If you’ve been following my blog or my social media pages for any length of time, you will know I am an advocate for coaching. I am an executive coach myself, and I have my own coach. Coaching is a great way to assist leaders in developing their leadership, for individuals to increase their self-awareness, and for students to enhance their learning.

So, what does a coaching program look like?

There are a variety of options and, I believe, no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It’s important to tailor each program to the clients’ needs. That requires collaboration upfront. That said, I’d like to provide examples of coaching programs I’ve seen, I’ve participated in and delivered to my clients. [1] [2]

Example 1: Long Term Executive Coaching

I have worked with one particular client for over four years. This person has a supportive manager who understands the benefit of his direct reports having a coach. I work with this client one-to-one, meeting every 4-6 weeks for 90 minutes. We have six to eight sessions and then break for around six months before we re-engage for the next tranche. Over time, we have gone from working on the transactional leadership basics to aspects of developmental self-awareness and growth.

Example 2: Working in A Large Organisations With a Team of Coaches and Multiple Clients

I work in a large organisation with an advanced cultural development program into its second decade. This program consists of culture measurement, group coaching and individual coaching. I work with individuals who have attended a three-day leadership development workshop where they receive 360-degree feedback. Those participants then have the option to work with a coach for 6-9 months on aspects of their leadership they identified as part of that process. The participant and coach meet every 3-5 weeks for 60-90 minutes. Once completed, the coachee can request further coaching at a later date to continue their development.

Example 3: Working with a Group or Team

I am currently about to begin working with a team that has come together for the first time to achieve a significant collaborative goal. The group is a mix of professionals from two different companies, sub-contractors, the client and government representatives. The program involves working with the leadership team as individuals to understand their respective agendas, authorities and power relationships. I will then bring those individuals together and help them communicate those aspects with each other so they can develop a shared understanding of how to work together. Stage 2 will be a mix of individual, leadership development and group work over six to nine months as they come together to achieve their collective and individual goals.

Example 4: Working with the Self-Funded Individual

My final example involves working with people who usually don’t get access to coaching. In the three cases above the organisation pays for the coaching. In this one, the individual provides for him or herself. I have clients who lack support from their managers. They are seeking ways to improve communication skills, strategies to deal with complicated relationships, and find a sense of balance in their lives. I enjoy exploring ways to support these people to achieve their individual goals. Our meetings will sometimes be regular, occasionally infrequent, face-to-face or by phone or video call. The important thing is to understand their needs and remain flexible to them.

If you think you would like to engage a coach, talk to one. See what options they may have available. If they are ethical, they will work with you to meet your needs or find an option that does.

If you would like to discuss anything I’ve written about above or any aspect of your leadership development, then please contact me.

[1] It’s important to understand that coaching is an unregulated industry. You do not need a license to practice. Nor do you need a formal education in coaching. Anyone can call themselves a coach. There are several organisations attempting to bring professional standards to the industry and there are high quality tertiary courses. Make sure you do your due diligence before selecting a coach.

[2] These are my examples only. Due to the unregulated nature of the industry, there are many potential others.