Coaching Solutions by Rick Forbus, PhD

Coaching Solutions
Rick Forbus, PhD

All of the years of coaching and all of the successes for my clients have brought me joy. This article is a celebration of some of those solutions. Some time back I realized that selling coaching services was harder than selling solutions. Most of our clients at Trove, Inc. really buy solutions, even though; the coaching agreement may begin in an entirely different place.

Many of the World’s most admired corporations, from GE to Goldman Sachs, invest in coaching. Annual spending on coaching in the US is estimated at roughly $1 billion. – Harvard Business Review

Preconceptions about coaching abound. There seems to be a few ways that companies and individuals frame their misconceptions about the value, or the lack of value, that coaching brings to them. These mistaken beliefs about coaching range from the ridiculous to the sensible, but, still unreasonable assumptions. Here are some of the assumptions and preconceptions I have discovered in my coaching-as-a-business journey.

o Coaching is only needed for the struggling employee
o Coaching is only for the top-tier leaders in an organization
o Coaching implies the leader/owner/manager does not have strong competencies
o Coaching is a luxury item and not necessary for growth and profitability
o Coaching is too expensive for the small business or individual to afford
o Coaching is a form of punishment for the outlier
o Coaching cannot be effective for the home business owner or individual who wants to improve

Employers are shocked at how high their ROI numbers are for coaching – Alastair Robertson, Manager of worldwide leadership development, Accenture

Telling someone about a coaching success or a company solution that came to fruition because of a coaching engagement, is much easier. To be honest, most of Trove’s business comes by referral. Here is a good list of solutions that customers have described to us that our coaching has provided:

o Coaching provided clarity to an unclear business plan
o Coaching uncovered “blind spots” in a client’s stress behaviors
o Coaching provided strategies for personal presence and creating resonance in group settings
o Coaching functioned as an alliance partner for an emerging leader
o Coaching provided leadership skill development
o Coaching helped a team to discover their divergence and found ways to leverage it for profitability
o Coaching helped managers to create visual clarity of communication flow and connectivity
o Coaching surfaced better solutions for marketing and “telling the story” to potential clients

One way that discoveries are made when talking with prospective clients about improvements is through asking questions about their challenges. Most business owners, executive leaders and managers know what their “points of pain” are. For instance, at a coffee conversation, one prospect told me of his challenges with getting his leadership team to align with each other and with the business objectives. I offered a few Trove solutions at the coffee shop and within a month we were engaged in a LETTER OF AGREEMENT to help his team find alignment. Of course, results emerged and then other coaching agreements have followed.
When a prospective client finds our website and then emails us, similar communications will happen. One such prospect interviewed me by phone after sending a couple of emails to ask questions about how Trove would solve his individual leadership challenges. After the interview, and, a couple more solutions were offered, he hired us. Now, after over a year of monthly sessions, he has reached new heights in his management and leadership skill development.

Executive coaches are not for the meek. They’re for people who value unambiguous feedback. All coaches have one thing in common, it’s that they are ruthlessly results-oriented. – Fast Company

Solution is a great word and the ultimate outcome for coaching engagements. The meaning of a solution could mean:

o The answer emerges
o The key question is discovered
o The way out is found
o The clear direction is followed
o The explanation becomes clear
o The team make up or alignment is sharpened
o The next best employee is hired
o The new way to do things is dispatched
o The resolution is unearthed
o The big shift is embraced
o The ultimate best result shines through
o The personal break through happens
o The innovative next step is taken
o The fresh start is bravely tackled
o The healthy divergent conversations bring positive outcomes
o The executive re-invention occurs
o The best succession plan is deployed

A coach is part advisor, part sounding board, part cheerleader, part manager and part strategist. – The Business Journal

Coaches provide solutions by entering coaching conversation and coaching projects in different ways. What I mean is that a seasoned and well-trained coach will change the way they listen, they coach and how they position the coaching environment. Solutions and outcomes are really everything for the coaches at Trove. Sometimes to find the solution we have to “show up” in different ways throughout the coaching project. Here are a few ways that a coach manifests in various scenarios:
o As a guide
o As a developer
o As an assessor
o As a partner in thought
o As a motivator
o As a questioner
o As a Devil’s Advocate
o As a trusted advisor
o As a builder of an idea
o As a challenger
o As a solution creator
o As a strategic listener

Who exactly seeks out a coach, winners who want more out of life. – Chicago Tribune

One of my government clients has probably used Trove for 60 individual coaching clients. The intrigue of such large organizational projects is the individual successes that happen within the larger coaching project. In other words, although we are hired to provide “enterprise” solutions and consulting, the individual sessions with the leaders are certainly rewarding. It could be that less enterprise positive evidence is seen at times, when, underneath, many individual clients are finding huge moments of success. Solutions found one by one, can sometimes bring a lift to a larger organization. The conclusion is that coaching solutions are easy to sell. Whether it is professional, personal or a team success, coaching is a proven tool for better outcomes.

Executive coach –

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