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Praise for Coaching That Counts

“Coaching That Counts is ¬lled with compelling insights on leadership coaching
and how to manage this powerful development process to deliver strategic value.
A must read for anyone involved in coaching.”
”Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager® and Customer Mania!

“This book addresses the three key aspects of a successful executive coaching
engagement: the art of coaching, the art of managing coaching initiatives and the
art of evaluating coaching results. Coaching That Counts is a wellspring of inspir-
ing insights and powerful tools for internal and external coaches around the
world.
”Giovanna D™Alessio, Chief Executive Coach of Life Coach Lab srl, Italy

“In the three years since we conducted an ROI study on coaching, the bene¬ts
revealed by the study have proven to be strategic and sustainable.”
”Cindy Dauss, Leadership Development, Nortel Networks, USA

“Coaching That Counts belongs on the shelf of every professional coach and leader
who cares about the sustainable development of people. The Andersons portray
the impressive results of the marriage between coaching and research by using the
data and real life examples of case studies that never fail to ask and answer the
relevant questions. Coaching That Counts leaves the reader with a deeper under-
standing of why coaching is of value, what needs to happen for coaching to
produce results, the value of an empirically based model for coaching and even
how to measure the ROI of coaching. This is truly a book that counts.”
”Nadjeschda Hebenstreit, President of the ICF, Germany,
Founder of TheSuccessClub for Solopreneurs

“This book is a must for anyone who is introducing coaching into an organiza-
tion or managing a coaching initiative.”
”Ross McLelland, Managing Director, Paci¬c Consulting Resources Pty Ltd,
Australia

“Learning about the three lynchpins for Coaching That Counts is a must for
business and Human Resources leaders who are working to make coaching an
essential element of their global leadership development capability.”
”Stephan H. Oberli, CEO and President SHO Resource Group GmbH,
Switzerland
“This book is a must read for coaches who are interested in working within
organizations, program managers of organizational coaching initiatives, and
Chief Learning Of¬cers who need to be able to articulate the value of executive
coaching to key stakeholders.”
”Vernita Parker-Wilkins, Executive Development Learning Manager,
Booz Allen Hamilton, USA

“What a powerful piece of work! Coaching That Counts makes a signi¬cant
contribution to the ¬eld of coaching and to the organizations that use coaching
services. Every coach and corporate executive needs to study this book carefully.”
”Cheryl Richardson, author of Take Time for Your Life, Life Makeovers,
and Stand Up for Your Life

“Companies today are demanding that international coaching ¬rms provide evi-
dence that coaching is valuable and impacting the bottom line. I found that
Coaching That Counts provides a framework for how to approach large coaching
engagements systematically so clients see the value in coaching. This book is a
must have for anyone providing coaching services to large organizations.”
”Barbara Singer, Vice President of Executive Coaching,
Global Lore International Institute, USA

“The Andersons™ book of data and practices illuminates how pivotal coaching can
be in taking organizations and individuals to their next level of performance, and
beyond.”
”Dr. Barbara Walton, MCC, President of the International
Coach Federation, USA
Coaching That Counts
Series Editor: Jack J. Phillips, Ph.D.

LATEST BOOKS IN THE SERIES
Performance Through Learning
Carol Gorelick, Nick Milton and Kurt April
The Leadership Scorecard
Jack J. Phillips and Lynn Schmidt
Bottom-Line Call Center Management
David L. Butler
Bottom-Line Organization Development
Merrill Anderson
The Diversity Scorecard
Edward E. Hubbard
Handbook of Training Evaluation and Measurement
Methods, 3rd Edition
Jack J. Phillips
The Human Resources Scorecard
Jack J. Phillips, Patricia Pulliam Phillips, and Ron D. Stone
Managing Employee Retention
Jack J. Phillips and Adele O. Connell
The Project Management Scorecard
Jack J. Phillips, G. Lynne Snead, and Timothy W. Bothell
Return on Investment in Training and Performance Improvement
Programs, Second Edition
Jack J. Phillips

Visit http://books.elsevier.com/humanresources to see the full range of books
available in the series.
Coaching That Counts
Harnessing the Power of Leadership Coaching
to Deliver Strategic Value



Dianna L. Anderson, MCC
Merrill C. Anderson, Ph.D.




AMSTERDAM • BOSTON • HEIDELBERG • LONDON
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Copyright © 2005, Dianna and Merrill Anderson. All rights reserved.
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transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
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ISBN: 0-7506-7580-2

For information on all Elsevier Butterworth“Heinemann publications
visit our Web site at www.books.elsevier.com

04 05 06 07 08 09 10 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Printed in the United States of America
Contents


Foreword xi
Preface xv


1 Introduction to Coaching That Counts 1
The Coaching Initiative: Developing Leaders and Producing
Business Impact 1
Three Lynchpins for Coaching That Counts 5
How This Book Is Organized 9


Section One: Leading with Insight
2 De¬ning the Space for Coaching 17
Characteristics of Successful Coaching Engagements That Deliver Lasting
Change 17
Transactional versus Transformational Coaching 19
Insight: The Essence of Coaching 20
Levels of Insight 21
The Action/Insight Connection 26
The Leading with Insight Model 28
Key Concepts for the Leading with Insight Model 40

3 Quadrant 1: Finding Focus 43
Case Study: Jane Gets Her Life Back 43
Answering the “What Do I Need to Do?” Question 46
Making Space for Change 47
Quadrant 1 Touchstones 48
The Essential Outcome of Quadrant 1: Physical Centeredness 52
Coaching Tools and Approaches for Quadrant 1 53


vii
viii Contents

4 Quadrant 2: Building Bridges 61
Case Study: Jack Creates Powerful Partnerships 61
Creating Relationships That Work 65
Answering the “What Am I Made of?” Question 66
Quadrant 2 Touchstones 66
The Essential Outcome of Quadrant 2: Emotional Centeredness 69
Coaching Tools and Approaches for Quadrant 2 70
5 Quadrant 3: Creating Alignment 77
Case Study: Mark Takes a Stand 77
Aligning Who You Are with How You Work 81
Answering the “Who Do I Want to Be?” Question 83
Quadrant 3 Touchstones 83
The Essential Outcome of Quadrant 3: Intuitive Centeredness 86
Coaching Tools and Approaches for Quadrant 3 87
6 Quadrant 4: Original Action 93
Case Study: Clare Leads the Way 93
Creating Step Change 97
Answering the “What Do I Want to Create?” Question 98
Quadrant 4 Touchstones 99
The Essential Outcome of Quadrant 4: Personal Power 102
Coaching Tools and Approaches for Quadrant 4 103
The Leading with Insight Model 107


Section Two: Managing Coaching Initiatives
7 Coaching as a Strategic Initiative 111
The Organization Context for Individual Growth 112
Criteria for Coaching as a Strategic Initiative 113
The Cast of Players”and Their Responsibilities 119
Managing Value Creation 122
8 Creating Context and Purpose for Coaching 123
Choice and Context for Coaching 123
Case Study: Launching Coaching at PharmaQuest 129
Critical Success Factors for Setting the Context for Coaching 131
Designing a Coaching Initiative for Impact 140
9 Best Practices for Managing a Successful Coaching Initiative 145
Leverage a Governance Body to Sustain Sponsorship 146
Conduct an Orientation Session to Improve Deployment 148
Contents ix

