Human Resources Division (HRD) - Executive Support & Leadership Services (ESLS) Branch - Coaching - What Is Coaching?
The effectiveness of an executive is tied to their ability to lead and motivate employees. We all want to be proud of who we are - both in our own eyes and in the eyes of others. We all want to make a difference. So how do we go about developing the leader within us?
“Being a leader changes everything. Before you are a leader, success is all about you. It's about your performance, your contributions. It's about getting called upon and having the right answers. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. Your success as a leader comes not from what you do but from the reflected glory of the people you lead.”
-- Jack Welch
Being a leader requires a whole new mindset.
It’s easier to recognize performance gaps in others rather than finding those gaps in ourselves. But great leaders recognize the importance of continued improvement and support the concept of a learning organization. Recent studies reflect that the long-term success of individuals and organizations is directly linked to the quality of their leaders.
Leaders need to use various leadership and relational styles. These improve performance and enhance relationships. Through coaching the Executive Support and Leadership Services (ESLS) group will work with individuals to deepen an awareness of the vital traits that are required from them to be successful. With the support of ESLS, executives and managers learn how to identify and improve leadership gaps - and then create strategies to close them.
At the most basic level, coaches serve as suppliers of candor, providing leaders with the objective feedback they need to nourish their growth. Coaching gets executives to slow down, gain awareness, and notice the effects of their words and actions. It provides a disciplined way for the organization to deepen relationships with their most valued employees while also increasing their effectiveness. On a larger scale, strategic coaching can bring leaders into alignment with organizational aims, while fostering broad cultural change.
Those who benefit the most from coaching are those individuals who share their confidential issues and work with their coach to find solutions that work. The executive coach is a partner who learns who the leader is - not just at the surface but at a deep level - and understands and supports their goals. The objective is to help the leader achieve a new level of effectiveness. We talk about the things that matter to the individual so we can help them confidently develop your leadership skills and map out their road to success.
Who’s a candidate for an executive coach? Who might benefit from this type of one-on-one development opportunity? The target audiences for executive coaching within APHIS are:
ESLS will work with individuals (GS-14 – SES) to deepen an awareness of the vital traits that are required for them to be successful. ESLS will match leaders with coaches which will enable them to maximize the developmental opportunity. Coaches may come from an internal cadre of professionals or through external contractual agreements.
Each coaching situation is unique. We work on what you feel you need to work on. You become involved in various exercises and conversations to determine what you want to gain from your coaching experience. You begin by determining what concerns you so you may set your values and goals. You identify your values so we may create a map to guide you on making these things happen. Coaches do not have answers; they have the questions to help you find the answers. We'll explore work style and work environment; and review perceptions, attitudes and beliefs and leverage individual’s strengths. And we help examine obstacles and support the leader as they learn to work around areas of weakness, giving them the ability to find success on their own terms. We may suggest a series of assessments to give the individual a mirror to view their behavior and become aware of how they can improve. Understanding oneself and developing the ability to motivate others are the pillars of leadership. Finally, coaching can help you focus on development activities that tie directly to effectiveness in the performance of competencies from our Executive Core Qualifications or ECQs.
"I never cease to be amazed at the power of the coaching process to draw out the skills or talent that was previously hidden within an individual, and which invariably finds a way to solve a problem previously thought unsolvable."
-- John Russell, Managing Director, Harley-Davidson Europe Ltd.
ESLS Coaches, both internal and external, adhere to the International Coach Federation (ICF) principles and guidelines which honor the client as the expert in his/her personal and/or professional life and believe that every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on these foundations, the coach’s responsibility is to:
Thus, professional coaching is an ongoing partnership that helps clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Through the coaching process, clients deepen learning, improve their performance, and enhance their quality of life.
In each meeting, the client and the coach choose the focus of conversation, while the coach listens and contributes observations and questions. This interaction creates clarity and moves the client into action. Coaching accelerates the client’s progress by providing greater focus and awareness of choice. Coaching concentrates on where clients are today and what they are willing to do to get where they want to be tomorrow.
Coaching will focus on three aspects: the personal core of the client, what the client and the organization want, and what the client and the organization are willing to do or change to get what they want. The coach is not the leader. The coach is a partner, listener and client advocate; the client is the leader.
A Coach helps you clarify who you are, what your values are and what is needed to be true to yourself, and then how does this align with the Agency. If you are not true to your values, you create a disharmony within yourself. You decide if you are making life choices that are right for you and the Agency, or if you are following societal trends. A coach helps you figure out what you need to do to be happy and balanced, effective and productive.
A coach uses inquiry, reflection, requests and discussion to help you identify personal and/or business goals, so you can develop strategies, relationships and action plans intended to achieve those goals. A coach keeps you focused and works with you to redefine your goals and aspirations. Your coach not only supports you, but helps push you to reach your goals. Your coach holds you accountable for your goals and the action plan you'll use to meet those goals.
Last Modified: January 11, 2010