

 Have you experienced the wonders of executive coaching yet? If not, please feel free to reach out to us and we will be happy  to work with you.

Blog Writer – Hemant Deshpande

Creating a Culture of Coaching

Creating a Culture of Coaching

Thinking of introducing Executive Coaching as a leadership development tool in your organization? Then do take into cognizance that creating a Culture of Coaching works in tandem with it.

So, what exactly is a Culture of Coaching? And how do you create it in your organization?

You get the most out of people, not by telling them what to do but by involving them and by encouraging them to reflect and evaluate their options. A Culture of Coaching reflects engagement at all levels and encourages continuous team and personal development. It nurtures a climate where people learn to engage in meaningful conversations and feel free to give and receive feedback. People learn to be accountable for delivering results in an ethos of support and engagement.

Organizations with strong coaching cultures indicate higher revenue (46% compared to 39% of other responding organizations) and higher employee engagement (61% and 53%, respectively) than that of their industry peer group.
Source – ICF 2017

It has been found that leaders and managers who adopt a coaching style of management are able to motivate and delegate successfully. Team performance improves and leaders are free to focus on important tasks and decisions.

Steps to create a ‘Culture of Coaching’ in an organization:

  • Since you’re introducing a new concept like coaching in your organization’s framework, it needs to be stated in its vision and mission statements. Coaching should reflect as a key competency and capability for all leaders and managers.
  • Next, integrate coaching as a robust element of your talent and leadership development strategy. A leader who is a good business coach, inspires and influences everyone in the workplace. Such leaders are capable of achieving better business results than those less supportive and less collaborative.
  • Further, provide ongoing support and development for leaders. A coaching culture empowers the employee to take independent actions, knowing that they own the outcome while their manager supports and acknowledges them.
  • Finally, recognize and reward effective coaching habits exhibited by individuals, teams and also to create greater accountability.

A coaching culture exists in an organization when a coaching approach is a key aspect of how leaders, managers, and staff engage and develop their people. It also happens when all stakeholders are engaged in ways that create increased individual, team, and organizational performance and shared value for all stakeholders.

Simply stated, coaching enables the individual to fulfill their potential, and a coaching culture enables the organization to do the same. There are some renowned centers that offer excellent services of leadership coach in India. These organizations are contributing immensely towards optimizing the organizational performance in a highly competitive environment.

Blog Writer – Guest – Team Coachmantra