Many of you are aware that in addition to doing executive recruiting, White Rhino Partners also offers executive coaching and career and transition coaching services. I am often asked the question: "How does a coaching relationship work?" My good friend, Richard Banfield, Founder of Fresh Tilled Soil, has done executive coaching as part of the arc of his career. In a recent e-mail conversation, Richard shared these thoughts on coaching:
"You'll meet with me for XXmins each week by phone or Skype [or face to face]. We'll work to get you focused on those activities that produce the highest yield and unblock any current obstacles. If superstars like Tiger Woods and Lebron James need a coach, then we all can probably benefit from a little help."
In addition to helping executives thrive in their current role, I have a growing number of coaching clients who are in transition or who anticipate a career transition. Some of them are moving from military leadership to a new phase of their career. Others are switching companies, operational roles or industries.The coaching agenda is different with each client, but I have found that there are some predictable steps to follow that are optimal in considering a job change or career change. I was thinking about this progression last evening at Fenway Park as I watched my woeful Boston Red Sox lose yet another game. The four discernible steps are akin to making one's way around the base path to arrive at a new "Home plate." In a typical transition coaching relationship, I work with my client to ensure that each of the steps are followed in a way that allows him/her to make the best career decisions.
- First Base - Updating and refining a resume
- I see a properly crafted resume as a skeleton that gives the reader a bare bones understanding of the linear and chronological progression of a person's educational and career accomplishments. These accomplishments should be quantifiable as much as is possible.
- Second Base - Crafting narrative stories that demonstrate specific accomplishments in the context in which they were achieved.
- Narrative and story are the operational concepts here. Telling your story in a compelling way adds flesh and blood to the skeleton that is the resume.
- In my coaching relationships, we spend considerable time identifying the right stories to tell, and refining how best to present them in networking settings as well as in formal interviews.
- Third Base - Strategic Networking
- In this stage, we examine the natural networks to which you have access.
- We explore the best strategies for engaging members of these networks to serve as your eyes and ears and champions of your job search to ensure that you are aware of appropriate job opportunities and can be considered for those roles in the most favorable light using the most expeditious path. - rather than simply applying on-line.
- Home Plate - Scoring a new job and finding a new professional home
- Presenting yourself to the right people at the right companies
- Telling your story using the language and culture of that company.
- Identifying potential mentors and career champions within a target company.
- Choosing the best option among competing offers.
- Negotiating the best offer.
- Onboarding successfully at your new home.
No two journeys around the base paths are identical. That is one reason why in baseball there are coaches stationed at first base and third base to ensure that the progress towards home is as smooth and unencumbered as possible. And that is why having a coach to help guide you through the process is a prudent investment.
To give you a sense of how some of my coaching clients have perceived the benefit of our coaching relationship, here are a couple of testimonials.
The coaching could be for transition or to optimize your performance in a current leadership role.