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Highlights from November 2011 Joint Coaching & Training Directors' SIG

Monday, December 19, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jesus Diaz
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The ATD NY Training Directors' and Coaching SIGs held a joint meeting in November, 2011.  The program, "The Spectrum of Coaching:  What Can Your Organization Achieve," featured four panelists:  Fiona Erskine-Smith of BlackRock, Rita Callahan of ConEdison, and executive coaches Joanne Killmeyer and Peg Wallis.  The panel was moderated by Megan Tobin, Chair of the ATD NY Coaching SIG.  Over 30 people attended the session.  Participants were actively engaged in the discussion, which centered around: 

  • Why coaching, why now?
  • What do companies look for when hiring coaches?
  • What changes have they seen over the past few years?
  • Do companies look for specific certifications when hiring coaches?
  • What types of assessments do the coaches use in their work? 

Notes from our meeting follow:

Fiona is Director of Leadership Development at BlackRock and described their philosophy of executive coaching as a strategic approach for talent management, such as with high potentials (hipos) and in succession planning, as well as for relationship management.  BlackRock is placing special emphasis on using coaches for a program focusing on senior women.  Participants in the Women's Leadership Forum have an online forum where they can post a question and get answers from a coach.  When hiring coaches, Fiona looks for those who check in with her every so often to update her on progress being made.  She mentioned the importance of a cultural fit and especially appreciates the coaches who provide suggestions that will benefit the organization.  She is looking to create a "community of coaches" where each contributes to the betterment of the talent offerings by learning and sharing with each other.  They use the Hogan and internally created 360 instruments.

Rita is responsible for collaboration and conflict management at ConEdison and is also sole proprietor of her own company, Working It Out.  ConEdison is building a conflict competent culture, and Rita's role in the Conflict Resolution Section is to provide conflict resolution services, such as mediation, training, conflict coaching, facilitation, assessment, and consulting.  In addition to conflict coaching, ConEdison uses coaching for performance, as a short-term, very specific and behavior-focused tool.  Rita stressed the importance of coaching skills for managers.  She also described coaching in virtual environments where avatars keep participants anonymous, which helps them open up.  ConEdison uses the MBTI, Leadership Challenge course, and CDP (Conflict Dynamics Profile).

Joanne is an executive coach, professor in NYU's Coaching Certificate Program, and founder of possibilities & solutions, LLC, who has experience in numerous industries.  She talked about coaching High Potentials and providing coaching for those in transition, for example, moving from operations to management.  She's seen more JIT (Just in Time) coaching recently and mentioned the move to more online training and lower cost coaching options for the masses to reach further down in organizations.  Typical assignments are 3-6 months and she said that she is more successful when the executive being coached has an action plan in place so development (things) can move forward after she leaves.  She anticipates more focus on measurement and ROI in the future.  Joanne uses the DiSC and 360 instruments, when needed.  She referenced a recent AMA study  (Coaching: A Global Study of Successful Practices, 2008) that found 73% of companies hire coaches based on business experience, while 45% make their decisions based on personality match. 

Peg is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach and co-author of Charting Your Course for Effective Communication and has found improv to be helpful in her career as coach.  She mentioned that lately she sees more focus on tooling the younger workforce and "speed" coaching, which helps get people up-to-speed quickly in their role.  She found that managers are now asking for tips they can use to coach their own employees.  She finds the SDI (Strength Deployment Instrument), upon which her book is based, effective in her work, because it taps into motivation.

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