Contents: Coaching articles, coaching studies, employee coaching, coaching education, behavioral coaching, sales coaching, coaching, hr coaching, coaching case study, employee coaching, coaching best practice, coaching public service, 

  Note:
  
-For qualified individuals who simply wish to learn how to:
          1.  - establish a successful behavioral change coaching career and/or private coa
ching practice 
                   -see the Institute's
Graduate School of Master Coaches  ..read more -

   -For organizations who simply wish to establish:
          2.  - a successful behavioral change coaching program
..read more.
   



 
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"The quality of a coach is reflected in the professional practice standards they set for themselves."
  "The value of a coach can be ascertained by the depth of their experience, toolkit and resources."
 
"The professionalism of a coach is displayed by the commitment to their own training and
    development."

  
  -P.Zeus. Faculty Head BCI  

Center for Applied Behavioural Coaching:
The Behavioral Coaching Institute's (BCI) Center for Applied Behavioural Coaching (CABC) evaluates the effectiveness of coaching interventions, tools, techniques, processes and chronicles industry best practices. It represents a "Center of Excellence" dedicated to data collection and objective research consulting. In addition, our Behavioural Laboratory conducts important research that serves to capture the issues, attitudes and best practices of coaching at work both from the practitioners' and clients' perspective. We publish our findings and provide research and development resources to all of our corporate and private clients. The research strengthens the Institute's educational services by constantly updating our advanced Masters-Level course content and our best-selling, introductory-level text books enrich the knowledge base for the international coaching community in general.
 
For over a decade, we have worked with many of the world’s leading organizations engaged in coaching to realize outstanding business outcomes through successful validated, initiatives. Our real solutions have produced real results. And through our publications (published and distributed in multiple languages by McGraw-Hill Education), with the added input from our graduates worldwide, we have documented many of these outstanding success stories

This Month's Feature: "The importance of using Validated Coaching Techniques to achieve Behavioral Change"

 Some Cost Benefits of Coaching
What is Behavioral Based Coaching?
Evaluating Coaching Initiatives

"Helping executives succeed in 'High-Pressure' situations"

Coaching and Organizational Change

 "The HR Coach"

 "Traditional Coaching versus Behavioral Coaching"
  "Changing the behavior of an experienced, senior executive"

  "Best Practice -as it applies to Coaching" 

  "Coaching Education in organisations"  

"How Behavioral Coaching is being used today" and "The Behavioral Coaching Model"

"Sales Coaching"
  For a complete listing of coaching articles and news -see: 'Articles' section on our Coach Training School's web site
  Coaching Reference Books  -reviews and online ordering links

SOME COST BENEFITS of COACHING: Productivity and intangible gains of coaching interventions

Executives in this study believe that the top three personal characteristics of an effective executive coach are the ability to form a strong "connection" with the executive, professionalism, and the use of a clear and sound coaching methodology. Fifty-six percent of the executive group focused on personal behaviour change, forty-three percent identified enhancing leader effectiveness, forty percent focused on building stronger relationships, seventeen percent used the coach for personal development, and seven percent used their coaching sessions to work on better work-family integration. Executives also believed that the range of scientific coaching tools used significantly enhanced the perceived value of their coaching. -Executive coaching: An outcome study. Consulting Psychology Journal, 55, 2, 94-106

"Employees at Nortel Networks estimate that coaching earned the company a 529 percent "return on investment and significant intangible benefits to the business," according to calculations prepared by Merrill C. Anderson, a professor of clinical education at Drake University." -Psychology Today 

"..what is believed to be the first major study to quantify the business impact of executive coaching. The study included 100 executives, mostly from Fortune 1000 companies, who received coaching...Half of the executives in the study held positions of vice president or higher (including division president, general manager, chief executive officer, chief financial officer, chief information officer, partner, principal, and practice leader). Almost six out of 10 (57%) executives who received coaching were ages 40 to 49, and one-third earned $200,000 or more per year

Among the results of the study: The coaching programs delivered an average return on investment of 5.7 times the initial investment in a typical executive coaching assignment -- or a return of more than $100,000 -- according to executives who estimated the monetary value of the results achieved through coaching.

Among the benefits to companies that provided coaching to executives were improvements in:
Productivity (reported by 53% of executives) Quality (48%) Organizational strength (48%) Customer service (39%) Reducing customer complaints (34%) Retaining executives who received coaching (32%) Cost reductions (23%) Bottom-line profitability (22%) Working relationships with direct reports (reported by 77% of executives) Working relationships with immediate supervisors (71%) Teamwork (67%) Working relationships with peers (63%) Job satisfaction (61%) Conflict reduction (52%) Organizational commitment (44%) Working relationships with clients (37%).