Set Up Signposts to Gauge How Coaching Is Progressing 153
Build Performance Evaluation into the Coaching Process 155
10 How Coaches Navigate Turbulent Organizations 157
Being a Coach, Being a Consultant 157
What Sarah Could Have Done Differently 159
Sorting Out the Cast of Characters 164
Develop a Navigation Strategy 165
To Be or Not To Be a Consultant”and the Role of Coaching
Companies 173


Section Three: Evaluating Coaching Success
11 Developing an Evaluation Strategy 177
The Five Best Practices of an Effective Evaluation Strategy 177
Developing an Evaluation Strategy at OptiCom 183
The Building Blocks of Evaluation Strategies 187
12 Demonstrating the ROI of Coaching 203
The Data Collection and Analysis Plan 203
ROI Evaluation Toolkit 208
Evaluating Coaching at OptiCom 216
Building Credibility for the ROI Evaluation 228
13 Evaluating Application-Based Coaching: What Are Leaders Doing
Differently? 233
Setting Expectations for Coaching at Frontier Manufacturing 233
The Four Major Decision Areas for Evaluating Application 234
Planning the Evaluation at Frontier Manufacturing 240
Evaluating the Application of Coaching at Frontier Manufacturing 241


Conclusion
14 The Value Nexus: Organization Value and Individual Values 251
Finding 1: The Perceived Effectiveness of Coaching Increased with the
Length of the Coaching Relationship 252
Finding 2: Less than Half of All Coaching Relationships Evolved Beyond
Quadrant 2 253
Finding 3: The Impact of Coaching on the Business Increased as Coaching
Relationships Evolve 258
Finding 4: Monetary Bene¬ts Produced from Coaching Increased as
Coaching Relationships Evolved 259
x Contents

Finding 5: Seventy Percent of the Monetary Value Was Associated with
Quadrants 3 and 4 261
Finding 6: As Coaching Relationships Progressed Through the
Quadrants, the Average Monetary Bene¬t Produced by Each
Client Increased 262
Four Examples of Monetary Value: Completing the Case Studies
of Section One 263
Coaching That Counts 268

References and Further Reading 271
About the Authors 273
Index 277
Foreword


Like so many organizations is today™s global economy, Booz Allen
Hamilton requires leadership that is diverse in its thinking, strong
in business acumen and open to new ideas and opportunities.
Founded in 1914, Booz Allen Hamilton is a strategy and technology
consulting ¬rm with more than 16,000 staff located on six conti-
nents. We have experienced tremendous growth, averaging 20
percent per year, over the past seven years. This growth has stretched
our current leaders and created new challenges for developing future
leaders.
In order to meet these challenges, we needed a way to imple-
ment a development methodology that would build the leadership
pipeline with leaders ready to take on expanded roles in the most
ef¬cient manner. We also recognized that we needed to supplement
our internal succession process by recruiting leaders from outside of
the ¬rm. Business growth required us to hire new leaders to build
speci¬c markets and functional areas, and these new hires needed to
rapidly learn their new roles as well as how to operate in our culture.
The Booz Allen culture is highly collaborative and networked and
so leaders must be adept at engaging the hearts and minds of team
members to work on highly complex strategic change projects, often
with globally distributed clients. Successful leaders are those who
coach”and not try to control”others.
The Cascading a Coaching Culture initiative was launched to
build critical leadership competencies in a way that is an expression

xi
xii Foreword

of our culture. We realize that we are in this for the long haul. Sam
Strickland, Chief Administrative Of¬cer at Booz Allen, continuously
reminds us that “success is a journey, not a destination.” Our expe-
rience with creating a coaching culture has and continues to be a
great journey. After we were about two years into this journey, we
benchmarked companies known to have outstanding coaching pro-
grams. Several themes emerged:

All companies had dedicated staff to support the initiatives
Coaching was viewed as part of a strategic initiative of the orga-
nization to turn the quality of its leaders into a competitive
advantage for the ¬rm
Coaching was integrated with other leadership development
programs and competency growth
All viewed coaching as an investment in top performers or high
potentials.
External coaches were preferred in order to maintain con¬-
dentiality and reduce feelings of vulnerability in the most
senior staff

Excited about what we learned, we decided that it was the right time
to enhance and expand our coaching initiative. Led by two out-
standing specialists in senior executive development, Hazel Solomon
and Vernita Parker-Wilkins, we launched our Coaching Program
of¬ce to centralize the management of coaching. This of¬ce was
responsible for implementing a coach quali¬cation process, de¬n-
ing the rules of engagement and conduct, conducting evaluation, as
well as cost management and tracking.
In 2003, we decided that it was time to measure the effectiveness
and perceptions of the initiative. This is how we came to know
Merrill Anderson. Merrill came into Booz Allen and helped us to
¬rst determine what our senior leaders expected from the coaching
initiative. This was a crucial step. Expanding the coaching initiative
required added investment and our senior leaders were expressing
their expectations for a return on this investment. Speci¬cally, their
Foreword xiii

expectations were organized into eight areas of potential business
impact: increased productivity, retention of leadership talent, accel-
erating senior leader promotions, improved team work, increased
quality of consulting services, increased diversity, increased team
member satisfaction, and increased client satisfaction. These eight
areas formed the nucleus of a formal ROI study of our executive
coaching initiative. We knew that it was not enough just to show a
high ROI, we also had to demonstrate that the value was being pro-
duced in the areas that the senior leaders felt were most important
for the organization.
Merrill then proceeded with the ROI study. He designed the eval-
uation approach and then conducted, with several Booz Allen staff,
a series of interviews with leaders who had been coached. The eight
business impact areas were probed, as well as the impact that coach-
ing had on building critical leadership competencies. Speci¬c exam-
ples of what leaders did differently as a result of coaching were
documented and, in many cases, the monetary bene¬ts that were
produced as a result of these actions were recorded. The study
was a real eye opener. Even after adopting the most conservative
approach to determining the return on investment, we showed a
700% ROI for the coaching initiative. Moreover, the value was being
produced from many of those business areas that the senior leaders
expected. Merrill also shared his insights and recommendations that
further enhanced the coaching initiative.
Even though I felt good about the results and knew that the return
on investment study would solidify the credibility of the initiative,
there was still something missing. That™s when I was offered the
opportunity to read the ¬rst draft of Merrill and Dianna Anderson™s
book, Coaching That Counts, Harnessing the Power of Leadership
Coaching to Deliver Strategic Value. As I read through the draft, I real-
ized we needed to travel even further into the realm of the strategic
value of coaching and ¬nd more effective ways to increase its align-
ment to the business. I also resonated with, as I am sure you will as
well, the Leading With Insight model and its four quadrants. This
model was something that has been missing from our initiative.
xiv Foreword

Our coaches, who come from outside our business, are highly
skilled and talented coaches. That said, they have been trained in a
variety of models and although they appear to be on the road to
similar destinations, there are differences amongst their approaches.
This book provides a common language and a common roadmap
for internal and external coaches to follow. Greater consistency in
the approach to coaching facilitates its strategic alignment to the
organization. The second section of the book provides companies
with practical tools and approaches to managing coaching as a
strategic initiative, while the third section describes a roadmap to
implement and measure coaching programs. From my own experi-
ence, these ideas work and will improve the design, deployment and
management of coaching initiatives. Merrill and Dianna provide
concrete examples, case studies and draw from their own experience
to make each step in the Leading With Insight model come alive.
And then they take us further”providing a clear method for doc-
umenting the impact of coaching and using those results to gain
even greater effectiveness from the coaching initiative.
I know you will enjoy this book as much as I have. Whatever stage
you are in your coaching journey, you will ¬nd in this book a wealth
of practical tools and ideas that will make your coaching initiative
count. Best of luck to you on your coaching journey.

