Coaching Pilot: Coming in for a landing
The coaching program I developed and piloted for my organization is coming to a close at the end of this month. It’s bittersweet to have my final coaching calls with the coachees. Bittersweet because I will miss our regular coaching sessions and hearing about their successes. However, I am grateful because I witnessed each person progress and grow. I’m proud of the coachees. More importantly, they are proud of themselves. They worked hard, they were self-reflective, and they moved out of their comfort zones. The coachees learned and implemented new techniques and navigated the sometimes choppy waters of discovering their leadership styles.
My pilot consisted of 6 months of coaching, two hours per month for 12 new or emerging leaders. At the beginning of the engagement, the coachee and their manager each completed a leadership assessment to help identify strengths and gaps, which helped them to develop coaching goals. Then the three of us met to confirm our shared understanding of the coaching goals, confidentiality, and a commitment to the program.
At the midway point, the coachee, their manager, and I met to discuss the coachee’s progress with their coaching goals. We are now holding meetings to close out the coaching engagement. The coachee shares their results, what they learned, and what their plans are for sustainability. The manager shares their observations, the impact of coaching on the employee and team, and plans for continued support. Both parties complete the same leadership assessment from the beginning of the program, as well as an evaluation.
The feedback has been incredible. Coachees are proud of what they have accomplished, they feel more confident in their roles as new leaders, and they valued the dedicated time for reflection during our coaching sessions. They have tangible results. Coachees say they appreciate my asking them challenging questions, my direct yet supportive coaching style, and they find my “homework” assignments helpful and complementary to their development.
One of my favorite comments was a coachee who said coaching helped her learn “why”: why are certain situations or behaviors uncomfortable for her, and what is possible to overcome? I remember my first coaching session with her when she said “this is going to be hard” and squirmed in her seat in response to a question I asked. Another coachee said that as a new manager, coaching has helped her get more comfortable with discomfort. The manager of a coachee stated she recognized the value of coaching for increasing her coachee’s engagement as a leader and said that engagement trickles down to the team.
Several coachees mentioned how they are using coaching skills with others and shared how that is elevating the conversations they’re having. They see that using coaching skills and questions yields results and benefits both the coachees and individuals with whom they work. This is exactly what I hoped would happen! The skills this group of high potential new leaders have developed are helping influence the culture of our organization. It’s exciting to see their impact and how that ripple will continue to reach others.
Does your organization have a cohort of new leaders who would benefit from coaching? Let’s discuss how I can support them and ensure your new leaders are on a successful path.
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