British Petroleum's worldwide exploration and production company, BPX, has approximately 7,500 employees. To do their jobs, managers needed to share knowledge—usually complex, tacit knowledge that couldn't be transmitted through the written word alone. BPX launched a $12 million project known as Virtual Teamworking. Each manager received an integrated computer linkup so people could work as problem-solving teams, even at a distance. About 60 percent of the budget went into behavioral coaching aimed at encouraging an open approach to information exchange. Estimated savings for the first year: $30 million. Today, British Petroleum has made 'Virtual Teamworking' available in all BP companies in the 70 countries where it operates. -eBusiness News

"The Xerox Corporation carried out several studies, one of which showed that in the absence of follow-up coaching 87% of the skills change brought about by the program was lost.  That’s 87 cents in the skills dollar.." - (BUSINESS WIRE) 

"A study featured in Public Personnel Management Journal reports that managers (31) that underwent a managerial training program showed an increased productivity of 22.4%. However, a second group was provided coaching following the training process and their productivity increased by 88%. Research does demonstrate that one-on-one executive coaching is of value." ." - by F. Turner, Ph.D. CEO Refresher 

Accenture's Alastair Robertson, manager of worldwide leadership development practice in Boston, says employers are shocked at how high their ROI numbers are for coaching. -He cites a large employer in the hospitality industry who saved between $30 million and $60 million by coaching its top 200 executives. -Asian News

Kodak (world's largest photo processing company) has initiated a coaching program focusing on employee productivity and retention for a 1,000 employee unit. The coaching results obtained to-date confirm double-digit productivity increases. -Society for HR Management.

"small business coaching, a trend that's exploding among businesses and entrepreneurs nationwide. It's estimated that up to 40% of American small businesses are using them, up from 4% just five years ago." - Chicago Business Update.

-More: Latest Coaching Industry Case Studies, News and Results

WHAT IS BEHAVIOR BASED COACHING?

The rapid acquisition of lasting personal skills and learning acquisition is an essential challenge facing all organizations. Training alone cannot ensure competence. It simply comes down to changing a person's behavioural patterns—what people do and don’t do to make the acquisition of each new skill a reality. 

The Role of Behavior
One way to think about the role of behaviour in an organization is to consider these three interlocked factors for an enterprise’s success: strategy, process and behavior.

Strategy -sets the direction for the enterprise—where it’s going and why.
Work processes -organize the work toward strategic objectives. 
Behavior -is the enabler of both strategy and process. It is people’s behaviour—what they say and do—that is either aligned or mis-aligned with strategy and process.

Behavior-based coaching has its foundation in the objective and reliable science of psychology.
The applied behavioral sciences, based on more than half a century of research, provide a method for understanding and addressing the critical behavioural side of professional development. It provides us with a rigorous way to approach the people side of the change process and tells us we can understand and successfully work with behavior if we analyze the factors that influence the behavior.

The principles and procedures of behavior-based coaching have been developed and verified through a combination of many years of rigorous evidence-based psychological principles fused with proven management, leadership and organizational change principles and practice. 

Some definitions:
- An Organization
 
 -consists of a collective of disparate people (fluid software) and innate resources (hardware) organized towards producing a measurable end result.
- People (the software) -are fluid individuals with different patterns of behavior (thinking and doing).
- Behavior based Coaching Program  (a leadership style and people development platform) -is used by the organization's leaders, managers and specialist practitioners to affect sustainable, measurable, positive bottom-line results.

Developing a Behavioral-Based Coaching Plan can provide a relatively quick and cost-effective increase in individual and organizational productivity and well-being. Using industry-proven behavior based coaching models, practitioners can develop a Behavioral Coaching Plan to assist people to develop competence by identifying the key aspects such as; beliefs, values, attitudes, heuristics, mental processes and physical activities etc -that characterize expertise.

The first step is to recognize that developing a behavioral-based coaching program depends on both the rigor with which the
methodology is used and the rigor with which the necessary behaviors are identified and addressed.

A Definition: Behavior based Coaching is a scientific approach whereby professional practice is capable of being justified in terms of sound evidence based upon a process of methodical clinical and industry research, evaluation, and the utilisation of up-to-date systematic research findings to support decisions about practice. Behavior based coaching is a way of distinguishing professional coaching practice grounded in proven science versus the simplistic, unproven coaching approach popularized by the many coaching associations and coach training providers engaged in mass-marketing to a primarily uneducated marketplace.

