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The Seven Principles
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The Seven Principles of Effective Executive Coaching/Organizational Consulting- The key to Unlocking Full Executive and Organizational Potential

Any executive coach that you would want to hire must embrace and embody these key principles in order to be an effective partner.

We created this important list of criteria and it has become the governing principles for our consultants.

Principle #1
They know your business.

Business and market knowledge provide important credibility and insights. Find a coach/consultant who routinely learns as much as possible about your business - and the organizational dynamics - thus providing the appropriate context for the coaching. Your coach/consultant should also be able to provide additional industry-specific resources to reinforce the sessions. Never work with a coach who has not been a manager or executive in the corporate world. Their advice will be missing the practical, credible element that you need.

Principle #2
They draw upon clinical psychological research and organizational development principles marrying the best of human behavior theory with practical business applications.

The most effective coaches know that in the final analysis they are dealing with changing people's behavior. Coaches with training and experience in clinical & organizational psychology combined with business savvy have the foundation needed to lead their clients through the rapid and treacherous waters of change.

Principle #3
They provide informed candor.

Having the ability to address performance issues honestly is vital to executive coaching and organizational consulting. Feedback cannot be explained away, rationalized, re-framed or sugar-coated if you ever expect to make important changes. This is particularly true for executives who, by virtue of their authority, often don't hear the "truth" from those with whom they work. And, the higher one climbs on the organizational ladder, the tougher it is to have confidantes who don't have personal agendas of their own. Coaches/consultants fill this role with candor.

Principle #4
They take the time to coach and consult face-to-face in order to create and sustain rapport.

To build the rapport necessary for a strong coaching and consulting relationship, preliminary meetings and regularly scheduled sessions are best done in-person, especially in this virtual world. (There is no technological substitute for the effectiveness of looking each other in the eye.)

Principle #5
They set clear expectations and use a process to ensure specific goals are met.

It might seem simple, but if you don't know where you're going, you'll never know when you get there. The coach and client (along with input from his or her manager and possibly an HR executive) should agree upfront to the goals of the process and how they will be achieved. Agendas must be set for every meeting and notes provided as follow up to every coaching session. This holds both the coach and coachee accountable, underscoring the true partnership element of this powerful relationship.

Principle #6
They use well-implemented diagnostic tools, which include "live" 360 degree feedback tools, online 360s, and other reliable and valid assessments relative to leadership, teamwork, personality styles, etc.

Effective coaches integrate assessments into their process, so they ensure the results are first effectively delivered to the coachee and then shared with his/her larger corporate community of manager, peers and direct reports in order to gain support for behavioral change and "feed-forward" mechanisms to chart progress.

Principle #7
They use their own process to improve themselves.

Look for a firm that conducts regular due-diligence on its coaches / consultants, its processes, and the results their clients are achieving as a result. Feedback works both ways, and the firm you are considering should seek regular, formal progress reports from their clients through an independent auditor. It is important that your coach go through a rigorous self-improvement process themselves usually done through a coaching or therapeutic relationship. Coaches/consultants cannot be effective if they do not know themselves.

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