Ed Cohen
Senior Director
Center for Performance Excellence
Booz Allen Hamilton
Preface


Writing this book was truly a labor of love. Merrill labored to under-
stand coaching and Dianna labored to understand ROI. What you
are about to read is the fruit of our labors. In the past few years or
so, leadership coaching has emerged from obscurity to take its place
as a premier leadership development process. Coaching has every-
one™s attention, and yet so little is known about how coaching creates
value for the clients of coaching and for the organizations that
sponsor coaching initiatives. Dianna writes from the perspective of
a Master Certi¬ed Coach who has, for the last 10 years, evolved her
coaching as the coaching profession has evolved. Merrill writes from
the perspective of a strategic change consultant who has, for the past
three years, evaluated several coaching and leadership development
initiatives. Together, we wrote this book that we believe combines
insights and practical experience about how to achieve transforma-
tional change through the strategic application and evaluation of
leadership coaching.
We had four kinds of readers in mind when we wrote this book.
First, to the clients of coaching, we wanted to share with you how
others have taken similar journeys. Along the way, we trust that you
will recognize a journey that you have taken and perhaps open up
new possibilities for additional development. For the coaches, we
want you to fully understand the tremendous value you are creat-
ing and to better comprehend how to focus this value for even
greater strategic advantage for the individuals and organizations you

xv
xvi Preface

serve. For the managers of coaching initiatives, we present you with
a multitude of ideas for gaining maximum value from the invest-
ment your organization is making in coaching. We feel it is impor-
tant for you to not only understand the coaching process, but also
to understand how to ensure that coaching delivers the value your
senior leaders expect. Senior leaders, please view this book as a
clarion call to achieving excellence in your leaders like you have
never seen before.
Now, back to the labor of love. We had a wonderful time writing
this book. We learned from each other, we challenged each other,
and in the process we have created a unique and powerful vision of
leadership coaching. We look at coaching from the perspective of the
client being coached and the organization sponsoring the coaching
initiative. Both the client and the organization have to realize value
in order for coaching to be a sustainable leadership development
process. We invite both clients and organizations to expect more
from coaching. Transformational experiences are inherent in this
powerful change process, but you must expect to realize that mag-
nitude of change in order to receive it. Do not settle for less.
As authors, we learned a lot from writing this book and from each
other. We trust that our learning has made it into these pages in ways
that engage you, the reader, in our learning experience. The ¬rst part
of this book emphasizes the intuitive intelligence of the reader. A
model and process for coaching are described from the perspective
of the coaching client and the coach. We talk about the coaching
relationship, and it is truly a two-way street. Coaches challenge
clients to go where they have never gone before, and clients dig deep
to challenge coaches to take them there. The second part of this book
shifts to the analytic aspect of coaching. We take a hard look at these
coaching relationships and make sure they are delivering the kind
of value that senior leaders expect from coaching and that the busi-
ness needs. By merging these two perspectives”the intuitive and the
analytic”a value nexus is created. This value nexus creates trans-
formational value for the coaching client and bottom-line value for
the organization.
Preface xvii

Thank you for joining us in this journey of discovery. It is a
journey that is just beginning. Please view our experiences, models,
ideas, and ¬ndings as an entry point for gaining greater insights into
coaching. We do not intend this book to be the ¬nal word; in fact,
it is our intention that this book will be the opening question in a
greater quest for understanding how to expand the impact that
coaching delivers to clients and organizations. Take what you want,
use what you can, and make your coaching count.

Merrill Anderson
Dianna Anderson
Johnston, Iowa
September 2004
This page intentionally left blank
1
Introduction to Coaching
That CountsTM

John and Phil were at a crossroads. John, as the chief learning ex-
ecutive for this global information technology consulting ¬rm, was
arguing for a company-wide rollout of coaching. Phil was chair of
the partner development committee responsible for developing the
bench strength of leaders for the future. Phil™s experience with
coaching was mixed. Some people really liked it and some people
were left scratching their heads about why they were being coached
and what kind of value they were supposed to get out of coaching.
John pointed to the multitude of voices that supported coaching as
evidence that coaching was a powerful developmental tool for build-
ing leadership. Phil heard those voices and yet, as a key business
leader, his inner voice was asking about the business value of the
coaching experience. John and Phil argued their points and neither
budged. In a sense, both were right. John was right in that many, if
not most, leaders found tremendous value in their coaching experi-
ence. Phil was right in the sense that coaching success seemed hit or
miss, and it was not clear how the individual value leaders gained
translated into business value.

The Coaching Initiative: Developing Leaders and
Producing Business Impact

This situation with John and Phil is not unique; in fact, this situa-
tion is being played out in countless companies throughout the

1
2 Coaching That Counts

world. People who are being coached are ¬nding value in the
process, but the sponsors or buyers of the coaching services are
looking for a return on investment (ROI) for the organization. Suc-
cessful coaching, therefore, must meet not only the needs of the indi-
vidual clients being coached but also the needs of the organization.
Coaching That CountsTM represents a model and methodology
that does both. For the ¬rst time, coaching is described as both a
developmental process (for the individual) and a strategic initiative
(for the organization). For coaching to be a strategic initiative, it is
more than just the sum of the individual coaching relationships. As
an initiative, coaching contributes to the achievement of business
goals. Coaching initiatives must be managed and create the context
for having the coaching relationships each contribute to achieving
the strategic business goals. Let™s return to our story to see how one
company achieved this goal, and in so doing, understand the essen-
tial elements that make coaching count. Then we will explore how
the organization of this book delves into these essential elements in
more detail and provides the reader with the required tools and
knowledge to make coaching successful.
John and Phil, both being pragmatic people, decided to conduct
a study of coaching and let the data sway their decision about the
future of coaching in their organization. This study had two parts.
First, the senior partners of the ¬rm would be interviewed to under-
stand the value they expect from coaching. If beauty is in the eye of
the beholder, then value is in the eye of the senior leaders. Second,
those who had been coached would be interviewed to explore what
kind of value”both monetary and intangible”had been produced
by their coaching. The ROI would be determined and, perhaps even
more to the point, the study would reveal the extent to which coach-
ing was delivering the kind of value the leaders expected.

