Executive Consulting and Coaching
JPA-International, Inc. is an ideal resource for executive coaching and other management development processes. With over 25 years experience, JPA has the training and credentials as well. We believe it takes a person extremely skilled in both industrial/organizational issues as well as clinical psychology issues to be able to detect all the subtleties underlying people’s strengths and challenge areas, and their interaction with an organization’s unique culture and issues. Joan’s educational background in cultural differences as well as her practical, international experience in this area is also an asset for multinational organizations, and/or multinational endeavors.
In addition, Joan has worked alongside executives in financial, market growth, acquisition, ethical issues, and endeavors and she understands perfectly both the for-profit and non-profit worlds. Executives have used her as a consultant, advisor, and sounding board for many different endeavors.
The Executive Coaching Program for General Executive Development (to be referred to as “ECP-General”) is the formal leadership development program designed for executives who are generally performing well.
The core process for General Executive Coaching is as follows:
- Executives are targeted to go through a leadership development process. Often the whole group goes through leadership development training, and coaching is provided to assist each executive in developing and implementing their own executive development program, tying back to the common core values and principles brought out in the training
- The coach meets with the executive for an initial interview or series of interviews. The coaching process is explained, including why this executive is being targeted, and a personal history is obtained. Further discussions are around the areas of responsibility, the strengths and challenges the executive sees him or herself to have in carrying out their areas of responsibility, their understanding (perception) of how others see them, their personal goals and ambitions, etc.
- The coach meets with the direct superior of the individual (often the CEO or even the board) and obtains their input. Sometimes the meeting may take place with both the targeted executive and his or her boss together.
- A “test battery” is administered, which includes a series of inventories specifically related to management, leadership, conflict management skills, organizational skills, and other areas. Some inventories are 360 degree administered. Psychological tests that are effective for the workplace may also be administered. Each test battery is unique, depending on the person and the industry, unless a number of people from the same executive group are being coached. Then the battery may be standardized, and inventories related to group efforts may be included.
- Feedback is given and discussed, and the most important points to be focused on for development are agreed upon. The ultimate goals of the executive and of the company, the test battery results and the personal needs of the executive all drive this part. Conflicts between organizational and personal goals are openly addressed.
- Action plans are developed for each item in a specific “commitment” process that has been developed by JPA-International.
- Coaching and a plan on how to feed back the results to other parties (boss, employees, etc.) is set up if needed.
- A pattern for frequency of interaction between the executive and the coach is set up. The standard process for frequency of follow-up meetings is usually 2 times a month for 6-9 months, one hour for each meeting. Follow-up meetings can be done by phone or in person.
- Coaching is a very personal process. Since JPA addresses both the psychological and organizational issues of being an effective leader, both areas are covered when setting goals and action plans. The focus is on changing behavior, but also attitude and perspective as well. Often issues outside of work affect executive skills and are addressed as needed.
- Executives usually enjoy the whole process!
The Executive Coaching Program for Performance Issues (to be referred to as “ECP- Performance”) is similar in process to the ECP-General, but it has a different purpose, focus, follow-up focus, and outcome. This program is designed specifically for executives who are not performing to acceptable standards in one or several aspects of their areas of responsibilities. The manager of this person would like to see if the executive will be able to respond and increase their performance to acceptable standards after being given a structured coaching process that focuses on performance management (and measurement). Parts of the ECP-Performance might be combined with the ECP-General process as needed.
The core process for Executive Coaching-Performance is as follows:
- The executive may or may not go through specialized leadership (or other training) before beginning the one-on-one coaching. Often this type of coaching results from concerns of the executive’s boss, peers, direct reports, customers, or any combination thereof.
- Sometimes the company will arrange to have several executives go through Executive Coaching at the same time so those who are not performing do not feel singled out. On the other hand, the executive will be made aware early on the specific reason(s) for their being coached, including performance issues.
- The coach meets first with the manager (and sometimes HR and/or legal dept.) of the executive to be coached to gather information. This may be a small meeting, with a more extensive one occurring after the coach has met with the executive him or herself.
- The coach meets with the executive (sometimes with the executive’s boss, sometimes alone). The purpose of the coaching is discussed and the coach performs a special interview to assist in finding out the (usually) differing perspectives of the issues. Alignment of the executive’s vision, goals, and values with that of the senior executive team and organization is determined. Strengths of the executive are brought out as well through the interview. Any documentation, assessment info, etc. available is looked at or discussed (depending on legal requirements).
- The executive makes a specific, clear decision to be coached on performance. If a test battery appropriate to the issues has not been administered, testing is done. Please note that almost all assessments for performance issues include psychological testing as well. Also, a very specific process is used when analyzing the 360 assessments to determine “Managerial Self-Awareness” (MSA), which is the degree of congruence between how the manager perceives his or her strengths and weaknesses and that of those who have rated him or her. MSA gives important information especially useful for performance issues (and may also bring out performance issues that other executives or the boss didn’t even know were there!). MSA may also be used in General Executive Coaching, but is not required.
- Feedback on the results is given privately to the executive and discussed. Plans of action and commitments to making specific changes are developed.
- The executive gives feedback with the coach present to the manager of that executive. The manager also gives his/her input to performance actions, etc. Also discussed is whether further data needs to be collected to establish a baseline. A baseline is a measurement of how the executive being coached is currently performing in an arena. An assessment can serve as a baseline, meaning you have a current score, and then the assessment is retaken 6 months later to determine if the baseline score has improved based on changes in the individual’s behavior. Sometimes, however, specific behavioral baselines need to be set up that are more specific to the changes in behavior being sought.
- As with General Executive Coaching, a follow-up schedule is created. Coaching usually occurs face-to-face or by phone each week for a minimum of the first few months. If it appears progress is being made after a two-month evaluation, then the sessions may be 2-3 times a month. Length of time of follow-up coaching depends on the issues and on the progress being made.
- In ECP-Performance, the manager of the executive being coached is kept informed monthly on how well the person being coached is proceeding. This session may or may not include the executive being coached. Usually by the third month, the coach can tell how much further progress will occur and at what rate. However, the manager of the executive (and/or others- HR, legal, etc.) makes the final decision as to what to do.
- As with ECP-General, the follow-up sessions are highly behavioral in focus, though again, psychological and attitudinal issues will also be worked with as necessary.
The Coaching as Needed process is more informal and ad hoc. Sometimes a manager is not sure if he/she wants to spend the money (and time) on coaching a specific person. A shortened process is done with the main goal being for the coach to determine if the executive in question should be coached or not. There are a number of ways this process may occur:
- An interview and shorter assessment process is conducted, with feedback being given to both the executive under question and his or her boss (separately or together). The coach also speaks privately to the boss with her specific recommendations on whether or not to go forward.
- The coach mediates a session between the executive in question and his or her manager (or possibly someone else) to iron out issues. The coach also interviews the executive and manager privately. The coach then gives feedback and recommendations to the more senior manager.
- The executive has been coached before and just needs some extra support in a particular area. The issue here is not so much performance as it is providing extra support for the individual.
The above examples are only some of the many ways clients have used coaching for their managers. This list is by no means exhaustive.
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