Helping leaders change their actions to become more effective is our business.
We assess, advise, coach, encourage and hold leaders accountable. Because of the trust built, we are able to solve deep-rooted problems. Learning comes by doing, and we build “leadership muscle memory” so practice becomes routine. Results are realized in just a couple of months, although they continue to accrue over a lifetime. The leader emerges from the process skilled and confident, and becomes a role model for others.
What is leadership coaching?
Think of leadership coaching like an athletic coach. A general manager would not just give the football team a playbook, some classroom training, and then send them out for the big game. However, leaders in companies do this all the time (and often without the training). Football coaches work with the players during practice to assess and improve the players’ performance, utilizing the players’ strengths to address constraints. They strategize before the game and then watch the films post game to examine what worked and how to improve. How we coach leaders is very similar to this process. (But, no burpees required!)
Even better, leader coaching has a ripple effect – when a leader improves, so does the organization. In only a few months, the leaders we coach are making personal changes that improve their performance and the productivity, engagement and creativity of others in the organization. We strategize about the week ahead, and also debrief to see what worked and what needs improvement.
Is this the same as “life coaching?”
No. Our expertise is different, as is our approach and focus. We are not “life coaches” who focus on asking questions to elicit answers locked inside the client. Let’s face it; in business, if a leader knows what to do, they usually do it. When leaders hire us, they are usually stuck or realize their approaches are no longer effective. While we teach leaders to think differently through our questioning, we also advise on how to handle various situations based on our leadership experience. Our coaching definitely has a positive impact on the person’s non-work life as well, which is part of our discussions, but not our primary focus.
When is leadership coaching helpful?
Leadership coaching is an ideal solution when a person:
- Desires to “up their game” quickly and have a greater impact.
- Wants to transform how they work (vs. incremental improvements).
- Wants to use their strengths to work more effectively and achieve greater satisfaction.
- Transitions to a new role or level of responsibility.
- Struggles to engage their team or influence others.
- Receives negative feedback on interpersonal skills or ability to collaborate.
- Feels plateaued or “stuck”.
- Wants clarity of purpose and direction.
- Coaching is not about fixing someone; it is about making them better with what they already have. Then, they can role model authentic leadership.
Results & How We Are Different
Coaching is effective because there is accountability. 95% of people achieve their goals when they have to report to someone on their progress. We typically see initial results in 1-2 months and a transformation to a confident, collaborative and engaging leader with higher performance in 3-4 months.
95% of people achieve their goals.
Proven 7.8% increase in productivity.
Why is BONSAI particularly effective?
- We are strengths based, so it is a positive and encouraging experience, yet we don’t ignore addressing constraints
- We bring 25+ years of business and leadership experience and can share strategies and ideas that we have personally used (and can foresee minefields and help clients navigate around them)
- We have expertise in workplace engagement, leadership, soft skills/EQ and organizational change
- We go the extra mile and are personally invested in each of our clients by:
- Checking-in between sessions and being available
- Providing follow-up emails detailing action items so clients can stay focused on the conversation versus taking notes – clients love this!
- Staying connected long after the coaching period ends, because we care
How it Works
We start with an initial consult to:
- Identify clear objectives and what success looks like
- Determine the best approach
- Clarify expectations on both sides and ensure a good fit
Often, we begin with a combination of assessment tools (such as interviews, observation, 360 review, Gallup® Strengths) so our coaching is grounded in a clear understanding of the client and how others perceive them. We meet with clients on a regular basis depending on objectives and situation, either in person or via phone/Skype. For example, a quick “tune up” to address some specific issues may be 2-3 sessions. A transformation could require biweekly calls for three months, which would then shift to monthly or quarterly touch points.
In each session we work towards the overall objectives, while dealing with current situations so they can immediately apply new skills or learned behaviors and get feedback. We might strategize about how to approach an organizational or department challenge, or work through details of a hard conversation they need to have. There is no “coaching formula” or set plan because goals, people and situations are diverse. We figure out what methods work best for each individual client.