The Coaching Initiative Was Decentralized

First, some words about the coaching initiative. This consulting
company was highly decentralized along business lines, so the
Introduction to Coaching That CountsTM 3

coaching initiative had little in the way of centralized structure or
processes. Leaders throughout the ¬rm were encouraged to utilize
coaching as they deemed appropriate. The preferred option was to
use the centralized coaching referral service offered by John™s cor-
porate university. The key word here is option. Leaders could source
coaches in any way they wished, and in fact did so. Consequently,
many coaches and coaching companies were utilized, which resulted
in a mishmash of coaching models, styles, and personalities. Most
worked, but some did not.

What the Senior Leader Interviews Revealed

The ¬rst part of the study, based on interviews with 10 senior
leaders, revealed the value these leaders expected from coaching.
The left-hand column of Table 1.1 organizes these expectations by
whether they were high, medium, or low on their priority list. Those
expectations that were highest on the list mostly related to building
the bench strength of leaders. Retaining leadership talent, accelerat-
ing promotions, and increasing the diversity of leaders all speak to

Table 1.1 Coaching Expectations versus Deliverables

What Leaders Expected What Coaching Delivered
Retention of leadership talent Increased productivity
H
Accelerating senior leader promotions Increased quality of consulting
I
G
Improved teamwork services
H
Increased diversity Improved teamwork
M
Increased team member satisfaction Increased team member
E
Increased client satisfaction satisfaction
D
Increased quality of consulting Increased client satisfaction
I
services Reduced cost
U
Increased productivity M
Increased business development Increased business development
Reduced cost Retention of leadership talent
L
O Accelerating senior leader
W promotions
Increased diversity
4 Coaching That Counts

increasing the size and quality of the talent base of leadership. The
fourth top priority, improved teamwork, referred to the expectation
that coaching would increase how well the principals and partners
worked with their respective teams to address client issues.
Those expectations that were in the middle of the pack included
team member and client satisfaction, quality of consulting services,
and productivity. Of course, all of these outcomes are important for
a consulting business. The issue here is what the leaders expected
from coaching to impact these outcomes. On the low end of the pri-
ority scale were increased business development and reduced cost.
Coaching was not expected to signi¬cantly increase revenue, espe-
cially given the long sales cycle for major consulting projects. Cost
was not viewed as being as important as the other categories because
costs associated with providing consulting services are mostly passed
on to the clients.

Business Bene¬ts Delivered by Coaching

The second part of the study examined the business bene¬ts that
were actually delivered by the coaching. The right-hand column of
Table 1.1 illustrates these bene¬ts, which were both intangible and
tangible. The two bene¬ts in bold”increased productivity and
improved teamwork”produced the greatest amounts of monetary
bene¬ts. Documenting these bene¬ts was done by interviewing all
of the coaching clients individually and asking them how they
applied what they learned from coaching and how these new behav-
iors and actions impacted the business.

Comparing What Leaders Wanted and What They Got

Comparing these two columns reveals some glaring disconnects and
helps explain how John and Phil saw the value of coaching so dif-
ferently. First, three of the top four priorities that the leaders had
for coaching”retention, promotions, and diversity”were at the
bottom of the list for the value the coaching produced. In other
Introduction to Coaching That CountsTM 5

words, leaders did not get what they expected from coaching. This
is not to say that coaching did not create value, because it did. What
this says is that coaching did not create the kind of value that the
leaders wanted the most. The senior leaders de¬ned success as
having their expectations met. These expectations were not met,
and therefore, coaching was not viewed by the leaders as being
successful.

Managing the Perception of Value

This analysis cleared the air for John, whose entire lens for evaluat-
ing the success of coaching was the right-hand column of Table 1.1.
John heard so many stories and testimonials from satis¬ed coach-
ing clients that suggested coaching success. Coaching clients
reported increased satisfaction, improved productivity, and im-
proved problem solving. When John compared what was delivered
(e.g., the right-hand column) versus what leaders expected (e.g.,
the left-hand column), he understood why leaders had mixed feel-
ings about coaching. Coaching, for all its virtues, was not meeting
the leaders™ expectations, and as such, was not perceived as being
valuable. This analysis also suggested to John how to increase the
value”and the perceived value”of coaching. Better integrating
coaching within the leadership supply process would address three
of those areas that leaders value most: retention, promotions, and
diversity. For example, coaching could be targeted to emerging
leaders from diverse backgrounds to accelerate their opportunities
for promotion. This example illustrates how coaching can meet the
individual needs of the leaders being coached as well as the needs of
the business.

Three Lynchpins for Coaching That Counts

This story illustrates three key points, which are lynchpins for
Coaching That Counts. Incorporating these points into a coaching
initiative will maximize the value for both the individuals being
6 Coaching That Counts

coached and for the organization in which the coaching is being
conducted.

1. Adopt a Consistent and Proven Approach for
Executive Coaching

First, organizations should adopt a consistent and proven approach
for executive coaching. One of the challenges that John and Phil
faced as they discussed the impact of coaching was the mishmash
of different coaching styles and methodologies. Coaches de¬ned
coaching differently and adopted different approaches to coaching
clients. Some approaches were more successful than others.
Coaching that adds real value focuses on developing clients on
multiple levels. Although each coaching relationship is unique, there
is a common underlying structure of personal development that
creates the foundation for lasting change and is present in all coach-
ing relationships. The coaches who were most effective understood
this dynamic and consistently laid the foundation for their clients™
continued growth. These coaches encouraged their clients to con-
tinuously deepen their own insights and translate their insights into
action. Coaching that was less successful was more transactional and
focused more on achieving speci¬c outcomes, such as becoming
more organized, than on fostering learning. The leaders™ expecta-
tions for the coaching initiative were complex and required signi¬-
cant learning and development from coaching participants in order
to be achieved; such outcomes are not possible through a trans-
actional approach to coaching. The coaching approach must be
aligned with the desired outcomes from the coaching intervention.

2. Effectively Manage the Coaching Initiative

One of John™s key learnings from the exercise that examined how
leader expectations for coaching were realized was just how little was
done to effectively manage coaching as a business initiative. For
starters, the business context for coaching could have been better
Introduction to Coaching That CountsTM 7

established. John™s approach had been, more or less, to ring the
dinner bell and see who shows up for coaching. This approach was
reactive, and little was done to establish the business context for
coaching. Several things could have been done differently. John and
Phil (and others) could have sat down before coaching was intro-
duced into the organization and agreed on the business objectives
that coaching could address. Then speci¬c objectives for the coach-
ing could have been agreed to in advance. John and Phil eventually
came to this agreement, but they did so long after most of the coach-
ing had been completed with the leadership group, and therefore,
had minimum in¬‚uence on the management of the coaching
initiative.
Conducting a needs assessment is another important aspect of
setting the context for coaching. John assumed that coaching was a
part of the solution, but when coaching was introduced into the
organization, he had little evidence to support that assumption.
Eventually, John and Phil agreed that the supply of capable and more
diverse leaders needed to be increased. A formal needs assessment
would reveal why the current supply of leaders was not adequate and
suggest remedial actions. Coaching may have been necessary to
address the supply of leaders, but coaching was probably not suf¬-
cient by itself to achieve all the supply objectives. Other remedial
actions would be required. Improving the recruitment and selection
of leaders, for example, may also contribute to the solution. Or
implementing a cross-company succession planning process may be
a part of the solution. The needs assessment ensures that an inte-
grated and effective solution to a performance issue is identi¬ed.
Sponsorship is another area John could have done more to
support. Phil was chair of the partner development committee and,
thus, was in a position to be a strong supporter”or detractor”of
coaching. Phil™s issue was building the bench strength of leaders, and
he would have been in an ideal spot to sponsor the coaching initia-
tive. John could have worked with Phil to establish Phil as the
sponsor for coaching. As sponsor, Phil would have been more
involved with the design and deployment of coaching and would
8 Coaching That Counts

likely have offered several ideas about how best to leverage coaching
for the business. John would have gained from Phil™s perspective and
expertise to better manage the coaching initiative. John could also
have ridden Phil™s coattails to gain credibility for himself and for
coaching.

