Dr. LaBier’s coaching work with senior executives is based on his unique combination of expertise combining, on the one hand, extensive clinical experience with individuals; and, on the other, consultation regarding business psychology and organizational leadership issues.
The objective of Developmental Coaching is to learn and apply new skills that create more effective and successful leadership relationships with superiors, peers, subordinates and others. Such development provides for a more effective and successful fit between the executive and the organization’s needs and culture. This, in turn, contributes to ongoing success of the organization.
Senior leadership of today’s organizations increasingly recognizes that building and maintaining success requires a high degree of teamwork, collegiality and mutually-supportive interactions at all levels of staff. It also requires positive, supportive leadership from those with senior-level responsibilities.
Developmental Coaching supports new learning and development in key areas affecting staff and client/customer relations. Specifically, it emphasizes personal development in areas which have particular relevance for work-related behavior, together with building team-oriented relational skills necessary for senior leadership roles. The coaching assists the client to integrate and apply the new learning in the above areas, so as to enhance his/her leadership effectiveness and teamwork with the range of individuals which whom he/she interacts — direct reports, peers, senior management, and clients/customers where relevant.
This component focuses on how the person affects and is affected by interactions with others who are a part of an overall leadership team or network within the organization — both formal and informal. The coaching helps the person increase awareness of how these interactions affect his or her own effectiveness and success, as well as that of others within the larger network of staff relationships. This process identifies both existing strengths and areas in need of additional development. This component also helps the person build awareness of how career and personal values, decisions, and choices over his/her career history have contributed to the current situation, particularly those involving conflict or new challenges; and how this awareness can be used to stimulate positive change from this point forward.
Learning “Relationship Competencies”
Based upon increased self-awareness, this component identifies four elements of relationship competency that are essential for effective working relationships; particularly crucial to leadership success within today’s team-oriented work culture. Examples are used to aid learning how to utilize and apply these four elements to both present and future situations.
Integration Of Learning
This component helps the client incorporate increased self-awareness and relational competency into daily, work-related behavior with all levels of staff. The focus here is upon ongoing integration and application of new learning as a leadership “practice” which improves with continued effort and self-monitoring.
The effectiveness of the coaching program is evaluated by obtaining periodic feedback from key individuals within the organization. Part of the objective of the evaluation component is for the person to recognize that the individuals providing feedback are “stakeholders” in his/her success. Feedback is used to reinforce positive change and assist further change in problem areas.
General Structure Of The Coaching Program:
- The initial phase occurs during three to five meetings of two hour blocks each. Here, the client and Dr. LaBier establish a working relationship and “buy-in” regarding the overall objectives; and then focus on enhancing self-awareness and building relational competency. Selected exercises are used for this purpose to enhance learning and development. Ideally, the initial two meetings are conducted within approximately a two-week period, to establish continuity.
- One-two hours per week of follow-up coaching for four to six weeks. This phase of the coaching is focused on assisting the client to review, assess, and integrate the new learning into daily behavior, including new situations and problems that may arise. During this part of the coaching, the client learns to consolidate and apply the new learning. Difficulties which may occur within this process will be addressed, as needed.
- One-half hour of coaching, via telephone, every other week, for approximately 3-4 months. Additional follow-up via E-mail or telephone can be available, as needed, over a longer period of time.
- As the coaching program progresses, feedback is obtained by telephone from relevant individuals regarding perceptions of the client’s efforts to put new learning into practice. This feedback helps the client address areas in need of continued or additional development in support of ongoing strengthening of leadership skills.
The above format is modified as needed to address particular organizational and client circumstances.