Some notes on Belief based Coaching or Traditional Coaching:
Belief based coaching is the common and traditional form of coaching. Its guidelines for practices are usually a mix of personal experiences, some basic education about training and professional development, selected incomplete knowledge of coaching practices, and a self-belief in the practitioner’s coaching approach. Any changes in coaching practices usually only occur through a process of self-selection.

The accumulated knowledge of belief-based coaching is subjective, biased, unstructured, and mostly lacking in accountability. Belief-based coaching also includes pseudo-scientific coaching. There are an alarming growing number of pseudo-scientists (versus qualified behavioural scientists) in the coaching industry who are training business coaches. These coaching associations and providers attempt to give the impression of scientific knowledge and utilize fuzzy, unproven coaching processes mislabelled as behavioral coaching. Invariably their knowledge is incomplete and inaccurate resulting in false/erroneous postulations.

Today, belief-based coaching is the foundation of most organizational coaching programs. Many coaching practitioners either are unaware of their level of practice or simply do not want to hear that they require further instructed, more advanced learning.

Coaches need to be taught how to establish which thoughts and feelings are affecting performance and behavior. Coaches also need to know how to work with people’s thinking processes and how to challenge them effectively. This can be a particularly difficult area for many coaches. Additionally coaches need to be able manage the issue of resistance to change and how to understand defence mechanisms. 

The bottom-line:
Unleashing the full power of an organization starts with the individual. With behavioral-based coaching the individual can be shown how to self-manage himself and significantly up-grade his personal and professional skill sets, feel balanced, alert, in control and powerful and be able to make the greatest contribution to the organization. The empowered individual acts and not reacts, thinks creatively, works well under pressure, makes good decisions and communicates clearly. Leadership qualities also emerge. When an organization's people move into a zone of optimum, sustainable best performance, so does the organization.

The key to success in any coaching initiative is the selection of the appropriate behavioral based change model to fit the client's specific needs. The Institute's industry-proven Certified Master Coach Course (world's top-rated business coaching course -ICAA Survey) meets the critical needs for people developers to be trained and mentored in the use of a range of validated, reliable behavior based coaching models, tools and techniques. See: -Behavioral Coaching Institute's invitational, fast-tracked Certified Master Coach course.

EVALUATING COACHING INITIATIVES (Introduction to Chapter from the book: 'The Coaching at Work Toolkit' by Zeus and Skiffington -Copyright : McGraw-Hill Professional. Published with permission.)

"It is critical that coaches recognize the importance of evaluating coaching outcomes.  Coaching, as we mention throughout this book, remains an emerging profession and there is a dearth of empirical studies testifying to its effectiveness. We can no longer afford to simply sing the praises of coaching. If coaching is to develop and attain true professional status, it is imperative that coaches produce evidence that it is effective and useful. Otherwise, it may be dismissed as a fad or co-opted by other professions.

In our coach training workshops, we are frequently asked about evaluation issues and methods. Coaches who do not have a background in research are especially concerned about the role of evaluation in coaching and the requisite skills of the coach. The purpose of this chapter is to highlight some of the major issues in evaluation and to offer some general guidelines for coaches.

Benefits of evaluation in coaching
There are numerous reasons why evaluating coaching outcomes is essential. Some of the benefits of evaluation include:

- It allows the coach to prove to the client how and why coaching is effective.  Also, the coach can offer prospective clients
  information that demonstrates a Return on Investment.
- It allows the coach to justify the advantages of coaching over traditional training methods which usually are not evaluated, or
  certainly not on any long-term basis.
- The coach can evaluate the effectiveness of what the organization is currently doing, and provide a rationale for how coaching
  can fill the gaps.
- Outcome studies provide the coach with information as to how and why coaching works. It presents opportunities to develop and
  update our knowledge, skills and abilities. Overall, we can build on the evaluation data to improve the efficiency of our coaching
  services.

Of course, we are not suggesting that coaches necessarily conduct complex statistical analyses of coaching outcomes. However, it is important that we are aware of the issues surrounding evaluation, that we appreciate its role in the coaching process and that we can develop our own methods of evaluation."  -More: Measuring Coaching Results

HELPING EXECUTIVES SUCCEED IN 'HIGH-PRESSURE' PERFORMANCE SITUATIONS

Accelerated Performance Coaching cuts the time to achieve High-Level Performance:
.-You've just hired a talented replacement to fill a vacant executive post -but how long can you wait for him/her to really start producing business results? A year? Two years? Or, you've just promoted an executive, but you want him/her to make immediate, significant, and lasting contributions to business performance today, not in a few months time or next year. 