3. Build Evaluation Methodology into the Coaching Initiative

When Phil and John have a meeting of the minds and agree on goals
to increase the supply of capable and diverse leaders, they must go
to the next step and set objectives for how the coaching initiative
will contribute to these goals. These coaching objectives become
the cornerstone for managing coaching as a value-added initiative.
Achieving the coaching objectives contributes to achieving the
business goal. The evaluation strategy goes one step further and
describes how these objectives will be evaluated. Evaluation is not a
passive process. Developing an evaluation objective is also a test of
how strongly the coaching objective is linked to the business goal. If
this link is weak or not well-articulated, the evaluation objective
cannot be written. This link will then have to be strengthened, and
in the process, the potential business impact of coaching will be
better understood and communicated.
Coaching objectives can include delivering monetary value and
an ROI. A key contribution of Coaching That Counts is the ability
to set monetary objectives for coaching and to document the mon-
etary value that is delivered. The evaluation strategy outlines how
monetary value will be determined and how the effects of coaching
to produce this value can be isolated from other potential in¬‚uenc-
ing factors. Factoring in the cost of the coaching initiative to the
accumulated bene¬ts allows the ROI to be calculated. The evalua-
tion strategy will also look into the sources of the monetary value
to show speci¬cally how the business value is being produced. As we
learned from the story of the consulting company, value can be pro-
duced”and a positive ROI realized”but not produce the kind of
Introduction to Coaching That CountsTM 9

value that leaders expect from coaching. John may have been able
to cite how increased productivity contributed to a positive ROI, but
Phil was less interested in productivity gains and more interested in
increasing the supply of leaders.

How This Book Is Organized

Coaching That Counts is organized into three sections, each relating
to one of the three lynchpins that were just discussed. The ¬rst
section describes a proven client-centered approach to coaching
leaders in an organization with a focus on creating value for the
individual client being coached. The second section describes how
to effectively manage coaching as a business initiative. The third
section provides knowledge, ideas, and tools to effectively evaluate
the monetary and intangible value of coaching. Special emphasis is
given to determining and isolating the effects of coaching to produce
monetary bene¬ts. The concluding chapter delves into the value
nexus where organization value and individual value from coach-
ing meet.

Section One: Leading with Insight

Chapter 2 de¬nes the space for coaching. The four-quadrant
Leading with InsightTM model is introduced through a case study
that illuminates how insight is deepened and translated into action.
Donna, an intense, overachieving director of an IT services
department, works with her coach to develop a more collaborative
leadership style and lead her internal client services team to become
valued partners with their clients. Donna progresses through the
four levels of insight”re¬‚ective, emotional, intuitive, and inspira-
tional”as she learns how to bring more of her considerable talent
online. The essential interconnection between insight and action,
which is the foundation for the Leading with Insight model, is
explored.
10 Coaching That Counts

The ¬rst quadrant of the Leading with Insight model is presented
in Chapter 3 through a case study of Jane, a human resources (HR)
manager who is feeling overwhelmed by the demands of a recent
merger at her company. Jane™s work to create a greater sense of
balance and stronger professional focus demonstrates the underly-
ing touchstones or essential areas of personal development for
Quadrant 1. The ¬rst quadrant is the space where clients increase
their personal effectiveness as the foundation for achieving their
coaching goals. Coaching tools and approaches to support clients in
developing re¬‚ective insight and ¬nding focus are offered at the end
of this chapter.
Chapter 4 introduces the second quadrant of the Leading with
Insight model, where the development of emotional insight sup-
ports the realization of coaching goals that involve effectively inter-
acting with others. The essential elements of this quadrant are
revealed through a case study of Jack, a client services VP who ¬nds
himself in a new role in which he must become a consummate in¬‚u-
encer of clients and internally support people to do his job well. The
signi¬cant shift that Jack makes in his leadership style is founded in
his newly developed ability to read and respond to the emotional
context of situations. The emotional insight that Jack cultivates
through his experiences serves as an anchor for his development
of powerful partnerships with key in¬‚uencers. Coaching tools and
approaches to foster emotional insight are offered at the end of
the chapter.
Quadrant 3 is mapped out in Chapter 5 through the case study
of Mark, a director of information technology (IT) project man-
agement who is responsible for turning around a poorly perform-
ing team of IT project managers. As a participant in a new leadership
development program, Mark uses his professional challenges to
further his own development. A naturally logical thinker, he ¬nds
that he must learn to tap into his intuitive insight to craft a leader-
ship style that re¬‚ects his values and inspires his team to a higher
level of performance. The touchstones”or essential areas of devel-
opment that form the foundation for intuitive insight”are
Introduction to Coaching That CountsTM 11

discussed in this chapter, as are coaching tools and approaches for
this quadrant.
Chapter 6 introduces Quadrant 4 of the Leading with Insight
model through the case study of Clare, a VP of business develop-
ment with great ideas, who had dif¬culty getting the buy-in of her
peers. As Clare worked with her coach through each quadrant of
development, she learned how to focus her enthusiasm, engage in
meaningful dialogues with her peers, and garner support for her
ideas. Clare™s vision of what was possible for the team to achieve was
drawn from inspirational insight. Clare™s faith in herself and her
ability to build a network of support were tested as she worked to
translate her ideas into action. The developmental touchstones,
coaching tools, and approaches guide the reader to transfer learning
from this case study into practice.
The preceding four chapters clearly demonstrate that coaching is
a powerful approach for developing the talents of individuals, but
what about delivering results for the organization?

