By | Dr Marshall Goldsmith | #1 Leadership Thinker, Exec Coach, NYT Bestselling Author. Dartmouth Tuck Professor Mgmt Practice
Stakeholder Centered Coaching® is a disciplined and proven coaching practice that coaches can use to help leaders affect positive behavior change in themselves, their people, and their teams. In other words, it is a proven process that helps successful people get even better, not as judged by themselves, but as judged by the people who really matter – their managers, colleagues, coworkers, friends, and partners.
How does it work? My good friend Chris Coffey, who along with Frank Wagner, leads the Stakeholder Centered Coaching® certification in the U.S. and has trained thousands of coaches himself, explains the process in general way in the following interview that I did with him recently.
Marshall: Chris, can you give us a blow by blow overview of the coaching process and how it works?
Chris: Sure, Marshall. I’ll give you a quick overview of the basic steps of the process.
- Generally, the client interviews a few coaches and then selects one. I’m clear how I work with the client and that I don’t get paid unless he or she improves. This is one of the unique aspects of SCC.
- If I get the engagement, I ask the client to give me a list of a dozen people I can interview about the client. I’ll ask these stakeholders, what are the client’s strengths, in what areas can the client improve, what do you think is the most important thing for the client to improve, and finally what suggestions would you give the client?
- Then I write this up in a report and send it to each stakeholder. It’s all anonymous. There are no names in the report, so you can’t tell who said what.
- Once approved, I put all of this information into a 360 assessment and send it to the client. Then we sit down who picks a couple of things to change. Delegate, collaborate, listen, whatever it is they choose the behavior they want to change.
- The client talks to their boss or immediate manager about what he or she wants to change and goes over the list of stakeholders with the manager. With the boss’s sign off on behavior to change and stakeholders, we are ready to rock and roll.
It’s important to get the boss’s sign off, so you don’t coach the person for a year, and then the boss is not happy and says they got better at the wrong thing!
- With sign off, we engage stakeholders, get suggestions from them (using feedforward), and then the creates and shares his or her action plan with the stakeholders and asks for the help in holding them accountable for making changes. When I talk with stakeholders I ask them to let go of the past, don’t be a critic, cynic or judge, and be supportive of the process. Change is hard.
- The last thing we do is a critical measurement piece – the mini-survey – which literally takes 5 minutes or less to complete. We ask each stakeholder to rate the leader’s change and follow up on a scale of -3 to +3.
- The entire process takes 6 months to a year.
For the client it takes courage, discipline, and humility. Courage to look in the mirror, listen to others’ feedback, and be transparent about trying to change. Discipline to practice daily behavior change and follow up on a regular basis. And, humility to say to themselves, that as good as they are, they can get better!