Many organizations are now accelerating their executives' success in new and existing roles by employing the Behavioral Coaching Model. The 1-to-1, performance behavioral-based coaching program is facilitated by a certified coach, and focuses on enhancing personal skill strengths and eliminating weaknesses of the executive (or other key personnel) which have greatest impact on the highest-priority business goals. In the first stage of a behavioral-based coaching program there is an assessment of the behavioral aspects impacting the successful execution of key professional skills and a focus on the executive's self-awareness, the motivation to change, and the desire to raise the performance.

Every high-pressure situation is unique. Here are just a few high-pressure situations where some specialist executive coaches are helping high-flying executives successfully negotiate. 

# 1. The company has been changing so fast that the executive hasn't been paying enough attention to his/her key players. The executive expects them to know how to get it done -but the numbers have dropped, and he/she doesn't really know why.

#- 2. The executive is newly promoted/hired with added/new responsibilities but he/she hasn't figured out yet how to navigate through the new superior, peers, teams to achieve their objectives. 

# 3. The economic conditions have impacted upon the company and a top performing executive's teams are not responding to him/her. Budgets have not been reached. No one seems to be cooperating with each other. 

# 4. The company is about to lose their top producer. He/she has got on the wrong side of someone one time too often. The company needs to know how to get him/her on the right track, and quick. 

# 5. An executive has been overlooked for promotion. The executive wants it and thinks he/she has earned it. But no-one is giving any straight answers. 

The coach works with the coachee to establish specific behavioral management strategies to use to succeed in the high-pressure situation. Ongoing support is required as the executive achieves his/her objectives and outcome returns are qualified. With very high ROI figures the coach is usually hired to work with the executive on an ongoing basis to keep him/her on target as new challenges emerge. -More: Executive Coaching -Benefits

COACHING and ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE. (Introduction to Chapter from the book: 'The Coaching at Work Toolkit' by Zeus and Skiffington -Copyrigh: McGraw-Hill Professional. Published with permission.)

The 4 New Principles of Organizational Change:

1: All people and systems are dynamic -changing throughout time. -Continually changing external market forces and internal performance requirements mean any organization to survive and thrive must inturn learn how to grow and to engage in ongoing internal change 

2. To change any organizational structure or process or result requires a change in people. -Learning means a change in behavior as people change by learning an alternate way of thinking and behaving

3. Behavioral coaching is the vehicle for successful, lasting personal and professional behavioral change. -Implementing any organizational change first requires a learning review (coaching assessment) by behavioral change experts (coaches). 

4. Successful implementation of the learning review insights can only be achieved by employing a validated, scientific behavioral change program and leaders and executives who want to learn and lead by learning

"Change is at the heart of coaching. It plays a critical role in helping individuals and organizations to create, adapt to, and accept change as a challenge rather than an obstacle. The process, though, can be a difficult one.

The coach’s role as a change agent, either internal or external, in an organization can assume the following forms:
-
The internal or external coach who is introducing a coaching program to an organization, that is, working to establish a culture of coaching
- The coach who is working with executives to develop and enhance their leadership skills such as leading change.
- The coach who is working with leaders or managers to adopt a coaching style, for example, a ‘manager as coach’ program.
- The coach who is working with an executive or leader to enhance his or her personal or operational mastery skills within an organization. Working with an individual on business issues such as clarifying values, challenging beliefs, working on goals and strategies allows the executive to employ these skills with staff and colleagues and thereby play his or her role in creating a Learning Organization.

The model of a learning organization. 
Within the learning organization there is a focus on developing new ways of thinking and working. A coaching culture is the framework of any learning organization. These organizations are characterized by relationships of trust, collaboration, insightful guidance, and a focus on assisting people to maximize their potential. Learning organizations differ from others in that they have shifted from a focus on performance to a emphasis on sustainable growth. People are given the opportunity to enhance and strengthen the concept of ongoing learning and development by a creating a culture where coaching thrives. 

Regardless of which enterprise the coach is engaged in, he or she requires a solid knowledge of the organization.  The coach has to be aware of its climate and culture, the current challenges it faces, its current learning and development programs and its people management programs and philosophy. Although we emphasize the importance and usefulness of conducting a Coaching Needs Analysis (see chapter 4), it alone is not sufficient for the coach to embark upon working in an organization. In the same way, neither process knowledge or proven ability to work with personal mastery skills will equip the coach to work effectively in an organization.

