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Executive Coaching

In today’s extremely competitive business climate, it is no longer acceptable for executives to do well. Instead they must excel in all areas of the business. ExecuQuest is dedicated to ensuring that key executives successfully adapt to the rapidly changing work environment. Toward that end, we have created a personalized coaching experience that is designed to recognize an executive’s unique skills and address his or her developmental needs.

We provide senior executives with an opportunity to reflect upon their performance as leaders in their organization. During the process, participants will obtain a clear image of themselves and the impact that they have on their co-workers as well as the company as a whole. We focus on strengthening strategic competencies that are required of senior executives to be able to guide the organization towards its vision, as well as discovering techniques for achieving a rewarding working life balanced with a satisfying personal life.

To learn more about Executive Coaching, please take a moment to watch the following short video.

The Indicators

  • The executive appears to be isolated from the rest of the organization.
  • People seem to be withholding important information from the executive.
  • There is confusion about roles and responsibilities among the executive’s direct reports.
  • The overall financial performance of the business seems to be deteriorating, and management seems to be slow to react.
  • The executive has difficulties inspiring enthusiasm and commitment from the different constituencies he/she interacts with (customers, peers, direct reports, supervisor, etc.)
  • The executive’s peers see him/her as self-serving.
  • The executive is perceived as protecting his/her department at the expense of the overall business.
  • People act with caution around the executive for fear of repercussions.
  • The organization has many urgent initiatives with no sense of priority.
  • People feel that as soon as they engage in a given path, the company changes direction and their efforts are wasted.
  • The executive is described as stubborn and out of touch.
  • The executive is seen as explosive or overbearing.

The Process

  1. The ExecuQuest consultant meets with the prospective executive and his/her boss to discuss the contract.
  2. The consultant devotes up to twelve meetings with executive’s superiors, peers, and subordinates.
  3. The consultant specifies use of two to three assessment instruments.
  4. The consultant conducts six two-hour sessions with the executive over a three-month period.
  5. The consultant attends a second meeting with executive and his/her boss to review the status of the project.
  6. Conclusion of process and planning of future action.
  7. The consultant conducts the first follow-up meeting three months later after the concluding meeting.
  8. A second follow-up meeting is planned for six months after the initiation of the process.

The Components

  • In-depth Diagnostic Instruments
  • In-depth Interviews
  • 360° Technology
  • One-on-one (or telephone) interviews with members of the client’s network
  • Assessment Report
  • Individual Development Action Plan
  • One-on-one Coaching
  • Follow-up Assessment
Executives often have a very negative reaction to the term “coaching.” Although very much in vogue, it is often misunderstood. When an executive is recommended to undergo a coaching process, it is often heard as, “Go get some therapy,” which obviously brings up the natural and not often expressed response of “I’m not crazy.” With such a response comes the implicit resistance to explore the possible benefits of a coaching relationship.

For us, Executive Coaching is an equalitarian relationship between two adults: a coach and a coachee. It is aimed at helping the coachee explore his or her basic assumptions, core beliefs, patterns of decisions, and behaviors in order to expand his or her potential, as well as areas of difficulty that may be hindering his or her relationship with others and/or effectiveness at work. In this relationship, the role of the coach is to help and facilitate such exploration by creating a safe environment where the executive can engage in a meaningful process of reflection and discovery. Although it is not therapy, the process itself can be therapeutic. The relationship is one of choice where the executive gains full awareness of his or her implicit or explicit choices as well as the implications of such choices, and learns to take full responsibility for his or her professional or life journey.

What is the process?
This is a common question when dealing with the unknown. As Abraham Maslow said, “We are driven by the need to know and the fear of knowing.” There is no unique way or prescriptive process for coaching. It is an organic process/relationship that ends when the executive and/or the coach feel that the relationship is no longer helpful to the coachee. In general, the process involves a Discovery Phase, Reflection Phase, New Choices and Decisions Phase, Experimentation and Behavioral Change Phase, and then a return to the Discovery Phase.

Who gets involved in the process and when do they get involved?
The process may start and end with the two adults (coach and coachee) with no further involvement from anyone else. Others may be involved, if necessary, to aid in any of the phases of the coaching engagement but only with the agreement of the coachee and the coach. This may include the boss, peers, subordinates, family members, and friends, etc. of the executive.

