Executive and Leadership Coaching

Providing an opportunity for leaders to create and strive toward professional and personal goals, simultaneously delivering a ROI to the business.

Coach Training –
Leadership Conversations

Coaching is a core capability underpinning leadership effectiveness. Being an effective manager who possesses strong coaching skills is paramount to becoming an effective leader.

Leadership Training
and Talent Development

Have you been promoted on basis of technical excellence, high performance or potential but need to develop your leadership skills? Learn the fundamentals for high performance and results.

Measuring and Improving
Employee Engagement

Are you employee engagement efforts delivering results?

 Pre-Employment Testing –
Assessment and Selection

Candidate assessment and insight solutions providing deep people insights that will ensure you’re making well-informed recruitment decisions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose an executive coach?

A: If you’re a purchaser of coaching in your organisation here’s a 10-item checklist to consider in assessing potential coaches;

  1. Check what evidence-based coaching qualifications the coach has. Understand if the qualifications are grounded in the scientific evidence base or upon work and life experience. Why does it matter? Whilst a coach who does not hold post graduate qualifications in coaching psychology, clinical psychology or organisational psychology may be effective in some circumstances, there’s risk involved in engaging them to coach people in influential leadership roles in many circumstances. Risk is reduced dramatically when a coach whose practice is underpinned by a deep understanding and knowledge gain through post graduate qualifications in the psychological and behavioural sciences.
  2. Ensure the coach can articulate their evidenced based approach in an easily understood manner. Why? It’s not helpful for the client if the coach has an incapacity to translate their technical knowledge into words, phrases and similes that the client understands without explanation. We meet our clients where they are at in their developmental journey, not where we want them to be.
  3. Understand if your proposed coach receives one-to-one, peer or group supervision. Hours invested in coaching doesn’t correlate alone with coaching effectiveness. However, the power of coaching is enhanced significantly if coaching hours are coupled with a reflective practice. Reflective practice enables the coach to assess where they are at, how they are landing, what impact they are having and grow for the benefit of their clients.
  4. Check where the coach considers that they hold a particular expertise and track record of success, e.g. developmental, skills, performance, transition and or level of management.
  5. It’s important that the coach demonstrates commercial acumen in their dealings with you. Furthermore, do they hold the necessary insurance cover, e.g. public liability, professional indemnity and workers compensation.
  6. How well does the coach demonstrate an understanding of the organisational context? This does not necessarily imply that they need to have previously been an employee of an organisation in the sector your organisation operates. Context can often be easily and readily understood.
  7. Understand what instruments the coach is accredited in. Leadership assessments, using valid and reliable instruments, hold the potential to accelerate the coaching relationship, coaching outcomes and ROI.
  8. Confirm what memberships to professional bodies the coach currently holds and if what code of ethics they abide by.
  9. Check what business experience the coach possesses and make sure you’re comfortable with the previous business roles they have performed in the context of the coachee. Diversity in work history and experience may indeed be a strong catalyst for growth from the coaching relationship.
  10. Finally, it’s important that there’s chemistry between coach and coachee – that there’s the foundation for a productive coaching relationship.

Can any manager learn to be an effective leader?

Leadership development is to a small extent determined by one’s personality, intellect, and emotional intelligence. Personality and intelligence are to some degree but not all genetically transferred from one generation to the next. Yet it is widely accepted that evidence from personality research indicates that about 50% of the similarity in personalities with identical twins is attributable to heritability, whilst 50% is not attributable to heritability. Rather it is influenced by environment.  We can therefore conclude that we have at least 50% of the person to work with to develop them to be a great leader.

To what extent though do YOU personally, think leaders are born or made? There’s an implicit model of leadership in your head that guides your thinking before you can even think about it. It’s about how strong a theory you personally have about what can be made and what is born?  Answer the following questions – which of the following statements is True or False about you?

  1. The kind of leader someone is, is something basic about them, and it cannot be changed very much
  2. Leaders can do things differently, but the important parts of who they are as leaders cannot really be changed.
  3. Everyone is a certain kind of leader, and there is not much that they can do to really change that.
  4. Leaders cannot really change their deepest attitudes.

The more your answered true items the more you lean toward born versus made. Of course, even if you lean more toward born versus made, this does not necessarily mean that you cannot learn, grow and develop into an outstanding leader. I would say that personality plays a significant role – e.g. high levels of openness and conscientiousness alone and will predispose an individual to a greater likelihood that leadership growth and development will occur.

General Colin Powell, former chairman of the U.S. Joint Chief of Staff and Secretary of State, once said: “I think leaders can be shaped. You have to have the fundamental instincts for working with people. But the instinct can be improved upon through training and education, so that you understand what works for you”.

 

Source of True and False questions: Adapted from “Stereotype formation and endorsement: The role of implicit theories.” By S. R. Levy, S. J. Stoessner, & C. S. Dweck, 1998, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74 (6), 1421 – 1436.

What is the best predictor of on job success?

A perfect correlation is = 1 or 100%. In other word’s perfect prediction. Unfortunately, perfect prediction is impossible or impossibly good! Anderson and Cunningham-Snell (2005) suggest based on meta-analytic review that the following correlations exist in prediction of job performance:

1.00 Perfect prediction

0.54 Ability Tests

0.54 Work Samples

0.44 Structured Interviews

0.41 Integrity Tests

0.41 Assessment centres performance (higher when used for promotion)

0.38 Personality questionnaires

0.33 Unstructured interviews

0.13 References

0.0 Random prediction

Source: Anderson, N. and Cunningham-Snell, N. “Personal Selection in Work and Organisational Psychology” Chmiel, N. (Ed.), Blackwell Publishers Ltd., 2000.

What do ability tests or assessments tell us?

Ability tests or assessments may include but are not limited to abstract, deductive, inductive, numerical and verbal reasoning tests. These tests provide specific, objective and reliable/valid information about a candidate’s job-related abilities. Test results are estimates rather than exact measurements. We can’t estimate general ability on the basis of one test. This information should only ever be used in addition to other sources of information gathered from other sources to support the assessment and selection of candidates for a role. For example, ability tests can’t describe motivation, interest or enthusiasm for the job, or personality, motives, core values or preferences. Hence it is always advisable to include a personality assessment in addition to the gold standard abstract, numerical and verbal reasoning tests.

Can ability tests scores be improved?

Ability can be improved to a certain extent, with practice. However, performance is unlikely to improve significantly in a short space of time. Candidates are not encouraged to re-take tests unless something interfered with the initial administration. Sometimes test-taking practice accessed via practice leaflets or website access can help reduce levels of anxiety and therefore facilitate improved performance.

What is reliability & validity and why are they important?

I often get asked and or find that it’s important to explain what does test reliability and test validity mean? Here’s a simple answer in respect of tests, assessments and 360-degree surveys;

  • Reliability = ensuring the test is measuring the skill, attribute, behaviour, competency etc. it says it is supposed to be measuring. This is the test publisher’s responsibility to ensure that the tests being marketed to end users are reliable.
  • Validity = ensuring the test selected is the right one for what you are trying to measure whether it be a skill, attribute, behaviour, competency etc. This is the test publisher’s responsibility and our responsibility as well! It may be that the test publisher has indeed created a valid instrument, test, or assessment however it can be seductive for a consultant and or coach to recommend a tool to a client because they are accredited in it, when it may not be the best instrument, test, or assessment for the client.

 

As the end of the day the higher the reliability and validity of a test, the better it will be, meaning a more accurate prediction of whatever is being measured is made and the client benefits.

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