The Coach-Coachee Relationship and the Impact of Executive CoachingA number of participants in our February 12 Building Extraordinary Coaching Skills webcast provided comments and raised interesting questions about this vital leadership skill.

One question was whether there’s a marked difference in coaching those in volunteer roles versus people in paid positions. In the webcast I outlined our definition of coaching as “interactions that help the individual being coached to expand awareness, discover superior solutions, and make and implement better decisions.” Most often we help Clients apply this to performance and career coaching. But it can be broadened to other life issues.

Step #1 of our FUEL model is “Frame the Conversation.” Unless the coach has initiated the discussion (such as may come from the coachee’s manager), the very first question listed in our Coaching Conversation Guide is for the coach to ask the coachee, “What is the most important thing for us to focus on?” This sets up an adult to adult discussion that could take place between peers, volunteers, or manager-employee.

Another related question is where to find the Coaching Topic Checklist I showed in part during the webcast. This is part of the participant manual in the one or two day Extraordinary Coach workshop. It’s also in The Extraordinary Coach: How the Best Leaders Help Others Grow book. There are 16 survey items (with room for “Other”) on a scale of 1 to 10 to help the coach and coachee decide where to focus their coaching conversation.

An internal coach asked, “How do I get employees comfortable to receive coaching from me?” This is a broad question with many possible responses. Any or all four of the seven “Common Coaching Traps” I outlined leads many coaches off track and reduces a coachee’s comfort level or perception of value from coaching conversations:

 Not clarifying what the coachee wants from the conversation.
 Too much air time — coach does more than 25% of the talking.
 Offering advice way too early in the conversation.
 Not exploring multiple alternatives.

Here’s another question: “I am looking into moving toward working with C-Suite Executives on extraordinary skills yielding extraordinary organizations/employees. How does extraordinary coaching impact them?” This is the core of Zenger Folkman’s foundational research on the dramatic differences between the good, the bad, and the extraordinary leaders as in our Strengths-Based Leadership Development System and our Extraordinary Leader workshops are built upon:

• 4 – 6 times higher profits
• 6 times higher sales revenues
• 10 – 20 times higher levels of employee engagement
• 3 – 4 times reduction in employees thinking about quitting
• 50% fewer employees that do leave
• Double the satisfaction with pay and job security
• 4 – 5 times more employees “willing to go the extra mile”
• 1.5 times higher customer satisfaction ratings
• Over 3 times safer work environment

This question wasn’t answered directly in the webcast: “I have a problem where I have continually requested to be coached from my supervisor and I cannot get her to do it. How can I change this?” This could be a mismatch of expectations and the common confusion of the Development Distinction I made between training, mentoring, and coaching.

But the challenge is likely more to do with managing his/her boss. I’ve written a fair bit about Upward Leadership such as “Bad Boss: Learn How to Manage Your Manager” and other articles listed in the topic area of Serving, Influencing, and Leading Upward.

You can view the webcast recording on demand at Building Extraordinary Coaching Skills. I’ll be discussing coaching and our foundational strengths-based leadership development system at our complimentary Developing Exceptional Leaders and Coaches executive briefing on March 19 in Toronto. We’re also providing Extraordinary Leader and Extraordinary Coach public workshops in May in Calgary and Toronto.