The coach has to be familiar with various models of organizational change and the model or framework, either explicit or implicit, within which the particular organization operates. If a coach chooses to work within an organizational environment, it is recommended that he or she adopt a systemic approach, that is, one that recognizes, acknowledges and can work with both internal and external factors that impact on the organization and its individuals. The coach’s role may be to focus on human processes in the organization, on organizational design, developing and enhancing job competencies, or on coaching individuals through technology change programs.

If the coaching program is a pilot or minimum intervention, the coach has to have access to key stakeholders in other other parts of the organization and the external world.

Whatever the brief, the coach should bear in mind that an organization is a living organism. It is a living system with its own unique values, beliefs and processes. 

Any coaching program has to be tailored to the individual organization’s unique systems needs. Generic solutions are no longer feasible or acceptable in the marketplace. In our coaching clinics for managers as coach, we conduct seminars and workshops to establish the specific coaching needs of the organization as a whole. One cannot approach an organization with the intention of ‘imposing’ a model or solution."   More: Coaching as Change Agents

"THE HR COACH"

To many HR professionals, coaching is just another name for what they’ve already been doing for years—helping managers and executives increase their capabilities and knowledge in developing and dealing with people. However, behavioral coaching (versus traditional coaching) is fundamentally changing the HR relationship with organization managers and executives.

However, today some HR professionals are taking on the new role of HR Coach and directly working with managers and leaders themselves. 

In large organizations there is a growing critical need to drive consistent leadership behaviors and organizational culture. Internal human resource professionals as coaches are in a unique position to understand and manage the tough issues concerning culture and people and personal leadership development. The training class should no longer be the exclusive domain for leadership development. Professional and personal development in our managers and leaders must occur in "real time" and on a need-to basis today, not in a classroom next month.

Today's skilled, certified corporate HR Coaches require: the latest behavioral coaching models and technology; access to a variety of validated, credible resources and back-up and, the available time necessary for the leader/manager to succeed.

An important factor the HR Coach brings to the coaching role is their knowledge of the organization, and the working/profile of the manager within that environment. Fundamental to the role, is trust. To assist an executive, the HR person must be extremely credible with executives. Credibility is perceived in how the coach conducts himself/herself as an impartial professional resource, development and change agent. Don’t expect to coach unless your coaching credentials are impeccable. The person participating in the coaching has to also feel you are qualified to be looking out for their best interests and maintaining objectivity and confidentiality at all times. This is one of the major reasons some HR coaches fail to attract internal clients.

In many organizations, the HR Coach also acts as the Coaching Program Manager to coordinate and unify the process of coaching in the organization. They can manage and monitor the expenditure of resources, train internal coaches, confirm the credentials of external coaches, and measure and determine the coaching results.

Many HR professionals are also engaging their own coach to assist them. In a climate of job insecurity, many internal HR people are turning to coaches to help them as they deal with their own stresses and development. 'Transition times' such as mergers, layoffs and changes in upper management are also prompting HR professionals to seek out coaches.

Being coached allows HR professionals to bring firsthand experience to formal coaching programs at their organizations. Over the past decade, organizations increasingly have offered coaching to managers as a recruiting and retention tool, with HR creating and managing the program.

Coaching helps HR 'walk the talk' of coaching. It's one thing to talk up the value and benefits of coaching to others and another thing altogether to have the experience of being coached. It gives HR professionals more credibility with their people if they can speak of the value it personally had for them, rather than sound like they are promoting another HR program.  ...More: 

"TRADITIONAL COACHING versus BEHAVIORAL COACHING"

(includes extracts from new text book 'Behavioral Coaching' by Zeus and Skiffington - copyrighted by McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing)
There are 2 primary coaching models: -the Traditional Model and the Behavioral Model.
.-The Traditional Model does not include the objective of achieving any sustainable, measurable behavioral change in its coaching equation whilst the Behavioral Model includes a wide range of validated behavioral tools and techniques (instruments) and several coaching methods/approaches derived from the behavioral sciences (such as; Appreciative Coaching, Solution Focused Coaching, Cognitive Coaching, Reflective Coaching etc). The coach selects the most effective behavioral instruments and methods appropriate to the intervention they are working on and uses them within a scientifically proven seven-step framework (the Behavioral Coaching Model). This standardized delivery platform or codification of practice presents uniformity in the coaching process and permits accountability, ease of reporting, measurement, auditing and benchmarking.
 
