Traditionally, executive coaching includes collecting 360-degree feedback, administering personality instruments, identifying areas for development upon which an action plan is created and on-going bi-weekly coaching sessions. Its primary goal is to raise self-awareness and change behaviors that are deeply ingrained and are obstacles to the person’s personal and professional growth. This process is intensive and takes time often requiring a minimum of six months.
There are times when talking to someone objectively for a few hours can help an employee to resolve a specific issue such as:
- Empowering their staff
- Projecting a professional image
- Giving effective feedback
- Managing up
- Managing a difficult employee
- Building relationships with their team, colleagues and others
- Or, just a sounding board for day-to-day work related situations
Lominger’s Leadership Architect outlines the developmental difficulty of certain competencies breaking them down into “easiest” to “hardest.” For example, coaching to help someone dealing with ambiguity or strategic agility would be more time consuming than helping them learn how to give feedback.
So, when you have an employee who is (1) aware of their development need and (2) is seeking help, consider short term coaching. It gets right the heart of the issue and is more cost effective than a lengthy coaching program.