Why Supporters are Key to Leadership Development Success
Welcome to our blog series focused on
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. In this article, we’ll cover the crucial role that the Supporter has in leadership development. Let’s get started!

Recap: Intro to Stakeholder Centered Coaching & Coachmetrix

Stakeholder Centered Coaching is a process that you can use with your clients for creating any kind of transformational change. Want to really amp up your results? Consider coupling this process with an online coaching platform like Coachmetrix. 

You’ll be able to implement a coaching methodology and technology that fully complement each other. This allows you to both measure behavioral change and prove that your leadership and executive coaching engagements are having an impact.

The Team: Central to Your Success

In this article, we’ll cover the crucial role that the Supporter has in leadership development. Let’s get started!

Have you ever noticed that when world-class athletes are asked why they’re successful, they’ll often point to the team that surrounds them – whether it’s their coaches, team members or support staff?

We need to do the same thing in leadership development. That’s where the Supporter comes in. 

Supporters are Vital to a Leader’s Development

Their role is to support the leader throughout their entire leadership development or coaching engagement journey. 

Similar to Stakeholders in Stakeholder Centered Coaching, Supporters are people who are:

  • In a position to observe the leader. In fact, they are often impacted by the leader’s behaviors. 
  • Willing to provide ongoing feedback and feedforward to the leader throughout the leadership development process. 

Enroll Others to Support the Coachee

After a coachee’s action plan is finalized, the next step is to enroll others to help support the coachee in making changes. In our approach, we enroll a small number of Supporters who are willing to provide feedback and feedforward on how the coachee is progressing on their goals. 

This changes the measurement from a self-assessment only process to both a self and others assessment, providing a better indication on whether the coachee is moving the needle on true behavior change. 

On a typical 6-month coaching engagement, we recommend four rounds of pulse feedback that are automatically emailed to each Supporter every 45 days. Coachmetrix even sends reminders when Supporters haven’t completed their feedback. This provides the coachee the ongoing support they need to:

  • Change behavior
  • Accelerate the perception change others have of their leadership

Change the Way You Play the Leadership Development Game

Want to drastically change the way the leadership development game is played? Then keep score. Of course, your Supporters play a vital role: without their ongoing perspectives, leaders rarely know how they are truly perceived – or if their own perception is in alignment with how others perceive them. 

Think about going to a football game and watching the game without a scoreboard. You can guess how your team is doing, but without visibly seeing the downs, yards gained or team scores, it’s challenging to know if your team is winning or losing. 

3 Key Components to Look for in Supporters

We generally recommend that participants have about five Supporters to observe their behaviors. 

Here are three key components to seek out good Supporters:

  1. Observation: Your Supporters need to be in a position to observe the participant in the workplace. If you are coaching an executive, Supporters might include peers on a leadership team or board members with whom they frequently interact. In many cases we’ll also include people lower in the organization to gain an “others” perspective. For front line and senior level managers, you could also include direct reports and the participant’s manager. Ultimately your Supporters need to be people who can observe the participant in the workplace based on the goals they have for their development.
  2. Commitment: Supporters need to be committed to providing ongoing feedback. Typically this takes just a few minutes per month, especially if you are automating the process with a system like Coachmetrix. It’s important that the participant maintain good communication with the Supporter so that they know how long their commitment is needed. 
  3. Objectivity: Participants should look for Supporters who will provide authentic, honest feedback – not just positive feedback. That honest feedback helps the participant see what is not visible to them and is key to effective employee training tools. 

How to Enroll Your Supporters 

The most important element in enrolling your Supporters is to do it verbally – either in person or virtually. By going public with what you are working on, people know what to look for and it will show them that you are making an intentional effort to improve. 

Follow 3 Simple Steps to Enroll Your Supporters

STEP 1: Determine the best format to enroll your Supporters:

  • Group meeting: This is the most efficient process.
  • Individual 1-1 conversations.  

STEP 2: Invite your Supporters to the meeting. 

STEP 3: Conduct the Meeting 

  • Participant’s role
    • Kick-off the meeting
    • Share your goal(s) in a positive, upbeat manner
    • Make any public apologies for past indiscretions (if needed; for instance working on treating people with respect when, in the past, the participant behaved in the opposite way)
    • Introduce your Coach (if in person,or refer to the Coach if not in person)
    • Explain the Pulse Feedback process:
      • Pulse surveys will be sent every 45 days for four rounds.
      • Each survey will have one question and space for open-ended comments for each of my goals.
      • I will use your feedback and feedforward to update my goals every 45 days based on your suggestions.
      • The process should take you less than 2–minutes every 45 days. 
      • Ask: Can you commit to that? 
    • Let Stakeholders know when the first round of pulse feedback will go out.
    • Say “Thank you” for your support in my development process.
  • Coach’s role: 
    • Ask stakeholders if they would be willing to: evaluate behavior from this day forward, let go of any past actions, be honest with their feedback and suggestions from this day forward.
    • Go over the role you will play with the participant being coached:
      • personal trainer, conscience, and advisor
      • being an advocate for stakeholders and how any conversations you have with them will be kept in confidence
    • Support the explanation of the Pulse Feedback process
    • Answer any questions about the process

Have you tried Coachmetrix yet? If you haven’t, you don’t know what you’re missing! It 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 rise above the crowd: https://coachmetrix.com/stakeholder-centered-coaching/

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