What is coaching?
To adapt a definition from the International Coach Federation, Professional Coaching is a partnership that helps clients achieve clear results for themselves and their organizations. As a result of coaching, clients set better goals, take more action, make better decisions, and more fully use their natural strengths.
Coaching is not therapy or counselling. A coach will focus on the present and the future as opposed to the past. A coaching client is not broken or in crisis or in need of being fixed. Our Clients want to achieve at higher levels for themselves and their organizations.
Do you guarantee coaching will work? or How Do I Know Coaching Will Work?
At the heart of coaching is the honest partnership between coach and client. A key variable in the partnership is the client’s engagement with the coaching process and their willingness to turn insight into action. The other requirement is the collaborative development of clear outcomes that the client is seeking to achieve from the partnership. With those in place, coaching is set up for success. Without these, nothing is guaranteed.
Why should I bring coaching into my organization rather than other methods of developing people?
The success of an organization depends on the capabilities of its people. Coaching addresses an individual’s unique capabilities and vulnerabilities in a way that solutions targeted at larger audiences cannot do. This does not mean other methods don’t have a place in increasing organizational and team effectiveness, only that coaching is the most effective way of transforming individual performance.
How do I know coaching is right for me or for my organization?
For individuals there is no issue, challenge, or goal that a coaching partnership couldn’t help you address. This is not, by the way, over-promising; it is simply that coaching helps people move into action, in new ways, with clarity. If that’s what you want, coaching is appropriate.
Because there are various ways organizations can use coaching—from fostering executive development to impacting culture to addressing performance issues—the key requirement is for organizations to understand what they want from coaching and why. Once the organization commits to the impact it wants coaching to have, coaching can be put in place to support the organization’s outcomes.
There are a lot of coaching groups out there? Why use you?
There are lots of things we think differentiate us. We take seriously our commitment to insuring a match between coach and client. Our backgrounds in organization development means we trust our ability not only to understand the dynamics of your organization but to be able to engage relevant parts of it when appropriate. We also work at whatever level is right for the client’s–and organization’s–goals, whether its supporting transformative insight about their motivations and behaviors, or increasing their ability to quickly find files on their hard drive. Our years in learning design also allow us to create compelling programs to make coaching an in-house capacity. It is not any one of these things, but each of them working together that defines our unique capabilities.
How much does it cost?
We do not design our coaching on a “one size fits all” framework. In each partnership different components of coaching are utilized. When you begin to enter into coaching with us and we understand your unique situation, we will be able to work together to price our coaching services for you. We do make an effort to be aware of whether an organization we are working with is from the profit or non-profit sector.
You have a number of coaches. Who will be my coach?
We pride ourselves on assuring a match between coach and client. When we talk with you initially in our entry process, we will learn your situation, make a collective judgement as to whom is the most appropriate coach, at which point the coach will then call you back to design your coaching partnership with you.
Coaching is not a static process with a road map. It is a dynamic partnership centered on the client’s agenda for development. The coaching partnership is the heart of the process, and around it are several key components and guiding principles to keep the coaching on track.
Common to every coaching partnership is the client’s entry into coaching, where we focus on understanding the client’s context and goals to insure that the client and the coach are effectively matched. The entry process begins to articulate which features in the coaching process may be appropriate.The client and coach together design their partnership and schedule their sessions, followed by ongoing coaching moving the client towards their outcomes.
Because our coaching focuses on excellence in the workplace, we draw on a variety of tools to complement the core coaching sessions. These may include self-assessments, 360° assessments, colleague interviews, shadow coaching where we observe the client in action in their workplace, and meetings with the client’s team. While together we will make some decisions about these at the start of our work together, we may also change or add in such features as the coaching partnership evolves.The coaching partnership and its outcomes may at various times be assessed to insure we’re heading to the right place and doing so in “the right vehicle.” The coaching may be redesigned to account for changes in the focus of the coaching, as well as to maximize the coaching’s effectiveness.
In all of this, we are guided by a commitment to achievable outcomes around which the client is in action, supported by an appropriate engagement with the organization in a context of client confidentiality. The coaching exit always involves addressing a sustainablility strategy for the client to continue moving forward in their work. We believe that effective closure to the coaching is significant in supporting the client to sustain their learning and development.
Our coaching practice uses various assessments from The Center for Creative Leadership, The Courage Institute, Human Synergistics, and Team Management Systems.
Coaching is a partnership designed to achieve outcomes for our clients. Those outcomes vary widely, depending on the particular organizational and life context of the client. Outcomes range from very practical, actionable solutions to deeper insights about oneself and one’s opportunities. Some of the outcomes we have worked with include:
A successful adjustment to a job with a larger scope and mandate than jobs held previously
An ability to lead more collaboratively and less autocratically
An ability to balance the demands of work with the other aspects of one’s life
Greater savvy in navigating the politics and personalities of the organization
More strategic clarity about where one wants to take their organization, business unit, or team
Confidence in one’s ability to lead change and motivate people
These outcomes are, of course, not comprehensive. Each client will establish their own outcomes in partnership with their coach.
“Your assistance during the past year of coaching has been tremendous – in my own personal development as a leader; in coaching my team to deliver superior performance; as a personal mentor in navigating difficult business situations and environments.”
J.H., Director Virgin
“I cannot thank you enough for all you have done for me, you have opened me up to the future.”
C.M., Manager, Great West Life
“I am particularly impressed with Edgework’s ability to include all levels of the organisation and to ensure that people at each level come away with a better understanding of their challenges.”
C.L, Past President, Canadian Wood Council
“Coaching has allowed me to leverage my talents, while managing my intolerance of others’ work styles, and varying perspectives.. Everyday I am grateful for the coaching I have received.”
M.F., Director, Bell Canada
“In a short time I’ve taken specific actions to change [negative workplace] dynamics and they’re working. The coaching was a great experience that allowed me to confirm my intentions in many areas and more profoundly discover things that I simply could not see before.”
M.M., Director, Schwartzkopf Canada
These principles anchor our coaching practice:
A commitment to a partnership with our clients, who are always the individuals in front of us. Our purpose as coaches is to firmly focus on serving the individual’s agenda–to help the client advance in their world, with their unique challenges and opportunities, and to impact the organization through our client’s successes.
A commitment to confidentiality. When clients begin coaching with us, they will receive an explanation of our confidentiality framework, explaining the boundaries between them, ourselves and their sponsoring organization.
A commitment to engage, where appropriate, other parts of the organization that impact the client’s success. This may mean engaging the client’s supervisor in supporting certain changes, soliciting qualitative feedback from direct reports. In all such cases, the client must agree with the particular engagement.
A commitment to a clear and achievable contract. ELG supports its clients to achieve explicit outcomes within a defined time frame. If a client needs to examine an area where we believe we are not qualified to coach, we’ll suggest other resources.
A commitment to turn word into actions. This commitment is on the part of ourselves and our clients. Coaching will not add value to individuals and organizations without this fundamental understanding being in place. Action is coaching’s end-state.