Top 11 coaching engagements that also offer facilitation opportunities for you

The top coaches do more than coach. You should be prepared for this reality if you are getting into executive coaching. While most other coach training programs do not prepare you for what demanding executive and leadership clients require, we do. That’s because we include — at no extra cost — with all of our certified executive coach training programs our new Master Facilitator Certification and training. That way, when the client asks — and they will, you are ready to facilitate solutions to get results for them while also coaching them to success.

Following are the top 11 situations in which you might be hired to coach and also facilitate:

1. Strategic planning. This is one of the most common coaching conversations that you will have with any leader. First they discuss concerns about their strategy with you during a coaching session. Before you know it, they want you to facilitate strategic discussions with their team. Next, they want you to coach team members to make sure that implementation of the plan goes smoothly. We provide you with a 3-part strategic planning process that has been proven to get results, from answering the big picture strategic questions to setting priorities and making sure the strategy gets implemented. Strategic planning alone can be a huge area for coaches, only because the topic is so broad. You could end up facilitating anything from a full strategic plan, to tweaking an existing plan, doing some scenario planning, brainstorming entirely new business models or innovative new products, focusing on a single strategic decision (Do we expand into a new market? Do we launch a new product?), and discussing specific competitive threats and how to handle them.

2. Issues with teams. When you coach team leaders, they will raise issues they are having with their teams. Before you know it, you are conducting team assessments, coaching individuals on the team, and leading facilitated team retreats to help the team address top challenges. We show you an amazing assessment that shows a team on one page how their thinking styles and behavioral traits compare and contrast, and how to use this information to leverage their strengths as a team and address any potential blind spots. From there, we give a few methods to find out what’s working for the team and what can go better, and how to help teams move quickly past obstacles.

3. Change. Executives and leaders share their frustrations with leading change during coaching sessions. From there, your clients often ask you to facilitate sessions with the executive and leadership teams — and sometimes with specific management teams — to iron out specific issues. We provide you with a robust methodology and toolkit to work through these issues, anticipate resistance, build on support, make sure communication is consistent and effective, and help leaders make a compelling case for change.

4. Create a high-performance culture. If you can coach a single top executive about changing the entire culture of the organization, before you know it, you can be coaching multiple executives and managers about changing the culture. During this type of engagement, which can last 18-24 months, there are often multiple retreats to check in on progress and make improvements along the way. You should be prepared to facilitate these. We give you a toolkit to do exactly that.

5. Succession planning and developing high potentials. Many organizations handle succession planning and leadership development in a reactive way, or when a key person leaves the organization. When you coach a client about developing leaders, they will often want you to help make leadership development and succession planning part of the fabric of the organization. One way you can help is by facilitating discussions of high potential talent and how they can progress through the organization, as well as ways the organization needs to improve everything from recruitment to career development and performance management. This is an incredible opportunity for you to embed yourself with the leadership team and help your client strengthen their organization for the long term.

6. Employee engagement. When clients come to you for coaching on how to better engage their team, coaching is usually only a partial solution. A comprehensive solution involves assessments, training, incentives, and more. We provide you with a structure of different ways you can help — including turnkey management trainings and facilitation workshop templates you can use to have immediate impact.

7. Client relationship planning. If you coach sales managers and partners in professional service firms with long-term clients, you can also facilitate client relationship planning sessions for them. During these sessions, you bring together key people from your client to discuss how they can improve relationships and better serve one of their clients. I rolled out this process at one management consulting firm and they saw an $11 million increase in revenues directly as a result. It is a very powerful facilitated process!

8. Service excellence and improvement. If your coaching client complains about the quality of service that their organization provides, you can expand the scope of your services. Work with the executive team to prioritize the key areas for improvement, set new goals and ways to measure them, map out how the customer’s experience should be, and make new commitments to improve the customer’s service experience. Then you can follow up with coaching to make sure that people stay accountable for implementing the plan that came out of the session(s).

9. Board development. Many non-profit boards recognize a need to improve the level of skill, knowledge, and capabilities of their board members. You can help — and we provide you with a fantastic methodology and process to lead your client and select board members to identify the gaps in board effectiveness and fill them.

10. The quick business plan. If you coach the owners of small businesses, they often need a boost in their thinking, or a way to come up with new ideas to increase sales, profits, and cash flow. You can bring together a group of your clients, or a team within one of your clients, to come up with a quick business plan that gives new life to sales. This process is different than strategic planning, because it focuses directly on setting near-term financial goals and then on the tactics that are most likely to make a direct and immediate improvement to sales, profits, and cash flow. It is like a shot of adrenaline to the business.

11. Negotiation or high-stakes influence situation. If you aren’t coaching leaders about influence, you aren’t really coaching. Sometimes your client brings up situations that are bigger than their work alone. A facilitated session is needed to get input from a variety of people. Perhaps the issue is about a conflict with another group, a major negotiation with another company, or a campaign related to making a change happen through the organization. In these cases, you can help facilitate the discussion by helping to set outcomes, determine the best strategy, think about risks, anticipate objections, consider who will be involved, and even role play. We have a set of proven tools to help you help your clients avoid costly mistakes and get the best possible results going into risky situations.

Other programs simply don’t provide the kind of depth that you get with the above tools. Yes, they are all grounded in best practice research from psychology, neuro-science, emotional intelligence, and of course business. However, we don’t make you slog through the research and academia. You have probably spent enough time in your career doing that. We give you the practical, results-driven approaches you want so that you can get right to it and help your clients succeed.

If you want to get results for your clients and succeed as an executive and leadership coach, join the Center for Executive Coaching’s Certified Executive Coach Training program today. You can start anytime in our online/distance learning program, and we have four in-person seminars each year. Contact anytime to schedule time to discuss your goals — but please, only after you have reviewed our programs.

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