One Size Doesn't Fit All: Successful Coaching Initiatives



Many paths lead up the mountain of career success, and each one comes with unique advantages and potential pitfalls. Professional development coaches know this terrain well. They routinely provide individualised support for the development of leaders who wish to ascend in their careers. They’ve also watched many self-made types who opt to forgo business coaching slip and fall on their career journeys because they miscalculate the quality of their own work performance. This miscalculation is common. While many may be vaguely aware of their strengths and challenges, they don’t always realise that their helpful behaviours can (depending on the context) become unhelpful, derailing them from their individual and organisational objectives. Therefore, we all could benefit from a professional development coach.

Reputable business coaches use well-validated personality assessment as a map to identify their clients’ strengths and challenges to help them achieve strategic self-awareness. This concept is like a base camp that every professional must reach to begin the developmental journey. Reviewing personality data with the guidance of a professional coach allows leaders to understand the scenarios in which they overuse their strengths and develop strategies to self-manage. Business coach Brian Chitester says that when he has a high-potential client who appears to be in danger of derailing, he uses personality data to diagnose the situation, provide poignant feedback, and help a struggling employee go from good to great.


Without reputational feedback, many leaders may not understand what stands between them and their professional ambitions. Business coach Elaine Kamm collaborated with a client who was a successful manager on a sales and marketing team. He was well-known for being bright and charismatic, but his reputation had become an obstacle on his path to becoming a senior-level general manager, which was a surprise to him. Helping him become more aware of how others perceived him, his coach worked with him to figure out how to leverage his reputation strategically so it would align more with his career goals.


There’s no one-size-fits-all recipe for behavioural adjustment, so every coaching initiative must be tailored to a person’s specific personality and career context. For example, business coach Kristie Wright, PhD, recently worked with a client who was expanding her position as CIO to include the role of CTO as her company prepared to go public. Dr. Wright and her client worked together to determine which behaviours had made her successful in her infrastructure position and what development would be necessary to ensure her future success as her role evolved to include more of a focus on products to drive market differentiation.


Individualised coaching initiatives like these can enhance any organisation’s talent development strategy. Encouraging employees to practice strategic self-awareness can reduce behavioural slips, help them lead more effectively to achieve professional highs, and amplify the success of the organisation.


Join Hogan Assessments this Friday 22nd October at 8am (register for the 2pm CDT time slot) for a webinar featuring three experts from the Hogan Coaching Network — Brian Chitester, Elaine Kamm, and Dr. Kristie Wright — and their compelling coaching case studies. Register here!


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