The traditional coach develops and relies upon a system (eg; the GROW model) that includes a short series of steps, tools, and techniques that can be replicated with consistency. The model provides a simple structure for the very busy line manager who simply hasn't the time for 'meaningful' dialogue with the line worker
 
These traditional "starter" coaching efforts use a simplistic goal-setting training model that is limited in application to increasing the performance of lower order 'mechanical skill task sets' (eg; for process workers) -that do not require any change of thinking, behavior etc. This outdated, negative model focuses on the "how to do" and "how to do it better". It contains the underlying negative assumption that something is being done incorrectly and fails to look at the obstacles that are in the way to achieving the desired result. The traditional model also focuses on one component (eg; learning a specific skill, technique or a remedial issue) rather than the whole (eg; taking a holistic approach to understanding aspects that affect the execution of a task). The coachee is treated as a passive observer and coerced into following a set action plan rather than challenged to think through specific problems and discover solutions. The coach following a set routine of questioning and listening does not allow any real time for personal "self-discovery" or personal growth by the coachee. Frequently the coachee is forced to accept a cookie-cutter "personality profile" of themselves and their weaknesses. .
 
Traditional coaching works best with a "process worker" who is ready for action and needs a nudge. However, many "coaches" are still using the traditional coaching model with all persons and in all circumstances -so no matter how many nudges they give, or how many great questions they ask, many of the coachees find themselves going around in circles. The coachee is simply unable to keep on track to completing the goals they have set. They want them, they may even need them, but they are unable to maintain the focus and do not follow through on the agreed-upon actions needed to achieve success. 
      -More
: Evidence-Based Coaching

"CHANGING THE BEHAVIOR OF AN EXPERIENCED, SENIOR EXECUTIVE "

(includes extracts from new text book 'Behavioral Coaching' by Zeus and Skiffington - copyrighted by McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing)
If there is resistance, it may not be resistance to a particular change but resistance to any change that is the issue. Ignore it today, and you're likely to ram up against it again in the near future. Sooner or later, every organization is faced with the challenge of implementing change with an experienced executive. Breakdowns in learning and therefore organizational progress frequently occur with leader and manager behavior and the understanding of how to change habits, patterns and outcomes.

Leaders cannot be expected to change behavior if they don’t have a clear understanding of what the desired behavior is and how it impacts upon their leadership role. The leader must also be involved in the coaching process of determining the desired behavior to be changed and how it can be changed. However, coaches should only work with executives who have the desire to become better leaders and who have a future in their organization.

The coach also requires a thorough knowledge of the forces of conservation at play in an organization. The coach has to be aware of flaws in the system that might be holding people back, such as not being provided the required information/education to change or the required support to deal with changes. For example, how the leader embraces change affects how individuals in organizations react to change. In turn, this attitude affects customers and, ultimately, profit.

Behavioral coaches first require working knowledge of an organization's structure, processes and behavior. The dynamics of the organizational system will largely dictate an executive's behavior. In the end, everyone in an organization is responding to the systemic forces which most people don't even know exist. Leaders also have to be aware of the organizational system they operate in and change their traditional role of gatekeepers and become the drivers or champions of improvements in the system.

The coach works with leaders, managers, HR personnel and others to develop a climate in which people embrace change. The coach then works with individuals to change behaviors in the direction of an organization's desired goals and objectives for continued corporate growth and success. Such a climate generates, fosters and rewards behaviors that are necessary and essential for sustainable success.

With many senior, top executives, behavior can be the only leadership attribute that can be changed in a cost-effective manner. At that level it can sometimes be "too late" for technical or functional education.

At the top of any organization even a small positive change in behavior can have a substantial bottom-line impact. Even the most successful leaders can increase their effectiveness by changing certain elements of their behavior. In fact more organizations are obtaining significant returns by investing in the development of their key people. Recent studies show the flow-on, bottom-line benefits from investing in helping a successful person (especially future leaders and high potential performers) move from the top 10% to say, the "top 5%" or "top 2%" can be significantly greater than assisting an average performer or underperformer move from the "top 50%" to the "top 20%".

From an organizational perspective, the fact that the executive is trying to change something can be even more important than what the executive is trying to change or even the improvement in their personal productivity rating. The executive is seen by others as a role model for personal development. In the spirit of ongoing organizational improvement, growth and learning, all executives need to realize their behavior must undergo periodic change. They can't expect employees to confidently begin solving problems and making personal and professional improvements unless they see that the executive group will support it AND DO IT THEMSELVES. In fact, line managers and other key employees won't even bother trying unless they see evidence that their leaders mean it.

