In the words of Marshall Goldsmith, coaching is a great profession but a tough business.
I believe it’s even tougher if you can’t prove your value. After all, executives buy results, not coaching.
And that’s why we’ve been writing about Stakeholder Centered Coaching, a proven coaching methodology and philosophy created by Marshall Goldsmith. It demonstrates behavioral change and dramatically increases the likelihood of a successful coaching engagement.
It’s a process you can use with your clients for creating any kind of transformational change. Even better, when coupled with an online coaching platform like Coachmetrix, you’ll be able to implement a coaching methodology and technology that completely complement each other. This allows you to both measure behavioral change and prove that your leadership and executive coaching engagements are having an impact.
In this article, we’ll explore how to help your coachees select behaviors as part of their Stakeholder Centered Coaching engagement so you can measure the success of your engagement.
First, The Basics about Stakeholder Centered Coaching
In my December 2022 post, I provided an overview of Stakeholder Centered Coaching. There are a lot of ways to enhance and differentiate how you utilize the methodology, but there are always five steps in every Stakeholder Centered Coaching Engagement:
Step 1: Identify a Clear Development Goal and Stakeholders
Step 2: Go Public with Goals
Step 3: Build an Action Plan
Step 4: Follow-up with Stakeholders
Step 5: Measure
Identify Coaching Goals & Gather Data
When starting a Stakeholder Centered Coaching engagement, the leader and coach identify a goal or goals for the leader to work on. The source for the goal usually starts with data about the leader’s impact on people, process and the business. Oftentimes, executive coaches will use 360 tools, like The Leadership Circle, to capture input from the leader’s boss, direct reports, peers and others.
Alternatively, the coach might conduct confidential interviews to look for patterns of behavior and impact across similar stakeholder groups. In a confidential behavioral interview process, the coach interviews key stakeholders and asks questions such as:
- What does the leader do well today?
- What behavior(s) should the leader stop or start to become more effective?
- What ideas do you have for the leader to become more effective in the future?
The coach then summarizes the strengths, opportunities and suggestions so that the leader can better understand their perceived effectiveness.
There are other mechanisms to gather objective data such as personality style profiles or even customized online 360s based on leadership competencies identified in the business.
Regardless of how the data is gathered, the coach and leader identify 1-3 areas to focus on. Keep in mind that it is critically important for the leader to have a say in their development goals. When people don’t feel a sense of agency in the process, they will be much less likely to want to improve in those areas.
Additionally, we’ve found with high performing leaders that they often focus on their developmental gaps and miss the good news that is embedded in the data. So, you may have to help the leader see their strengths and even leverage their strengths when they develop their stakeholder centered goals.
Goals Are Easy to Capture With Coachmetrix
Coachmetrix makes it easy to capture the leader’s goals. Either the coach or the leader can create the goals in Coachmetrix. There are three main parts to each goal.
The Goal Statement:
This is a high level statement that directionally defines what the leader is working on and connects to a business outcome. Here are some examples:
- Find my voice as a leader so that I can lead the product organization through three new product innovations by the end of the year.
- Become a Strategic Player with clients and other internal teams so that I can help scale the business.
- Improve my assertiveness so that I help drive performance and increase revenue by 25% each month.
- Enhance my coaching skills so that I can help people grow and scale the business.
Notice how each statement has both a focus area for development followed by a “so I can” statement that links to a business reason.
The Power of a Behavior Statement (with samples)
Your next step in the process is to have your client identify the one behavior that will lead to goal success. The behavior statement will become the pulse feedback survey item in Coachmetrix and should be:
- Observable by others.
- Important enough to make a critical difference in the client’s success.
- Action oriented.
- Written in the third person.
Here are sample behavior statements:
- Goal: Find my voice as a leader so that I can lead the product organization through three new product innovations by the end of the year.
- Behavior: Greg actively speaks up during team meetings.
- Goal: Become a Strategic Player with clients and other internal teams so that I can help scale the business.
- Behavior: Greg proactively recommends strategy/execution ideas to clients and the account team.
- Goal: Improve my assertiveness so that I help drive performance and increase revenue by 25% each month.
- Behavior: Greg asks questions during his discovery calls that help him provide more meaningful product demos.
Action Items and Support Needed
The final step is to add any additional information that will help your clients track their success including Action Items and Support Needed. Keep the action items ‘SMART’ (specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and time-framed) as possible. See the example below:
Goal: Become a Strategic Player with clients and other internal teams.
Behavior: Greg proactively recommends strategic ideas to clients and the account team.
- Spend more time understanding client needs (proactively reaching out to our clients).
- Incorporate client needs into product and operations discussions during design meetings and product conferences.
- Respond to every client’s issue and concern within 4 hours.
- Assert my opinion in weekly account meetings.
- Time – Allocate weekly time to make proactive calls and build relationships with our customers.
- Schedule weekly 1-1s with my manager and come prepared to those meetings.
- Complete the internal customer success training course by the end of Q4.
Optimize the Stakeholder Centered Coaching Process
Stay tuned for our next post! We’ll explore more of the critical steps to starting your Stakeholder Centered Coaching engagement off on the right foot.
In the meantime, check out Coachmetrix. It is a cloud-based tool that helps optimize the entire Stakeholder Centered Coaching process:
- Online action planning
- Sharing action plans with Stakeholders
- Measuring behavioral change
- Optimizing communication between your coaching sessions
- Tracking your coaching sessions
Coachmetrix has everything you need to help set your business apart and implement a Stakeholder Centered Coaching process in the modern day environment.
Start your free trial today to see how Coachmetrix can help you stand out from the crowd: https://coachmetrix.com/stakeholder-centered-coaching/