Section Two: Managing Coaching Initiatives

Chapter 7 builds on the value that was realized for the individuals
and looks at how coaching also delivers value to the organization.
One conclusion made is that harnessing the power of coaching to
the strategic requirements of the organization is required to drive
value. Failure to do so leaves a lot of value on the table. The case is
made for the strategic management of coaching initiatives, and this
chapter looks ahead to how subsequent chapters illuminate critical
aspects of this issue.
Chapter 8 covers what is most important to get the coaching
initiative off on the right foot. The coaching initiative must be
grounded in the company culture, integrated with other develop-
mental activities, and directed to achieve organizational goals. A case
study is reviewed in which a coaching initiative was launched with
little regard for these three important areas. Only after the coaching
had been completed did the HR senior VP understand from the chief
12 Coaching That Counts

operating of¬cer (COO) what the COO had expected from coach-
ing. The chapter builds on this experience to highlight the critical
success factors for setting the strategic context for coaching. Review-
ing these critical success factors shows how the HR senior VP could
have done things differently, and as a result, created more value for
the business. The chapter concludes by examining how to design a
coaching initiative for maximum impact on the organization.
In Chapter 9, we go from the worst-case practice of the previous
chapter to best-case practice. Four best practices are examined that
have proven to increase the value of a coaching initiative. We see how
a leader of a coaching initiative establishes and leverages a gover-
nance body to sustain the sponsorship for her initiative. Then we
explore in some detail how an orientation session for coaches and
their prospective leader-clients establishes a ¬rm foundation for the
launch and management of the coaching initiative. An innovative
approach to setting up signposts is deployed so that the overall
progress of the coaching initiative can be tracked and better
managed. A balance is struck between allowing each coaching rela-
tionship to take its course and ensuring that the coaching initiative
drives value to the business. This chapter concludes by showing
the value of building evaluation methodology into the coaching
initiative.
Chapter 10 shifts gears by looking at coaching from the perspec-
tive of a coach. Coaches who wish to work successfully in organiza-
tions must be willing to put on a second hat”that of a consultant.
It is important for people to know when they need to be a coach and
when they need to be a consultant. When a coach dons the consul-
tant hat, he or she becomes engaged in the organization on a broader
scale. Value to the business, not just the client being coached, must
be considered. Consultants develop strategies to successfully navi-
gate through organizations and to drive the value of coaching to the
business. This chapter concludes by examining the role of coaching
companies. Coaching companies take on the responsibilities of the
consultant, leaving the coaches to concentrate on coaching, and for
some, this may be an ideal arrangement.
Introduction to Coaching That CountsTM 13

Section Three: Evaluating Coaching Success

Evaluating coaching success for an organization begins with devel-
oping an effective evaluation strategy. The main elements of an eval-
uation strategy are presented and explored in Chapter 11. Coaching
goals are established and linked to the business, evaluation objec-
tives that de¬ne success for coaching are developed, and techniques
to isolate the effects of coaching to improve performance from other
potential in¬‚uencing factors are described. This last issue, isolation,
is considered the Holy Grail of ROI evaluation. A case study is
referred to throughout the chapter to illustrate these points. This
chapter concludes by describing the essential building blocks of an
effective evaluation strategy.
Chapter 12 continues the case study that was featured in the pre-
vious chapter to get into the nuts and bolts of evaluation. Data col-
lection and analysis procedures are described. Some performance
data are converted to monetary bene¬ts, and speci¬c tools are
included so that readers may apply the evaluation methodology to
their own particular needs. The case study provides an example of
how these tools can be used. Because any evaluation is only as good
as it is credible, strategies for building credibility are discussed. This
chapter is dedicated to ROI and to showing how readers can tackle
the ROI issue with a practical, pragmatic, and proven approach.
Chapter 13 takes a different approach from the previous chapter
by focusing only on the application of what was learned through
coaching and not on the monetary ROI. A case study shows how
leaders™ expectations for coaching were set to better position the
evaluation. The four major decision areas for evaluating the appli-
cation of coaching are reviewed and include the importance of
timing for the evaluation, setting performance targets, managing
vendors, and selecting the appropriate strategy for evaluation
application. The case study reveals how to best plan and conduct the
evaluation.
14 Coaching That Counts

Conclusion

Chapter 14 uses the four-quadrant Leading with Insight model as a
guide to show, with empirical data, how coaching creates value. A
comprehensive analysis of the data undertaken by the authors
reveals six key ¬ndings of coaching and value creation. Implications
are drawn from these ¬ndings that enable the reader to more effec-
tively manage coaching as a strategic initiative. When coaching
becomes a strategic initiative, it focuses the insight and power of
people to make collective strategic change. This chapter reinforces
the notion that the power of coaching can be harnessed in more
signi¬cant ways to transform organizations and the people who
work in them.
Section One
Leading with Insight
This page intentionally left blank
2
De¬ning the Space for Coaching


As coaching has increased in popularity, the number of coaching
methodologies and the number of coaches has skyrocketed, making
it confusing for consumers of coaching services to discern for them-
selves which approaches and which coaches to work with. Leading
with InsightTM is an empirically derived model forged from the
experiences of coaching and the formal evaluation of coaching
engagements for large organizations. This model is proven to
deliver strategic value for individuals and their organizations. In this
section, we look below the surface of successful coaching engage-
ments in order to understand the foundations of the coaching
process and the underlying structure that supports the multitude of
outcomes that coaching can deliver. The Leading with Insight model
demonstrates how the translation of personal insight into action
forms the foundation for lasting change.



Characteristics of Successful Coaching Engagements
That Deliver Lasting Change

A successful coaching engagement goes beyond just supporting an
individual™s realization of speci¬c coaching goals. A successful
coaching engagement will have a cascading effect, creating positive
change beyond the experience of the person receiving the coaching
and has the following four characteristics:

17
18 Coaching That Counts

1. The change is targeted to meet the development needs of the
individual and the strategic needs of the organization. Both the
coach and the client need to be looking at the big picture when
setting the intentions for the coaching engagement. From the
client™s perspective, the big picture is a willingness to stretch
himself in ways that lead to greater personal effectiveness.
Shoot too low, and a real opportunity is lost. Shoot too high
and the goals do not engage the energy and imagination of the
client. From the organization™s perspective, the big picture
involves aligning the development of the individual with the
strategic needs of the organization.
2. The changes that occur through coaching are lasting. This is a
key point and a true differentiator of coaching that creates per-
sonal transformation versus coaching that only scratches the
surface. Surface coaching focuses on having the client change
the way he or she does something without much regard for
changing the client™s perspectives that allows the behavior in
the ¬rst place. The new behavior is “pasted on” to the outside
of the client, so that when things are going well it appears that
he or she has acquired a new skill or approach. But when the
going gets tough”and it will”the person will revert back to
the original behavior because it feels safe and familiar. For
change to be lasting, coaches have to work on multiple levels
with clients, guiding them to gain insight and translating those
insights into speci¬c actions. The actions that are taken need
to build toward the intended goals. This progressive process of
insight guiding outer change delivers signi¬cant, lasting
results. This inside-out process is the essence of coaching and
is discussed in more detail later in this chapter.
3. The outcomes of a coaching engagement lay the foundation for
continued development for the client, with or without the part-
nership of a coach. When coaching is done well, the client learns
not only new skills and ways of approaching challenges but
also how to learn. The process of re¬‚ecting on experiences to
gain meaning and insight enables people to continue to grow
De¬ning the Space for Coaching 19

and develop with or without the support of a coach. As a
coach, one of the most rewarding moments in a coaching
engagement is the time when the client starts to coach himself.
With practice, the client becomes accustomed to taking time
out periodically to re¬‚ect on intentions and performance and
¬nds ways to improve.
4. The change continues to evolve and add value beyond the indi-
vidual who experiences the coaching. Coaching is contagious.
As coaching clients make changes in how they interact with
others, how they communicate, and how they lead, the people
around them are often in¬‚uenced by the changes. A person
who works with a coach long enough to make signi¬cant
changes will almost always start to coach others. Some people
are purposeful about sharing what they have learned, often
taking time to share insights and new approaches with their
colleagues and direct reports. Others just naturally pick up
on the coaching skills they are exposed to and consciously or
unconsciously integrate them into their own leadership style.
Although the ripple effect does not generally get picked up on
the ROI radar, it is an important source of lasting value for an
organization.



