Finance Monthly - August 2023

Finance Monthly. 46 Business The Thumbprint Coaching approach emphasizes personalized solutions and the development of the individual. How do you ensure that each coaching plan is uniquely tailored to meet the specific needs of your clients? First of all, I have a call with a potential client to see if we are a good “fit”. The relationship between a coach and client is critical to success. I want to find out what the person wants to accomplish as a result of the coaching and how they will measure success. If we go ahead and decide to work together, we take those goals and design action plans to accomplish them. Since most of my work is with organizations, I meet with the person’s manager to understand what they want my client to achieve through coaching. To further define the goals, I often will do 360-degree feedback interviews to understand how the client is perceived by peers and direct reports and what they are looking for their colleague to continue doing that is working, as well as what behaviors they think could be improved to increase the person’s effectiveness. I have a coaching session about every other week with my clients where we focus on those goals and action plans we have established and address any challenges the client is having. Can you describe your process for leadership development coaching? What strategies or techniques do you employ to foster effective leadership? The 360 feedback interviews (and sometimes a 360-degree feedback instrument) form the focus of the leadership development aspect of the coaching since the questions I ask are to determine the current and desired state of the person’s leadership behaviors. Depending on the outcome of the interviews, we may focus on interpersonal skills as a leader, emotional intelligence, coaching skills, conflict management or team engagement as some examples. Your work involves team development, which is critical for organizational success. Can you explain how you approach this aspect of your coaching services? Teams go through stages as they come together and move towards (hopefully) becoming a highperforming team. If I am working with just the leader, we focus on what that leader can do to help their team develop the qualities of high performance. I prefer to work with an entire team and, through team coaching, help the team understand how to appreciate their differences, build trust, deal with conflict, learn how to hold each other accountable and focus on the team goals. I use topical workshops as well as facilitation of team meetings to accomplish what the team needs to be highperforming. Could you share an example of a challenging team situation you’ve helped navigate and the steps you took to bring about positive change? I worked with an executive leadership team (CEO and the rest of the C-suite members), and the leader dominated every discussion. The CEO had a very strong personality, and he was stifling the creativity of the rest of the team because his ideas were always the best ones, according to him. I worked with each individual in the team to help them get comfortable with ways to challenge the CEO and helped the CEO realize that his behaviors were getting in the way of the team coming up with innovative ideas. If the company was going to survive, innovation was definitely going to be needed, and by showing the CEO and the team the consequences of their actions, they were able to find ways to work differently. One solution was for the team members to pair up to present their ideas so one person wasn’t in the spotlight on their own. Another solution was getting the CEO to be the last person to speak

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