Coaching: The Best Way to Grow Leaders
The best coaches on the sports field and in the workplace show people how to gain the personal and professional skills and behaviors that will help them reach their goals. In The Extraordinary Coach, two top executive coaches describe the techniques that master coaches use to guide managers, supervisors and other organizational leaders to improved performance at work.
The co-authors are both seasoned in the delicate art of sharing coaching advice with senior business leaders who need some help. Executive coach John Zenger is renowned in the field of human resources as the co-founder of the executive education firm Zenger/Folkman. He is also the co-author of the bestsellers The Extraordinary Leader and The Inspiring Leader. In 1994, he was even inducted into the Human Resources Development Hall of Fame. In The Extraordinary Coach, Zenger and Zenger/Folkman Senior Consultant Kathleen Stinnett explore the coaching concepts that can help any leader become more effective.
At the foundation of the co-authors' strategy for guiding leaders to better coaching experiences are a few vital skills. These include easy-to-say but hard-to-master concepts, such as listening, questioning and providing valuable feedback. Offering advice on how to deliver feedback, reinforce it and redirect colleagues to better behaviors and habits, the authors borrow many of their methods from fields beyond business to build better ways to coach professionals.
One piece of thoughtful insight that Zenger and Stinnett share comes from psychologist Dr. James Prochaska, who performed a landmark study of those suffering from addiction.
Although the interactions between a coach and a "coachee" are not as serious as those that take place in addiction treatment, both situations involve change and change theory. Zenger and Stinnett recognize that some of the keys from the field of psychology that are used to help people change their personal habits can also work well in the field of leadership training. Adapting Prochaska's work into the coaching realm, the co-authors detail the individual steps a coach must take with a coachee along the path between poor performance and a positive change.
Looking at the differences among the stages of change helps both a coach and a coachee in several ways. For example, it not only shows them where the coachee can be placed on the continuum of learning, but it also shows both people that there is no magic jump that occurs from a senior leader's struggles with a performance issue to a full resolution. The authors develop steps that break down the struggles and the reinforcements that need to take place while moving between the unique stages of a leader's change.
The examples used throughout The Extraordinary Coach show how other coaches have handled common situations that crop up during the course of a coaching experience. These stories and Zenger and Stinett's analysis of their resolutions provide readers with a solid foundation they can use to tackle the performance issues people face.