Psychologues Consultants Y2

The ABCs of Coaching

Do I really need a coach?

You could go at it on your own. Many have. After all, there's lots of self-help literature and coaching techniques. However, it's been shown that some of these help, and some don't.

There are the times, however, when most of us could use a little, or a lot, of extra help – the kind that only trained professionals can provide -- like those with a background in coaching psychology.

Coaching is based on the needs of individuals and reputable coaching uses constructive methods to support those individuals in meeting those needs and to identify others that may be required to achieve goals.

What is Coaching?

Coaching is meant to help individuals or groups strive for and reach particular goals, or develop certain competencies. It can take any number of forms (lifestyle, executive, etc).

Over the years, coaching has evolved by incorporating elements from other disciplines -- psychology (e.g. clinical, counselling and industrial) chief among them.

While coaching isn't new, it is being used increasingly, both in the private and the public sectors. And who better than trained psychologists and HR specialists to provide the expert coaching you or your organization may require?

What is Executive/Management Coaching?

However, the definition we believe best describes executive coaching can be found in the Encyclopedia of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. There it is defined as: "An individualized process of executive development in which a skilled expert (coach) helps an individual who is in a leadership or managerial role in an organization learn how to become more effective in that organization and/or in those kinds of roles".

Things to consider if you are considering to be coached

A Proactive Coaching Approach (based on cognitive and behavioural psychology principles) is becoming more and more sought after by employees, managers and executives who believe they know where they want to go but need one-on-one (or group) impartial guidance to help them in their professional development.

Effective coaching begins with carefully matching an experienced coach with the individual to be coached. The goal is to increase the fit between the coaches' specific skills set and the needs of the one to be coached (that said, as the goals of the coached individual change, the fit must be reassessed). That is why when selecting a coach; it is beneficial to consider a coaching firm that has several coaches available with a varied skill set. Generally speaking, reputable coaches combine organizational/business experience with psychological counselling competencies.

Once a coach is selected, it is crucial to establish a coaching contract, specify the objectives and means to assess progress. At that point, all questions regarding confidentiality and reporting of progress to a third party must also be clearly agreed upon. The overall objective usually seeks to improve both individual and organizational performance.

The coaching process can vary considerably in duration; anywhere from a couple of sessions to deal with a punctual problem to several months to tackle more comprehensive objectives (i.e., coach individual through a change management process). Most coaching mandates range however between 6 to 10 sessions of 1 to 2 hours each – with most coaches charging anywhere between 150$ to 300$ per hour.

Once you begin a coaching process you must be prepared to be proactive and invest time and effort in order to achieve your objectives as most of the work and progress must be done by the individual between the coaching sessions. The more the coached individual is committed to the process and is willing to reflect and/or act on the coaches' recommendations, the greater the return on investment!

Once objectives are met, most coaching processes are terminated. New coaching mandates may be agreed to as new challenges arise.

Who can benefit from Coaching?

Whether it be to problem-solve, to develop a new skill set or just to attain a greater work/life balance or enhance your general happiness, Y2CP believes that most individuals can benefit from a coach at one point or another.

Below are some of the different types of individuals who can benefit from coaching:

  • Individuals who have established career goals, and who want to find out if they have the potential to become an effective leader and what it will take to get there.
  • Employees and managers, who are supported by an organization as an integral part of succession planning efforts, for example, but who need to hone their leadership skills.
  • New managers whose development and performance are paramount to organizational success.
  • Employees or executives who need assistance in balancing work/life and in managing rapid organizational change.
  • Coaching is beneficial when you need a helping hand to reach your goals. It's also important when you need someone to confirm that you are on the right track.

However, coaching is less likely to be effective when the employee or manager is not a willing participant.

"I went into the coaching experience kicking and screaming, at the insistence of my then-boss. And what an eye-opener it turned out to be. I won't even go into the grim details of bad management habits I had unthinkingly developed in my 14-year career up to that point--but I will say that since I was 'cured' by 12 weeks of pretty intense coaching, I've been promoted three times."

Fortune Magazine (July 23, 2001)

Psychometric testing and leadership development?

Psychometrics is the field of study concerned with the measurement of an individual's knowledge, skills, abilities, or work styles/personality. At Y2CP, we believe that executive coaching is most effective when it begins with psychometric testing and is based on solid test results. The results of our assessments can be easily measured against/compared to normative data – to give candidates an idea of where they fit in the overall scheme of things.

Why choose a coach from Y2CP?

At Y2CP, our coaching is focussed on helping executives and managers reach their potential and improve performance.

We believe that executives/managers should empower their employees to learn and to find the answers themselves, rather than just providing them. In this way, a work environment that encourages opportunities to think, learn, grow and participate is created.

Our coaches are excellent listeners and communicators. They provide perspective and encouragement while maintaining high standards and expectations.

And they have the knowledge (e.g. psychological, business and organizational); skills (e.g. assessment and facilitation); and personal characteristics (non-judgemental, trustworthy and respectful), which you should expect from a professional executive coach.

