Coaching for Professionals, Executives, & Organizations

Coaching is a one-to-one learning and development process that uses a collaborative, reflective, goal-focused relationship to achieve professional outcomes that are valued by the coachee (Smither, 2011). Although the term coaching may be used to refer to a variety of one-to-one development activities, we view it as a resource for clients to develop the self-awareness to grow and develop themselves in the direction of their choosing.

🌱 Read: "Coaching should be the new free lunch in tech" by Lisa Nielsen

 

GCI offerS three coaching packages:

1. Corporate Individual Packages:

Individual packages are offered for executives and professionals seeking to enhance their effectiveness and happiness both professionally and personally. We offer a six-month package where individuals work with their coach to identify three growth areas to focus on, as well as ongoing coaching sessions for individuals who prefer to use their coach as a thought-partner to explore a variety of goals and emergent topics. Both individual coaching tracks include an initial intake session and three-month progress review sessions.

2. Corporate Team Packages:

Team packages offer all the benefits of individual coaching as well as providing organizations and teams insight into systemic issues that their group is facing. For example, a coach working with a team may identify that individuals are consistently struggling with role clairy on a particular team. An independent coach would not recognize this as a systemic issue and focus the coaching on how to ask for clarity. However, by identifying this a common team-issue, GCI can help the team address it at the team-level, resolving the problem for many instead of one.

We have frequently seen these systemic opportunities arise around topics such as decision-making confusion, questions of influence vs. authority, uncertain role boundaries, or accountability issues -- all issues which can be addressed at an organizational design level, in addition to individual, for greater impact.

As a benefit to team packages, organizations receive a quarterly report of the common themes arising in coaching to take advantage of opportunities for strategic team-level interventions. Individual confidential is always protected in the sharing of themes.

3. Individual Packages:

We offer a sliding scale rate to individuals wishing to explore coaching without financial support from their employer. These sessions may include a third silent observer coach-in-training or may be led by a coaching intern, under the supervision of one of our coaches.

How effective is coaching?

In the literature to date, the case has been building, based primarily on anecdotal evidence and uncontrolled studies, that coaching is effective at improving work-based outcomes including goal accomplishment (Fischer & Beimers, 2009), professional growth (McGuf-fin & Obonyo, 2010), improved professional relationships (Kombarakaran, Yang, Baker, & Fernandes, 2008), greater managerial flexibility (Jones, Rafferty, & Griffin, 2006), increased productivity (Olivero, Bane, & Kopelman, 1997), and improved resilience and workplace well-being (Grant, Curtayne, & Burton, 2009). Coaching is also aligned with recent emergent interest in active rather than passive learning, by which employees take responsibility for shaping their own learning processes (Bell & Kozlowski, 2008). Coaching is led by the coachee, giving them control over their learning and development, and the increasing popularity of coaching in organizations may therefore reflect a more general trend away from ‘one size fits all’ approaches to training (Salas & Kozlowski, 2010).

Sherman and Freas (2004) report that the relational nature of coaching provides an individual, customized feel to coaching, with coaches providing candour, and honest feedback to the coachee in relation to their performance and behaviour. This is frequently supplemented with feedback from the coachee’s organization (e.g., through multisource feedback). However, the privacy, non-judgmental perspective, and confidentiality of the coaching session provide a safe environment for the coachee to reflect on that feedback and work on improving areas of weakness. The coach may discuss suggested tools and techniques to help the coachee develop and improve, the content of which is dependent on the background and approach of the coach. However, coaches generally avoid providing instructional or prescriptive solutions to coachees, because as highlighted above, they are often not technical experts in the coachee’s occupational area of specialty (McAdam, 2005).

 Coaches apply goal-setting: Well established as a technique of performance improvement (e.g., Locke & Latham, 1990, 2002; Morisano, Hirsh, Peterson, Pihl, & Shore, 2010; Wegge, Bipp, & Kleinbeck, 2007). Goals generally feature activities undertaken whilst at work, promoting experiential forms of practice and learning (e.g., Kolb, 1984). Related to this and thirdly, by encouraging learning through practice at work, coaching rather directly promotes translation of learning to work performance behaviour, addressing the issue of transfer, often cited as a barrier to performance benefits of training (e.g., Baldwin & Ford, 1988). In this respect, the personalized nature of coaching may provide a high-fidelity form of workplace learning (Kozlowski & DeShon, 2004; van der Locht, van Dam, & Chiaburu, 2013).

🌱 Learn more about the effectiveness of workplace coaching.

Reference: Jones, R.J., Woods, S.A., Guillaume, Y.R.F. (2016). A meta-analysis of learning and performance outcomes from coaching. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 89, 249–277.

How is coaching different from mentorship?

The coaching relationship is one that the coachee enters into for the specific purpose of fulfilling development objectives. It is important to differentiate coaching from other forms of developmental relationships in the workplace, such as mentoring. A mentoring relationship is conventionally long term between a highly experienced mentor and an inexperienced mentee. The mentor is assumed to be highly experienced in the discipline or field in which the mentee is working, and in the workplace, the mentor typically provides guidance on career development and networking (Eby et al., 2013). In a coaching relationship, there is no such expectation that the coach has expertise or experience of the coachee’s area of work, and the term of the relationship is rather guided by specific objectives. 

How is coaching different from therapy?

Depending on which therapeutic orientation is considered, coaching can be very similar or very different from a practice of psychotherapy. Coaching does not seek to surface deep rooted trauma and facilitate a healing process, and coaching is not advice-giving. Coaching is client-driven and coach-supported.

What should I expect?

The potential outcomes of coaching are separated into cognitive, skill-based, and affective outcomes. Examples of cognitive outcomes from coaching include new declarative and procedural knowledge which could be acquired by self-directed learning and problem-solving (guided by goal-setting). The work-based application of improvement and development activity that is encouraged in coaching is likely to promote skill acquisition and enhancement, effectively resulting in skill-based outcomes. In addition, many of the intended benefits of coaching represent affective outcomes, such as the development of self-efficacy and confidence, reduction of stress, and increased satisfaction and motivation.

 A coaching commitment can be short- or long-term. Typically a short term engagement lasts a minimum of 6-12 weeks. Ongoing coaching is available as well. Coaching sessions can be scheduled weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly. Typically a bi-monthly cadence is recommended to start. Coaching sessions are 50 minutes long and may include homework assignments to further development in between meetings.

 Coaching is always confidential.