InsideOut Development

The Top 10 Criteria for Choosing a Coaching Approach

by Bob Parsons
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How do you decide which coaching model to choose? When I was on the buying side, I was leading a project to find a cornerstone coaching approach I could leverage as part of a 9-month, mid-level leader process.

I have listed the criteria I used to select a coaching company partner. Fortunately, they still apply.

10. Does the approach have personal application? I once heard a Sr. VP at a Fortune 500 company say, “Bob, if you can help our people solve their personal problems, we know they will be better, more focused employees on the job.”

9. Cost? You might be surprised to see I have this lower on my list. However, coaching is one initiative I have seen (especially in sales functions), move the “results and culture needle” more quickly than anything else.

8. What experience does the potential partner have with coaching? How long has the potential partner been in business? What is their core competency? Are they truly a “coaching organization” or just a vendor selling coaching?

7. What case studies or testimonials does the potential partner provide from previous clients?

6. How flexible is the content? Does the partner allow for the ability to customize the material to the organization’s needs, especially during a time when priorities change daily?

5. How do the core principles of the model line up with what the field says? Do you see the “mindset” and theories show up in other schools of thought?

4. How well does it align with our corporate values and business goals?

3. Does the model/framework have broad application across the spectrum of business conversations: feedback, check-ins, uncomfortable, performance, problem solving and brainstorming?

2. Is it practical? Can people leave a training session and apply the framework immediately without referring to a three-ring binder or five laminated cards?

1. DOES IT GET RESULTS? Can I tie more focused conversations to results in the organization? Sales increasing? Higher levels of performance due to specific and ongoing feedback? Are the leaders having the tougher conversations around performance? Is HR getting involved less? Do I see people making better, faster decisions? Does the approach create a high level of involvement and engagement?

You may disagree with my order. However, my guess is you might have little disagreement with the 10 as a whole! There are very few development initiatives that can have a bigger impact on an organization’s results than coaching! Choose wisely!

Category: Coaching Leadership Executives Career Development

Picture of Bob Parsons

Bob Parsons is a highly trained Executive Coach and Talent Development Professional with over 30 years of experience helping clients take strategic action on their business initiatives. Bob has also taught at the University of Minnesota and St. Thomas University’s school of engineering. A former DJ and current Santa-for-hire, Bob lives in Apple Valley, Minnesota with his awesome wife of 31 years and his three great kids. His favorite super hero is The Flash and Mr. Incredible.

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