As a plus, Y2CP's varied team of coaches can be mixed and matched to any coaching situation.

Different types of Coaching

The general coaching process and strategies remain relatively similar regardless of the coaching mandate. Over the years, as coaching increased in popularity, specific categories of coaching started to emerge. Below we briefly explain some of the different categories of coaching:

Corporate Coaching

Corporate coaching is coaching carried out within and with an entire corporation or different branches, divisions, units/teams within an organization. The coaching is towards organisational goals.

Corporate coaches combine basic coaching skills with an in-depth understanding of the language, dynamics, processes and culture of organisations – whether these are in the private or public sector.

The focus is on the corporate team and corporate mandate, vision, mission and values. Results are measured against the performance requirements of the organisation.

At times, the coaching can be carried out in response to work-related problems that crop up in an organization, or that have been have been on the back burner for some time.

Wellness/Life Coaching

A life coach helps those who want to make their life more satisfying and fulfilling and improve their overall level of happiness.

At Y2CP, Wellness coaching is a form of life coaching that pairs a professional wellness coach (usually a psychologist) with a client who's motivated to change behaviours and/or situations -- to partner with and support the client in reaching their chosen goals.

Our wellness coaching helps you to assess and explore:

  • your current level of well-being (by way of psychometric testing and targeted interview questions)
  • the areas of your life you want to change
  • the thoughts and beliefs that direct your life
  • the things you value and how to live with (or without) them
  • everything you wanted to be (and more)

Once these areas have been explored, an action plan is set and progress monitored.

Problem-Focussed Coaching

Y2CP also offers coaching related to specific events or processes – such as job competitions. For example, it offers coaching to prepare candidates for interviews and other parts of assessment processes.

Based on extensive and continuing experience with selection processes in the private and public sectors -- but primarily in federal government circles -- our clients will attest that Y2CP's coaches have a strong track record of successes.

Case Study:

Y2CP has been awarded a two-year contract to provide general career coaching and counselling services as well as leadership assessments for a federal government department.

The leadership and career assessment services and counsel are for employees who are undecided about their career direction(s).

Throughout the past year, Y2CP assigned eight of its consultants (at various times) to provide services (advice, coaching/mentoring, etc.) to these employees (4 career coaches/counsellors, 2 consulting psychologists and 2 HR consultants).

Using Y2's assessment services, managers and staff were able to increase their awareness and reach their career goals.

Below are some examples of some of the assessments we have offered:

  • Psychometric testing (work styles/personality, interests, values, others)
  • Tools to facilitate career-related decision making
  • (Analyzing) leadership competencies & potential (strengths and weaknesses and potential) (360 appraisals)
  • Leadership reports for employees
  • Management and general interpersonal style
  • Performance assessments

In terms of intervention services, Y2CP has been highly successful in assisting managers and staff with their next career move. Our consulting psychologists and counsellors help them to adopt a more strategic and systematic approach in career-decision making, without having to neglect their personal obligations.

Below are some of the interventions services that were offered:

  • (Designing and facilitating) coaching and career counselling
  • Finding – and maintaining – job satisfaction
  • Career development advice, both short and long-term
  • Learning-plan development advice
  • Résumé preparation and revision services
  • (Designing, developing and implementing) employee mentoring programs and activities
  • Developing networking techniques
  • Balancing work and personal time
  • Preparing for interviews (mock interviews)
  • Career transitions/job search/self-marketing
  • Stressors/interpersonal conflict
  • Assertiveness/public speaking
  • Leadership development/potential
  • Practicing for competitions
  • Management style
  • Work samples
  • Problem solving
  • Social functioning & well-being
  • Knowledge/personality tests

Testimonials from users of this program:

"I recently used Y2 Consulting to help prepare for a competition and board interview. Having carefully reviewed the poster and the statement of merit, they prepared appropriate interview questions and administered a mock interview. Afterwards, they provided useful tips and pointers on how best to improve my interview skills and performance. I found this exercise to be extremely helpful in my preparation for the actual interview."

"The professional orientation program and the services offered by Y2CP consultants created an essential lever to my career progression. The quality of the services, and the sharing of solid tools, allowed me to achieve my personal objectives in record time. A big thank you to the team of Y2 consultants.

"The career counsellor's professionalism helped me to develop a strategy to apply to jobs. I am able to work on cover letters and resumes with confidence to get a positive response. As a result of the career counselling, I was able to obtain an assignment within my department."

"Y2 Consulting offered career counseling that gave me clarity and a better understanding of myself. The guidance was thoughtful and the methods used were easy to follow. I recommend Y2 Consulting for anybody who is looking for some direction."

"I just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know how pleased I was with the services I received through Y2 consulting. My counsellor helped me to establish a focus on my future goals and aspirations, as well as helping me to develop a concrete plan for my future career development. I am so grateful to have participated in the services you offer, I am pleased to recommend this service to anyone else looking for career counselling."

Dr. Benzimra, Y. & Long, L.
Y2 Consulting Psychologists

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