Chris Posti: Get most from career coach
If you authorize coaching in your organization, would you like to know what you can do to increase the success of that coaching? I'm sure you do, because coaching is a substantial investment of time and money. Here are ways to maximize it.
Before bringing in a coach, consider whether there are internal options that could achieve the same results. If you are the person's boss, are you capable of devoting the time and do you have the skills to coach the person yourself? Is there someone in your human resources department who could? Does your company offer training that directly addresses the person's needs?
If internal capabilities are lacking, look externally to find a coach whose style and capabilities match the needs at hand. Even the best coaches are not right for all assignments. Are you looking for quick results, or are you willing to provide as much as a full year of coaching? Should the coach have experience with a certain industry, function or job level? Meet with a few coaches and talk with their references.
Next, you and the coach must determine whether the coachee is willing and able to be coached. Both qualities are essential. I remember coaching a sales executive who persuaded the company president and me that he was willing and able to achieve the coaching goals. Shortly after we began, he shared with me that he was going through a bitter divorce. The president mentioned that alcoholism was probably the main reason for the divorce. It became apparent that the sales executive was willing to change, but was unable to do so. We stopped the coaching and sent him to an employee assistance program, where he got the help he really needed.
At the outset of the coaching, have a definition of success that realistically can be achieved, written in plain English so that there can be no spin or misinterpretation. The definition of success must be one that everyone — the boss, the coachee, the human-resources liaison, and the coach — agrees on. Wildly diverse objectives lead to disappointment.
One of the best definitions of success I ever encountered was from a woman who was talented but rubbed people the wrong way. She wanted to move into a different department but was blocked by her personal style. She had this statement as her goal: “No one is complaining about me anymore.” Soon after the coaching, because of her improved working relationships, she achieved her ambition of moving into the department .
It's important that you tell the coach inside information and dirty little secrets. What are the challenges of the business? How about other personalities and political agendas affecting the coachee? Are there personal issues in the coachee's life? If the coaching is remedial, or the last chance before termination, let the coach know that. Agree upon how you and the coach can work best together: how often should you two touch base? Would you like to connect over the phone, or is email better? Who else needs to be in the communication loop?
Be open to challenges to your assumptions about the person being coached. Be willing to change your behavior, too. You are part of this tangoing duo, and if you are open to change, it will benefit you, the coachee and your organization. In fact, maybe you will want to get a coach for yourself, too.
Chris Posti is president of Posti & Associates in Pittsburgh. She can be reached at 724-344-1668.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NFL notebook: Student: Ex-Titan chased him, friends before crash
- Pirates defeat Braves, 3-2, clinch NL playoff spot for 2nd consecutive season
- Tomlin says practice will determine LB Harrison’s role
- Pirates notebook: Pirates prepare for playoff berth celebration
- Aging natural gaslines pose hidden threat
- Steelers’ Taylor recovering from forearm surgery
- Steelers notebook: Archer shooting for return vs. Buccaneers
- Penguins blanked at Columbus, 2-0
- Port Authority: Drivers ‘reckless’ before buses bumped, 1 went over hillside
- State Sen. Jim Ferlo: ‘I’m gay. Get over it. I love it’
- DE Blair’s 1st Pitt start continues miraculous recovery from stroke