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Executive Coaching Expert Alan Weinstein: Three Biggest Executive Problems that Require Coaching
BUFFALO, NY, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ — One reason that executive coaching has become popular is that it addresses—and remedies—the failures of traditional executive development, according to executive coaching expert Alan Weinstein.
Weinstein, a Vistage International chair and professor emeritus of the Whele School of Business at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, provides a roadmap to improve executive coaching in his new book, “Executive Coaching and the Process of Change: A Practitioner’s Guide.”
“Executive coaching is not just about closing gaps and creating tension,” says Weinstein. “Gaps exist for many reasons, and tension is an inevitable byproduct of the growth process, but an executive coach must be aware of both.”
According to Weinstein, there are three challenges an executive coach must help a coaching client overcome to properly undergo a change process:
1. Control. Most executive coaching clients have a strong need to control their workplace and their people. This should not be surprising. Successful executives learn to rely on themselves as the best way they know to accomplish goals and reduce the chances of failure. This is a mixed blessing. While it is true that success can be realized through control, it can also be inhibited by control.
“Executives who maintain control have a tendency to micro-manage,” says Weinstein. “This leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy: by controlling work, an executive prevents his or her associates from engaging in challenging work and, at the same time, limits associate opportunities to grow into more responsible roles. Lack of opportunity for associates to learn and grow will reinforce their self-perception as unqualified for responsibility and therefore in need of control by executives. This scenario is a fertile area for remediation by executive coaching.”
2. Delegation. A concept related to control, delegation is a strategy to engage others in taking over both responsibility and authority. Executives who delegate successfully are able to take on more work. They are also able to lead at a higher level, overseeing projects without micro-managing the associates assigned to them. Effective delegation frees executives to explore strategic initiatives without being saddled with the activities that are performed by associates.
“A lack of trust in associates will limit delegation,” says Weinstein. “This may be due to the executive having a problem letting go. It may also be attributable to a real or perceived lack of talent among associates. In either case, the executive who lacks trust will engage in less delegation—which, in turn, will reduce his or her effectiveness.
3. Communication. Executives are not automatically great communicators. During executive coaching, the executive’s communication style needs to be addressed both for its content and context. The major content issues relate to creating gaps and tension through information acquired from assessments and coaching sessions and then asking probing questions that help the coach to create enough tension to motivate the executive coachee to action that will reduce the tension.
“The higher an executive ascends within an organization, the more strategic and less tactical he or she should become,” says Weinstein. “From a coaching perspective, helping them improve as effective communicators is critical.”
More free tips are available on the book’s free blogsite, www.ExecutiveCoachingandtheProcessofChange.com.
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Media contact: Henry DeVries at firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Coaching Expert Alan Weinstein: Top Six Communications Factors for Coaching Success
BUFFALO, NY, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ — Mastering six communications factors can mark the difference between success and failure for an executive coach, according to executive coaching expert Alan Weinstein.
Weinstein, a Vistage chair and professor emeritus of the Whele School of Business at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, provides a roadmap to improve executive coaching in his new book, Executive Coaching and the Process of Change: A Practitioner’s Guide.
According to Weinstein, six critical communications factors can impact coaching success:
1. Rapport. For coaching to be effective, it is imperative to establish rapport. This involves demonstrating trust and confidentiality, a perceived respect for the coach by the coachee, and sensitivity by the coach to a very personal situation involving major consequences for the coachee. First impressions are important. Weinstein’s approach to establishing rapport is to be very transparent up front. You should make it very clear what your role is as a coach.
2. Being in the Moment. This is one of the most difficult skills to learn as a coach. Being in the moment can sometimes feel like being unprepared. It seems natural to want to prepare questions for the coachee in advance and to anticipate areas of fertile coaching. Preparing questions, however, defeats the intuitive process needed for coaching to be successful. Coaches need to concentrate on what is going on emotionally and cognitively with the coachee.
3. Active Listening. The main lesson for coaching from the available research and clinical observations is that active listening is a process, beginning with readiness to paraphrase what the coachee is saying. Active listening will also signal to the coachee that you are in the moment. Rephrasing will provide an opportunity to verify and obtain feedback on your understanding of what was said, adding to the goal of clarity in communication. Active listening will aid the coach in identifying tensions and gaps that otherwise might go unnoticed.
4. Reflective Learning. Learning the skill of using reflection as a methodology of coaching is essential in examining the coachee’s experiences and applying new ways of addressing them. This is where new learning can take place—not as an added lesson but as a reflective insight from the analysis of how the new learning can be applied to past situations with a higher likelihood of favorable results moving forward. By applying newly learned approaches to recalled experiences, the transfer of new learning will be enhanced. This is attributable to the immediate relevance and reinforcement of the new learning. Reflected experiences should include both past and present situations that are relevant to positive change. Having the coachee apply the newly learned behavior to new situations will allow for practice and feedback, further reinforcing the efficacy of the new behavior. Coaches should encourage coachees to relate current experiences. These are live cases, relevant and ripe for analysis and fertile ground to try out new, more effective behaviors.
5. Personality Styles. Having assessment information will greatly enhance the understanding of personal style and personality characteristics of the coachee. Understanding individual differences and how they determine certain behaviors can help a coach to approach the coachee much more effectively. For example, if the DiSC indicates a very direct personal style with a backup style of cautiousness (DC), the coach’s approach to the coachee can be more direct, identifying the tasks needed for change. On the other hand, if the coachee has a highly inspirational, persuasive style, the approach may be more conversational, allowing the coachee to self-analyze behavioral patterns This, in turn, will help the coachee to better understand how to use his or her style more effectively to obtain better results as a leader.
6. Learning Styles. Another area that affects coaching is the way a coachee learns. Research suggests that people learn in three different modes: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Visual learners represent a significant percentage of all people and respond best to visual cues. In a coaching session, reflections can serve as visual cues because the situation can be recalled and the coachee can visualize what happened. Auditory learners respond well to dialogue. They are able to learn by listening. Again, reflections produce auditory cues as well as visual ones, providing a rich medium for learning. Kinesthetic, or “hands-on,”learners need to actually do things to really understand them. They need to apply what they have learned and experience the verification that occurs through application of learning.
More free tips are available on the book’s free blogsite, wwwExecutiveCoachingandtheProcessofChange.com.
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Media contact: Henry DeVries at email@example.com