Who would have access to the information or issues that emerge during this process?
All the information belongs to the executive and it is his or her decision with whom to share this information.

Are there any tools or assessment instruments used in this process?
Yes. We find that assessment instruments are particularly useful in the Discovery Phase. They allow us to explore the basic assumptions, tendencies, and style of the coachee as well as the image or impact that the coachee has on others.

Contracting Phase
The first step of our process assures consistency and cohesive communication between the Learner, the Sponsor/Superior, and the ExecuQuest Senior Consultant.

  • The consultant meets one-on-one with the Sponsor/Superior of the Learner to understand his or her motivation and the desired outcomes of the coaching process.
  • The consultant meets one-on-one with the Learner to develop a sense of the Learner’s expectations and his or her understanding of the coaching process.
  • The consultant meets simultaneously with both the Sponsor/Superior and the Learner to discuss the shared expectations of the process, to establish the role of the Sponsor/Superior in regard to the process, to define accountability of the Learner during the process, and to address any outstanding questions or concerns regarding the process.

Discovery Phase
This two-step phase of the process is intended to identify and help the Learner reflect, understand, and integrate his or her:

  • Confirmed Strengths: Skills, competencies, and/or individual characteristics that are recognized by the Learner and those in his or her significant network (boss, peers, direct reports, boss’s boss, reports to direct reports, etc.).
  • Unrecognized Strengths: Skills, competencies, and/or characteristics that other people observe as strengths, but have not previously been recognized by the Learner. In revealing unrecognized strengths, one can begin to acknowledge, explore, and utilize them to their full potential.
  • Stumbling Blocks: Areas recognized by the Learner and by his or her co-workers as needing improvement. The development process for stumbling blocks is often straightforward and simply requires specific coaching or a tailored development program.
  • Blind Spots: Areas that others describe as weak or problematic, of which the Learner was previously unaware. Blind spots provide major opportunities for growth which involves coming to terms with one’s blind spots, exploring their sources and impacts, and discovering how to reduce the gap between one’s self-perception and the way he or she is perceived by others.

In order to realize those objectives of the Discovery Phase, the following steps are taken:

Step 1 – Data Gathering

  • The ExecuQuest Senior Consultant meets with the Learner for approximately six hours. During this meeting, the consultant, together with the Learner, explores the background, history, assumption, values, and any information from the Learner that is seen as important/relevant to the coaching process.
  • The Learner applies a series of self-assessment tools designed to reveal his or her self-perception, natural tendencies, and leadership/social styles.
  • The consultant conducts up to fourteen one-on-one interviews of up to one hour with members of the Learner’s significant network to gather information regarding his or her perceived image, impact, and the overall effect he or she has on his or her coworkers.
  • Peer Feedback: Up to 20 members of the Learner’s significant network complete two online surveys (Leadership 360 Feedback and Leadership Style Inventory/LSI-2) in order to evaluate consistencies and inconsistencies in the Learner’s behavioral and style patterns.
  • Observations: The consultant shadows the Learner for up to six hours during a regular workday and attends meetings and other activities deemed by the Learner and his or her Sponsor/Superior as relevant in order to gain meaningful exposure to the Learner’s style and effect on others.

Step 2 – Feedback with Learner (End of Discovery Phase)

  • The consultant meets off-site for a two- to four-hour feedback session with the Learner.During these sessions, the consultant acts as a conduit of information and as a source of reflection and understanding for the Learner.

Reflection Phase
Subsequent to the four-week discovery phase, the consultant conducts 45-minute to one-hour weekly telephone dialogues with the Learner. These dialogues facilitate the application of the awareness and reflection methods developed during the previous phases of the process in situations that occur in his or her day-to-day life.

Action Planning Phase
After the reflection phase, the consultant meets for four hours with the Learner to help him or her address and plan learning/growth opportunities.

Ongoing Coaching
During the subsequent three months, the consultant and Learner hold hour-long monthly telephone conversations to continue the coaching process as the Learner moves forward with his or her professional/personal development plan.

Follow-Up Meetings with Sponsor/Superior and Learner
During these meetings, the consultant will meet with the Sponsor/Superior to discuss changes and progress demonstrated by the Learner, as well as check in on areas that require further improvement. Following the meetings with the Sponsor/Superior, the consultant will meet with both the Sponsor/Superior and the Learner to review and compare the original process and desired outcomes with the actual process and real outcomes, and to determine further actions.