Pathfinders Business coaching is a group coaching process. A team of senior executives in a group attend the session.
Group coaching or Team coaching is a powerful and effective strategy for learning and leadership development. What’s more, it can take place in a virtual environment, making it attractive from a convenience and cost perspective. It can produce quicker results.
For newcomers or introverts, there are multiple participants in the coaching sessions. Participants may or may not work in the same business unit, department or country. Instead, they are united by a common goal or goals. For example, a coach may decide on the group approach upon recognizing that a number of executives are struggling with similar issues, say the decision-making process or discomfort in presenting to large audiences.
Pathfinders Discovery chapter exactly does that – identifying next most important challenge for the team. While senior executives state challenges in different proportion, the coach will facilitate to decide over One single major issue that can impact bottom line.
A key advantage of the group process is the ability of the members to tap into the collective wisdom of the group members and hold one another accountable for moving toward the goal. The program can become a way for the organization to develop greater competence while also building bridges across work functions, cultures and geographies. The shared coaching experience creates bonds that can have far-reaching benefits, long after the coaching is completed.
For newcomers, it is an opportunity to look at overall scenario of business functions which otherwise, may take a month or so.
Skilled facilitation is important. The coach is acting as a guide, motivating participants to share their stories and insights, and enabling the group to move together on the learning path toward goal achievement.
Pathfinders observe that the participants in group sessions have a tendency to become passive spectators while the coach, in effect, lectures and conducts exercises. That’s not coaching. And it won’t produce the fundamental changes you’re looking for.
- Establish confidentiality guidelines – business operation details as well as strengths/weaknesses of participants.
- Make it clear that this is not a training or teacher-student program.
- Build a sense of trust – members will be more willing to share vulnerabilities if they do not feel threatened. Pathfinders adopt color coding for feedback on how the function is performing. It protects the participants when the boss is around in the room.
- Ensure that participants support each other with constructive ideas.
- Develop a system of accountability and peer support – an action plan is devised by the participants – taking responsibility of improving respective task.
- Since it is devised by the participants, it builds a sense of ownership in implementing identified solution.
- Celebrate jointly to recognize even small successes and progress.
- Key is implementation – Pathfinders program include follow up for next six months, scheduling a monthly meeting. Progress is reviewed, and stumbling blocks removed.
Suresh Shah, Pathfinders Enterprise