It is about assisting, supporting and encouraging executives to
find answers to:
How they assess the issues that they are confronting that are
limiting or preventing them from reaching their potential
The approach that I take as a coach is to use my skills as a
collaborator and communicator. The key to coaching is sensible,
well-controlled conversation and skills practising with clear
follow-ups. My depth of experience in corporate
and people management at senior levels in CSR (10 years) AGC (3 years)
and of course, Chase (15 years), has equipped me well for this. As an
external coach I am finding that the ability to discuss and draw out the issues with
the "counselee", so that together insights and shared analysis are developed - is the key.
Examples of the types of coaching I have encountered and
successfully worked on include:
I have worked closely over a long period with senior department
heads, from managers of sugar mills and refineries to mine managers to
functional head managers to investment and client banking team heads
i.e. a big cross-section of management and their "Direct Reports". I
think my extensive time in the HR head role and Board member at Chase
through the 15 years of 1985 to 2000 and the financial success of the
institution in that period is a testimony in part to the ability I
demonstrated as a coach.
More recently my work has been with executives in the
accounting, legal, and IT professions. It is nice to see appreciation for
this work reflected in the testimonials.
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Executive coaching can emerge in a wide variety of applications
Strategic planning skills such as defining purpose, vision,
mission and reinforcing corporate values, building SMART objectives
and machinery to track execution.
This can develop as an agenda on a wide variety of performance
development applications EG. To mention just a few that I know well:
The point is that quite often senior executives have missed out on
practical development and training opportunities that would have better
positioned them for confidently handling their new portfolios. It
makes very good business sense to invest in one on one coaching
at this stage of their career to maximise their potential. Almost
always senior executives have great knowledge and special experience,
which might be put into action more effectively. This means the
institution or firm is not maximising the differentiating factor that
the executive's talent represents.
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Other executive coaching applications that Dalcross might cover
with executives include discussion of life style conflicts around work
life balance and time management, career development planning,
developing a culture of coaching through the management philosophy and
training programmes in the firm (a quite common application these days
further validating the importance of this subject in the new economy
era!). Each of these has different implications for consulting
Executive Coaching will mostly have a focus in time spent on the
counselees' self-knowledge, self-observation and capability to review
and provide feedback constructively. The coach is seeking to get the
counselee to build a greater awareness of self and their potential to
have positive impact on their own and the organization goals.
Many times the issue stopping action is lack of confidence, fear of
the unknown, lack of perspective, difficulty in dealing with ambiguity.
It is the task of the executive coach to help the client find their
potential and to help develop the confidence to practise different
techniques to enable realising that potential.
THE AIM ALWAYS IS TO TRANSLATE KNOWLEDGE INTO ACTION.
It is likely, therefore, that discussion will turn to any internal
instruments that are used to assess the counselee, eg appraisals, 360
feed back, end of year assessments, profiles. Indeed it is highly
likely in some cases that new feedback would be sought and the
counselee would be invited to participate in questionnaires, role
plays designed to help provide insight into or practise skills and
techniques that may help establish a confidence to try new techniques.
As an experienced practitioner, I have encountered many such
applications and have the ability to tailor an experience, discussion,
survey, and questionnaire appropriately. I also am spending a
significant amount of consulting time as a trainer in performance
management skills which gives me a practical "coaching machinery" to
apply in coaching situations.
Importantly it should be personalised and geared towards the
individual's needs and aspirations.
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Establishing the Assignment
It is my strong view that the intervention should be
voluntary and that the rules of involvement be agreed up front (eg
confidentiality, what is reported and what is not, timings and
location of meetings, plan of the assignment, measures agreed for
assessing value add by coach), i.e. formalities such as are required
by all parties.
Clearly as discussed, the Executive Coach's ability to quickly
build the relationship, to develop trust and to inspire confidence
that the time is well spent and value added is critical.
Benefits that might be expected from coaching were
reported in an article in Fortune February 19, 2001.The article
referred to a survey conducted by a US executive consulting firm
Manchester, of its clients in the US. This article is quoted below:
"The respondents were from large (mostly Fortune 1,000) companies
who had participated in either 'change oriented' coaching aimed at
improving certain behaviours or skills, or 'growth oriented' coaching
designed to sharpen overall job performance. The programs lasted from
6 months to a year. About 60% of the executives were ages 40 to 49 -
a prime age bracket for career retooling. Half held positions of Vice
President or higher and a third earned USD 200,000 or more per year.
Asked for a conservative estimate of the monetary payoff from the
coaching they got, these managers described an average return of more
than USD 100,000 or about 6 times what the coaching had cost their
companies. Almost three in ten (28%) claimed they had learned enough
to boost quantifiable job performance - whether in sales or
productivity -by USD 500,000 to USD 1million since they took the
They also reported better reporting relationships with direct
reports (77%), bosses (71%), peers (63%) and clients (37%) and cited
a marked increase in job satisfaction (61%) and 'organizational
commitment' (44%), meaning they are less likely to quit than they
This is a fairly powerful and succinct endorsement of the rationale
for executive coaching interventions. The article goes on to warn
potential hirers of executive coaches to ensure that the coach has
real experience and credentials.
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So where to from here?
My suggested approach will depend on the assignment you have in question and the objectives of your institution in using me. However, as a general rule there would be a clear step process from initial meeting phase (where we discuss the assignment and the issues as you see them and your goals for the assignment, through initial meeting(s) with the counselee to position the assignment and then on to an engagement which would normally involve a period of at least 3 months with regular organized and ad hoc discussions, with agreed meetings with the client sponsor to review progress.
Timing on progression would be being dependant on the parties. This website
provides contact points and information on our approach to Coaching.
I prefer to discuss this based on the individual case and my
assessment of the likely time commitment so that I can provide you
with a clearly value added and cost effective proposal.
I trust that this provides you with a good appreciation of my approach to this subject.
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