Home Research Return on Investment An ROI Method for Executive Coaching: Have the Client Convince the Coach of the Return on Investment

An ROI Method for Executive Coaching: Have the Client Convince the Coach of the Return on Investment

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Anne’s work defining the three Key Factors was a significant step, but it was only the beginning.  So far she had determined: 1) business results — increase revenue, 2) leader behaviors — define clear roles, and 3) team interactions behaviors — improve staff relations.  Were they linked and customized to her situation?  Her leader and team behaviors were linked: we suspected that if she further clarified her team’s roles, some of their conflicts with each other would evaporate.  But how would that increase revenue?

As an executive coach, an important part of your job is to probe, and repeatedly emphasize, the interdependencies among the three Key Factors.  Rarely should you accept a leader’s first answer.  By repeated questions regarding the links among the factors, you can help the leader focus on the crucial items under each factor, namely the ones that give leaders the most leverage and the greatest chance of success.  Your collaborative skepticism, probing until you reach the essence of the factors, builds in leaders the growing confidence that they have identified what is most critical to their situation.  You do not convince them; they convince themselves of the links by their own repeated refinements.

Anne perceived that the team members needed her to clarify her expectations so that they could prioritize their work better.  The team lost energy to conflicts — both hidden and explicit – which slowed the implementation of all their plans.  Clarifying expectations and collaborating to resolve differences mobilized Anne and her team to close in on their business goals.

Define the Measures: How Will You Know When You Get There?

Any item identified by the leader needs not only to be linked to the other factors but also must be measurable.  Four simple categories to use in measuring business results are time, money, quality, and quantity.  The  measurable goals on the leader and team factor lists must be specific, observable, and repeatable.

There is a “menu” of items that fit into each factor.  The menu is ala carte: the leader can choose the items that are most relevant to her situation and most interdependent upon each other.  Not all of these menu items, however, are specific or measurable enough.  They may be in the ball park but you will need to work with the leader to hone them further.

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