In the end behavioral coaching is an important support function through which executives and managers "lead" their people to outstanding productivity, morale, commitment, creativity and teamwork. Some other results include: lowered destructive conflicts and a higher constructive challenge, more productive inclusive outcomes; increased openness and greater levels of creativity, problem-solving and intellectual curiosity.    -More: Executive -Behavioral Coaching

"BEST PRACTICE -AS IT APPLIES TO COACHING "

(includes extracts from new text book 'Behavioral Coaching' by Zeus and Skiffington - copyrighted by McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing)
Best:
-
is a contextual term.  It means "best for you" - in the context of your business, your organization, your culture, your use of technology, and your competitive strategies.  The purpose of Best Practice is to stimulate you with new ideas and insights in a positive way.
 
Best Practice:
Best practice coaching is based on a foundation of extensive real-world experience conducted by the industry leaders. The focus is on the process that converts organizational coaching objectives into the best available results. This experience or knowledge is best sourced from an independent educator who advises/trains extensively at this top level. Text books and industry reports can provide theoretical and statistical information, however an organization needs to be shown first-hand how to; select, apply and master the appropriate best practices applicable to their specific workplace environment.

By sourcing a wealth of world best standard practices and information as developed and successfully used by some of the world's leading practitioners of coaching (from several Fortune 100 coaching departments to the top independent international coaching groups) who work with Dr Skiffington -you can ensure you are on the proven path to success.

Best Practice Coaching is comprised of protocols, principles, standards, guidelines, and procedures that contribute to the highest, most resource-effective performance of the discipline. Best Practices are based upon a broad range of experience, knowledge, and extensive work with the industry leaders.

Best practices have been shown through research and evaluation to be most effective. When an organization already has a coaching program, the guiding best practices can be used to gauge the program's effectiveness. They can also be used to best design a new program/strategy. 

There may be no single best practice for any given coaching process. A process design that works well for experienced, well-trained coaches may be inappropriate for less experienced users. Coaching processes may assume a prerequisite technology architecture infrastructure or costs that may not be feasible under a different set of circumstances. Globalism, regional cultural differences etc may also make it unsafe to assume any best practice can be successfully implemented. Therefore, a series of best practices may be defined for each set of circumstances. The management of best practices is an ongoing "Knowledge Management" challenge.

Promising Practices:
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 are programs and strategies that have some quantitative data showing positive outcomes over a period of time, but do not have enough research or replication to support generalizable outcomes.

Best Practices Assessment:
To assess in this case is to determine the applicability, importance, size, or value of something. Before you select a best practice or apply the guiding principles, you must conduct an assessment (risk assessment) to identify the risk and protective factors that need to be addressed in your organization.

Therefore, a Best Practices Assessment involves first judging the environment of the coaching program's processes under study to select the appropriate Best Practices Principles and then secondly; determining how your program is doing relative to those Best Practice benchmarks/guidelines. 

The Behavioral Coaching Institute is recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on assessing and documenting 'best practice' coaching technology (tools, techniques, models etc).

Best-in-Class:
Some experts calculate the top 20% of a population and average the results to calculate the best-in-class measure. Coaching program managers should best focus on points of competitive leverage and then relegate other processes to reasonable but not necessarily superior performance levels. Frequently, the same companies are best-in-class for a series of metrics; however, a company never dominates all performance categories. No
organization is best-in-class in every area. But due to the nature of competition and the drive for excellence, some organization's have extensively profiled and honed certain practices that have placed their practitioners as the most successful (best-in-class) in their industry.

World-Class:
Denotes a practice or skill that is in the highest class in the world ie: ranking above all others

One ultimate definition of organizational coaching best practices is: "discovering the timeless laws of behavioral science as they apply to management and leadership and then, over time, creating practices that match with those to bring them [the laws] to life."

Benchmarking:
Is the on-going search for best practices that produce superior performance when adapted and implemented in one's own organization. Emphasis should be placed on benchmarking as an on-going outreach activity; the goal of the outreach is identification of best operating practices that, when implemented, produce superior performance. Benchmarking then is the actual process of investigation and discovery of best practices. 

Benchmarks:
In contrast to benchmarking, benchmarks are measurements to gauge the performance of say; a professional task/function, personal skill or a coaching program relative to others. The root causes of performance differences usually cannot be discerned from the "benchmarks" alone. Benchmarks are more like divining rods that lead the organization to hidden opportunities to improve. 

Best Practice Benchmarking:
Is the process of seeking out and studying the best internal and external practices that produce superior performance. One measures this performance through various financial and non-financial performance indicators.

