Coaching is a valuable adjunct to most leader’s performance. A highly personalized learning process, it adapts and flexes to each leader’s needs along a continuum of Skills, Performance, Development and Free Agenda. Guided by Robert Witherspoon’s insert in Coaching for Leadership [Goldsmith, Lyons, Freas] I share this outline;

** Coaching for Skill: Skill refers to knowledge, skills, abilities and perspectives that enable an executive to take effective action. Coaching for skills involves a dynamic interaction between leader and coach. It is distinct from teaching, which relies on one-way telling and instruction; rather, it requires a deliberate process of observation, inquiry, dialogue and discovery. The essence of coaching leaders in skills is helping them to learn, rather than training or tutoring them. To coach in this sense is less to instruct than to facilitate (literally, to make easy)

When to use it: I need to sharpen my skills for x – I know how, but I do not always do it well

Why: The primary focus is to sharpen a leaders skills for a current project or task.

What: Leader works with coach to: * assess current skills * clarify expectations for current project or tasks * plan for skill building * enhance effective action and * improve learning agility

Coaching for skills usually occurs over a short term coaching engagement

** Coaching for Performance: Performance is used broadly to refer to the leaders competencies and his or her characteristics that contribute to a current role or job. A related coaching role is coaching to correct performance for leaders at risk, which looks to remedy problems that interfere with a leader’s job performance or that risk derailing a career.

When to use it: There is pressure to improve x, I need to do a better job at x, I am not aware of my impact on x

Why: The primary focus is to improve the leader’s effectiveness in a current job or role.

What: Leader works with coach to: * assess current competencies of present job * clarify expectations on present performance * prioritize the executives needs for present job performance * plan for continuing improvement * enhance effective action * improve learning agility

Coaching for performance usually occurs over a longer term coaching engagement