Transactional versus Transformational Coaching

Coaching holds the promise of transformational change, but not all
coaching delivers on this promise. Coaching that is limited to being
transactional, for example, focusing more on surface-level issues
such as tactical actions, follow-up, and advice, fails to access the full
transformational power of coaching. With transactional coaching,
clients often learn technical skills and personal effectiveness tech-
niques but little else. This kind of coaching can be useful in situa-
tions where assistance with technical expertise is required, but it is
not strategic, and the value derived is minimal. Clients who are
engaged in transactional coaching may report making progress
20 Coaching That Counts

initially, often in areas of personal effectiveness, but within a few
months they often ¬nd that their interest in coaching is waning and
they are uncertain about what additional value can be derived.
The transformational power of coaching lies in the ability to
transform insight into action. Transformational coaching guides
clients to reach into their own treasure trove of inner resources and
use those resources to create personal and organizational change.
Transactional coaching tends to skim across the surface, whereas
transformational coaching creates awareness and delivers results on
many levels. Insight”that inner knowing that resides within us
all”is the essential ingredient for transformational change. The
continuous exchange of insight and action, one fueling the other,
forms the core of transformational coaching.

Insight: The Essence of Coaching

Coaching, in its essence, enables clients to gain insight into the
underlying dynamics of the challenges that they face, and guides
them to apply the insights in the real world to create the desired
change. The following case study illustrates how this process of
translating insight into action plays out in a coaching conversation.
Ted came into a coaching session wanting to work with his coach
on ways to improve a dif¬cult but important relationship with a
coworker, Frank. His coach asked Ted questions that painted the
picture of what was going on in the relationship and also that helped
Ted get in touch with aspects of the relationship that were lying
below the surface. The coach asked Ted to look at the relationship
from Frank™s point of view. He also worked with Ted to surface
assumptions or judgments that Ted was holding about his coworker.
Some of these avenues of questioning surfaced more insights than
others. It is the coach™s job to guide the coaching conversation in
order to ¬nd where the richest insights are located. As Ted examined
the situation from different angles he realized that he had inadver-
tently left Frank out of some important communications and that
some of the dif¬culty they were having probably stemmed from
Frank™s reaction to this perceived slight.
De¬ning the Space for Coaching 21

The coach then encouraged Ted to create a plan of action to apply
this newfound insight to attempt to improve the situation. Ted
decided to address this issue directly with Frank and apologize for
his oversight. He also decided to take steps to ensure that Frank was
included in important communications in the future. This action
alone did not resolve the friction completely, but it was a step in the
right direction. Ted understood that he needed to continue to
monitor the situation by checking in with Frank and making his
own observations about their interactions. As he re¬‚ected on what
was working and what was not, Ted continued to make adjustments
in how he interacted with Frank.
This simple example illustrates the iterative nature of learning
from insight. Clients re¬‚ect on their experiences, gain insight,
and translate their insights into action plans that lead to new ex-
periences. This process continues until clients achieve the desired
outcome. In transformational coaching, the coaches guide their
clients to establish this pattern of mining experiences for insights.
As clients gain more facility at learning from their own experiences,
coaches encourage their clients to tap into even deeper levels of
insight to support larger and more complex outcomes.

Levels of Insight

Leading with Insight features four levels of insight: re¬‚ective,
emotional, intuitive, and inspirational.

Re¬‚ective Insight

The ¬rst source of insight that clients work with is re¬‚ective insight:
the ability to step back from an experience and notice what went
well and what did not. The learning comes through translating
insights into logical corrective actions, these actions then improve
the outcomes of the next experience.
Nora came to her coaching call complaining that she was getting
behind on her work. After some dialogue Nora and her coach iden-
ti¬ed Nora™s dif¬culty in making decisions in a timely fashion as
being a root cause for her situation. Considered a high potential
22 Coaching That Counts

employee, Nora had been moved from ¬nance into an operations
role to expand her leadership experience. Nora™s coach asked her to
re¬‚ect upon how she had made decisions in her previous role. Nora
noted that she felt comfortable making decisions when she had the
numbers in front of her. Nora™s coach then asked if it was possible
to get that level of detail in her new role and Nora conceded that it
was not. There were too many gray areas to achieve that level of cer-
tainty. Nora™s coach helped her to see that needing to have “all the
data” was impeding her ability to manage effectively in a more ¬‚uid
environment. Through their coaching dialogue Nora concluded that
she needed be realistic about the data that she could get in a rea-
sonable time frame and she needed to become more comfortable
making decisions without all the detail. Armed with this new aware-
ness, Nora can begin to experiment with making decisions more
quickly. She will need to go through several iterations of making
decisions and re¬‚ecting upon what information is essential versus
what information is nice to have before she ¬nds the approach that
is right for her.
In order to be able to access re¬‚ective insight, clients need to step
out of the fast lane and focus long enough to ask and answer ques-
tions that surface insight. As clients invest more time in coaching
relationships, they naturally integrate the re¬‚ective process into their
decision making and open the door to the next level of insight.

Emotional Insight

The next source of insight is emotional insight, which comes from
the ability to detect and decipher the information received through
emotions. Our emotions convey multiple levels of information, yet
many people have tuned out this powerful source of insight and
require some practice to bring it back online. When we tune into
our emotions and the emotional context of our relationships, we
start to notice underlying dynamics that greatly impact how we
interact. Some people may be uncomfortable with or feel unpre-
pared to deal with their own emotions and the emotional elements
De¬ning the Space for Coaching 23

of their relationships. As a result, they develop habits of sidestep-
ping or burying feelings rather than acknowledging that their feel-
ings and the feelings of others are valid and play an essential role in
forging strong, lasting professional relationships.
For example, in a weekly staff meeting, Joe made an off-hand
remark about an idea being proposed by Sandra, another team
member. Sandra left the staff meeting steaming about Joe™s
comment. After the meeting, Sandra spoke with her coach about
the experience, and she was clearly still upset about the situation.
Sandra™s coach asked her what bothered her most about what had
transpired. After a moment of re¬‚ection, Sandra conceded that it
was not so much what Joe said, but the disparaging tone that was
used that made her angry. Sandra acknowledged that she cared
deeply about the project she was proposing and had been working
on it intensively on her own for some time. Her coach asked her to
re¬‚ect on what might cause Joe to want to derail or diminish the
project. Through this conversation, Sandra realized that her project
would impact Joe™s area in some signi¬cant ways, and she had not
invested much time or effort in cultivating Joe™s support. She had a
new perspective on what happened at the meeting and worked with
her coach to role-play some different scenarios for conducting con-
versations to smooth out her relationship with Joe and begin to
build support for the project.
By paying attention to her own feelings and re¬‚ecting on what
transpired in the meeting, Sandra was able to see that she needed to
take action. If Sandra had just decided to ignore the remark or lash
out at Joe in the next meeting, she would likely have exacerbated the
discord and could have jeopardized her project even further. Emo-
tional insight provides valuable clues about underlying issues that
can get in the way of realizing our aspirations.

