Success isn’t determined by the coach or even the coachee, but by the people impacted by the coachee’s behavior. 

In Coachmetrix, we call these people supporters and Marshall Goldsmith refers to them as stakeholders. 

Stakeholders can play a critical role on any executive coaching or leadership development engagement in helping a coachee change. 

Stakeholders are people who are impacted by a leader’s behavior and willing to join the coachee on her development journey by providing ongoing feedback and feedforward throughout the coaching process. 

When we take the focus off of ourselves as the coach and put it on our coachee and her stakeholders, we can multiply our impact far beyond the 1-1 coaching conversation. 

Check out this short video of Marshall Goldsmith and me talking about the concept of stakeholders in a coaching engagement. Marshall shares how many stakeholders he typically selects and who they should be. You might even be surprised by our perspective on involving family members in the process. 

When you’re done watching the video, take a look at my quick tips below to help your coachees select, enroll and engage their stakeholders.  

Quick Tips to Select, Enroll and Engage Your Stakeholders

Below are some ideas that will help your coachees involve stakeholders in their development process. 

Select Stakeholders: 

  • Select between 5 –15 stakeholders. 
  • Choose people who are impacted by the coachee’s behaviors. These could be the coachee’s manager, peers, direct reports and others. 
  • Choose different stakeholders for different goals, if needed. Remember, stakeholders should be people who can observe (see, hear or feel) the coachee’s behaviors. 
  • Choose people who are open-minded, able to let go of old perceptions, and willing to change their opinion about the coachee. 
  • Help the coachee ensure their manager also agrees with the list of selected stakeholders. 

Enroll Stakeholders: 

  • Have your coachee verbally ask each stakeholder to be part of the coaching process so that they know what to expect. This is a powerful process that serves as an example for others to also work on their own development areas. One coaching engagement could potentially impact the culture of an entire team.  
  • The coachee or coach can then add the stakeholders into Coachmetrix. Select the option to send each stakeholder a welcome message. (Remember, Coachmetrix refers to stakeholders as supporters.)
  • The coachee should go public with her goals, letting all stakeholders know about the coachee’s development areas. The coachee can do this verbally or share her Coachmetrix action plan directly from Coachmetrix. 

Engage Stakeholders: 

  • Emphasize to the coachee to follow up with stakeholders every 30 – 45 days, asking for their feedback and feedforward. This will give your coachee new ideas on how to change behavior and remind stakeholders that your coachee is still focused on her development, helping to change perceptions. 
  • Send emails directly from Coachmetrix to the coachee’s stakeholders to keep them engaged. 

Stay tuned for our next video post where Marshall and I discuss the process and importance of feedforward.

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