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Coaching and Multi-Source Feedback

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The third and fourth reasons were excellent and led me to reconfirm my acceptance of the 360 Degree feedback and executive coaching assignment. It became clear to me within the first hour of our interaction that Sam was vitally interested in his own ongoing professional development. He strongly (and knowledgeably) supported the use of executive coaching by all of his vice presidents and he was envious of the services they were receiving. Sam wanted his own coach and wanted this coach to begin working with him in conjunction with the data he was about to receive from the 360 feedback.

It became apparent to me almost immediately that Sam could use some assistance in interpreting the 360 feedback, given that he intended (as he did three years before) to request feedback from a broad constituency—more than 20 people. Some of these would be respondents who are members of the HSC staff. Others would come from outside his immediate staff. They would be members of his board of directors, community leaders—even CEOs from institutions that competed with HSC for services. I immediately liked and admired this man and his willingness (even eagerness) to receive and make use of feedback from many different sources.

The fourth reason was also persuasive. My colleague (Sara) had thoughtfully and carefully established a comprehensive executive coaching program that was tied not only to the 360 feedback process, but also to the building of an effective executive management team and establishment of a new master plan for HSC. I trusted Sara’s intentions, her competence and her appreciative perspective with regard to coaching (a perspective I strongly embrace). I believe that 360 feedback processes can be powerful and appropriate motivators for engaging in executive coaching. Conversely, an existing executive coaching program can be a constructive and motivating gateway to enter a 360 Degree feedback process. I identify this strategy as “instrumented coaching” and make extensive use of instruments of many different types in my own executive coaching work. (Bergquist and Mura, 2011)

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