Intuitive Insight

The third level of insight is intuitive. Intuition is the ability to detect
dynamics and information that lie just below the surface of a
24 Coaching That Counts

situation. We use our intuition when we follow our hunches, detect
patterns, and make decisions without having all of the information
that we might like. As the complexity and speed of our world
increases, intuition becomes an increasingly important component
of our decision making. More and more, leaders are making choices
based on an integration of logical, linear information and their best
intuitive interpretation of a situation.
For example, on the surface, Linda™s leadership team seemed to
be moving forward with reorganizing the department. Few overt
disagreements took place in team meetings and progress was being
made, although it seemed to slow down as some of the bigger deci-
sions needed to be made. Linda had a feeling that something was
off, and she decided to talk with her coach about this in their next
coaching session.
Linda™s coach asked her to describe what she had noticed about
how the team was working. Linda recounted that John and Ellen had
become quiet, rarely participating fully in the team discussions, even
when Linda invited their comments. They were both fairly quiet
people, but this was more than just being quiet. Her coach asked her
what her intuition suggested about this dynamic. Linda had a hunch
that John and Ellen were withdrawing from the team because they
felt threatened by the changes being made. Linda decided to have
open conversations with all of her team members in their biweekly
one-on-one meetings to better understand how her direct reports
felt about the changes being made. Through these conversations,
Linda learned that Ellen and John felt that they were getting rail-
roaded by Linda and other team members into making changes that
they believed were not always in the best interest of their people.
As a result of these conversations, Linda was able to construct a
more inclusive change management process, and she continued to
monitor the team using tangible measures and intuitively observing
on several levels how the team was working together.
Linda had some evidence that her team was not operating at top
form, but her intuition, her sense that something was off, led her to
dig deeper to better understand what was happening with her team.
De¬ning the Space for Coaching 25

The more leaders trust their own intuitive knowing, the sooner they
are able to take action when situations are just beginning to derail,
rather than waiting for a full-blown catastrophe.

Inspirational Insight

Intuition leads naturally to inspiration. Inspirational insight occurs
when all the pieces come together and something is seen in an
entirely new light. The person who has the inspiration experiences
a kind of aha moment when a new possibility is realized. Intuition
tends to show up in pieces, such as knowing that an approach isn™t
likely to work or someone is capable of something, even if they have
never done it before. For some people inspirational insight shows
up like a seed of an idea of that grows over time, for others it arrives
more fully formed. However it happens, inspiration takes the leader
in a new direction, expanding the leader and the organization in
some material way.
Jeff was an executive with a large health care organization. Several
experiences had plunged Jeff somewhat unexpectedly into the world
of alternative medicine. His sister had been unable to ¬nd satisfac-
tory traditional medical care for a chronic condition and had been
successfully working with a homeopathic doctor to manage her
health. At ¬rst, Jeff was somewhat uncomfortable with his sister™s
choice; however, as her condition improved, he became convinced
of the bene¬t of this alternative form of care. At his coach™s sugges-
tion, Jeff began to practice yoga and meditation as a way of getting
back into shape and helping to manage his stress. He was surprised
at the bene¬ts he received from these practices. Through conversa-
tions with people he met in his yoga class, he became aware of other
healing methodologies with which he had no experience.
While taking a walk one day, Jeff was mulling these ideas over
in his mind and found himself wondering about the possibility of
adding an alternative care clinic to his health care organization. Jeff
brought his idea into his coaching sessions and worked with his
coach to create a path forward. He began to research different
26 Coaching That Counts

possibilities and began talking with some of his peers about what he
was learning. It was a long row to hoe, but eventually Jeff built a
coalition of supporters in his organization and the community. With
guidance from his coach, Jeff used his experience to hone his
leadership and in¬‚uencing skills and move the project forward.
If someone had told Jeff before all of this happened that he would
be championing an alternative health care clinic, he never would
have believed them. Inspiration is often the culmination of insights
gained from a wide variety of experiences. Inspirational insight
creates a real step change for the leaders with the courage to put their
ideas into action and the organizations in which they work.

The Action/Insight Connection

The key to deepening insight is action. Action fuels insight. When
clients take action, they have real data to learn from. Possibili-
ties go from being hypothetical to real. The things that clients
feared most are experienced and most likely found to be far less
harrowing than anticipated. By taking action, clients learn what
they are made of as they reach deeper into their bench
of talents and capabilities to make things happen. Coaches
encourage clients to re¬‚ect on their experiences, enabling them
to see situations from new perspectives, uncover hidden obsta-
cles, and increase their con¬dence in their abilities to use new
capabilities and approaches.
Actions that lead to lasting change rest on a foundation of insight.
As clients take on increasingly complex initiatives, they require
deeper levels of insight to support those actions. Someone who
is focused on improving his productivity will not need to tap
into the same depth of insight as someone who is turning a
team around or championing a culture change initiative. The
more wide-ranging an effort is, the more information needs to
be synthesized to guide it to completion. The deeper levels of
insight, intuitive, and inspirational, become increasingly
important in ever-changing environments.
De¬ning the Space for Coaching 27

Taking action and evolving insight are inextricably connected.
The relationship between actions and insight is much like the
system of roots, trunk, and branches of a tree. Insight is like
the ever-deepening roots that nourish and support the tree. As
the roots grow deeper into the ground, they create a solid foun-
dation for the tree to grow. In order for the tree to grow in
stature, it requires a deeper root system. So it is with action and
insight. As clients desire to successfully take on greater chal-
lenges, they need to deepen the levels of insight to which they
have access. Just as the trunk and the roots are constantly
exchanging resources, in transformational coaching, clients are
constantly gaining insight from their experiences and translat-
ing the insight they gain into more effective and complex
actions. This exchange of insight and action forms the corner-
stones of the Leading with Insight model of coaching.
The development of insight tends to come online in phases. Con-
tinuing our analogy, insight develops in similar ways to the
roots of a tree. Just as a tree™s roots start out close to the surface
and grow deeper and more complex as the demands from the
tree above increase, so it is with insight. When clients enter into
coaching relationships with coaches who use a transforma-
tional model, they initially focus, at least in part, on improving
their personal effectiveness. The coaches will encourage their
clients to re¬‚ect on their experiences in order to gain insight
into what is going well and what could be improved, and in
doing so, instill in their clients the ability to draw on re¬‚ective
insight.
Most clients move quickly into enhancing their interpersonal
relationships in some way; perhaps they need to communicate
more effectively with their employees or smooth out their rela-
tionships with their peers. Whatever the impetus, coaches will

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