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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:
importance of using Validated Coaching Techniques to achieve
Cost Benefits of Coaching
is Behavioral Based Coaching?
executives succeed in 'High-Pressure' situations"
and Organizational Change
Coaching versus Behavioral Coaching"
the behavior of
an experienced, senior executive"
Practice -as it applies to Coaching"
Education in organisations"
Behavioral Coaching is being used today" and "The
Behavioral Coaching Model"
a complete listing of coaching articles and news -see:
'Articles' section on our Coach Training School's web site
-reviews and online ordering links
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,
"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
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%).
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
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.." -
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
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.
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.
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.
Coaching Industry Case Studies, News and Results
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
key to success in any coaching initiative is the
selection of the appropriate behavioral based change model to fit
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
models, tools and techniques. See:
COACHING INITIATIVES (Introduction to
Chapter from the book: 'The Coaching at Work Toolkit' by
Zeus and Skiffington -Copyright : McGraw-Hill Professional. Published with permission.)
is critical that coaches recognize the importance of evaluating
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.
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
of evaluation in coaching
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
Also, the coach can offer prospective clients
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
fill the gaps.
- Outcome studies provide the coach with information as to how and
why coaching works. It presents opportunities to develop and
our knowledge, skills and abilities. Overall, we can build on the
evaluation data to improve the efficiency of our coaching
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
HELPING EXECUTIVES SUCCEED IN 'HIGH-PRESSURE' PERFORMANCE SITUATIONS
Performance Coaching cuts the time to
achieve High-Level Performance:
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.
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.
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
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:
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
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.
coach’s role as a change agent, either internal or external, in
an organization can assume the following forms:
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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."
as Change Agents
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
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
times' such as mergers, layoffs and changes in upper
management are also prompting HR professionals to seek
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
COACHING versus BEHAVIORAL COACHING"
from new text book 'Behavioral
Zeus and Skiffington - copyrighted
by McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing)
are 2 primary coaching models: -the Traditional Model and 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.
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
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.
"CHANGING THE BEHAVIOR OF AN EXPERIENCED, SENIOR
from new text book 'Behavioral
Zeus and Skiffington - copyrighted
by McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing)
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,
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
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
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.
PRACTICE -AS IT APPLIES TO COACHING "
from new text book
Coaching' by Zeus and Skiffington - copyrighted
by McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing)
- 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
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
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
- 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
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
The Behavioral Coaching Institute is recognized as one of
world's leading authorities on assessing and documenting 'best
practice' coaching technology (tools, techniques, models
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
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."
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
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.
EDUCATION IN ORGANIZATIONS "
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
Developmental Coaching should be viewed as an
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
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.
Some of the key findings of some of the educational
workshops conducted by the Behavioral Coaching Institute are:
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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