Many organizations are now demonstrating the value of Coaching Best Practice Benchmarking. Bell Laboratories developed a behavioral change program focused on AT&T engineers. Bell Labs demonstrated that they could effectively manage individual behavioral change, which lead directly to performance improvement, through an individual best practices strategy.

Using the best practices in fundamental personal skills as set by the leading practitioners/engineers, over a six-year period, Bell Labs trained and coached 248 engineers to make them more effective and efficient. The behavioral coaching program called for the engineers to learn important business practices and skills. The results were impressive: engineers who went through the Bell Labs program boosted their productivity by 10% in eight months! This productivity boost saved Bell Labs the money spent on the program after one year, and returned more than six times the investment after two years. -More: Coaching Tools

"COACHING EDUCATION IN  ORGANIZATIONS "

Developmental Coaching should be viewed as an Entitlement
In some organizations management still perceives all coaching initiatives to be remedial rather than a developmental process. It's viewed as the "fix" for managers who are in trouble, have plateaued or are falling behind. A lot of successful executive coaching is indeed designed to address a specific problem behavior or large holes in an executive's managerial skill repertoire. This form of remedial coaching is typically short-term focused and cannot be compared to developmental coaching designed to assist assist successful executives to further develop themselves through personal self-discovery, self-understanding and self-mastery.

If an education program isn't first established some simply view the process as help or punishment for stragglers.
Any organization contemplating using the coaching model should first implement an education program on the benefits of 21st century, professional, behavioral-based coaching for their management. Otherwise outdated, negative perceptions (where coaching is viewed to be counselling in disguise) can prevail versus seeing coaching as a invaluable reward for the valued executive. This viewpoint isn't likely to appeal to fast-trackers/high-potentials, who may already think that leadership is a lonely art and that the best leaders can take care of themselves, particularly in aggressive, performance-oriented organizations or professions.

To support the move towards the general introduction of coaching initiatives many organizations first begin by sponsoring a series of intensive coaching workshops, such as on: Coaching Best Practice and How to build an accountable coaching program. These custom-designed workshops address the needs of all levels of management and are conducted over a period of days. The workshops typically focus on the experience of other organizations (case studies), the latest types of validated coaching technology available, implementation challenges and the developments in some specific coaching applications.

Some of the key findings of some of the educational workshops conducted by the Behavioral Coaching Institute are:

 
The focus on the logistics and the bottom-line ROI of the coaching initiative can sometimes obscure the need for the program's managers to educate staff on the personal as well as the professional benefits of coaching.

Staff were not always clear about where coaching fitted-into the organization. The sponsors of the coaching programs need to communicate a clearer vision of the ultimate destination of the program and where it fits into the culture and L & D profile of the organization.

The direction and benefits of coaching may be obvious to some senior management but not to middle or line-management. As a result senior management is frequently required to put greater effort into communicating the compelling reasons for coaching.

Coaching doesn't just have to be managed; it needs to be sold to the people in the organization. It's ironic that even organizations that excel in explaining to the public the benefits of their services never think of targeting those same skills at their own employees. Organizational sponsors of coaching projects need to adapt the tools and techniques, and even the budgets of consumer marketing, to their internal initiatives. An educated possible participant in a coaching program is one who understands its context and larger significance -the why as well as the what. Educating employees about coaching has a dramatic effect on their receptiveness to it.

Successful coaching program managers are those who have built a network of relationships across the organization that can support their efforts. In contrast, those who have had less success have been relying solely on the formal hierarchy and structure to get things done.
 

There is a realization by senior management that success is more assured when all staff believe they are actively involved in the implementation of the coaching program. 
 
Best practice coaching has largely shifted in emphasis from correcting performance problems (weaknesses) to performance optimization (strengths). The duration of the engagement is getting shorter as coaching becomes more of a precision change and learning tool focused on specific objectives.

Few coaches at senior levels are "general practitioners" - most are experts in specific areas. Coaches have distinct professional experience and are experts in certain interventions.

 
Organizations who use internal leadership coaches or have institutionalized systems are most concerned about: the selection, certification and the quality of training of internal coaches and issues of confidentiality.
 
The available industry coaching research (for public viewing), focuses on the benefits of coaching and validating the decision to use coaching rather than defining best practice.

Line managers need to continually develop their toolkit of coaching techniques and employ the latest measurement tools to benchmark and cost-justify the results of their coaching programs.
 

The program's ultimate success depends upon the standard of the coach training, the coaching models and technology sourced/employed and the project support provided by an experienced expert/educator in best practice organizational coaching. 

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