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Enhancing Effectiveness:Coaching Managers, Professionals, and Leaders

Leadership development programs are crucial in today's economy. The fast pace of change necessitates developing one's human resources. This process not only increases effectiveness and productivity, but greatly helps with employee retention.

• To accelerate and optimize the development of key contributors to the organization
• To build high performance leaders and future leaders who can fulfill the organization's vision, goals, and business strategy
• To maximize managerial bench strength and overall organizational capability; have the right person for the right job at the right time
• To link the behavior of high-impact contributors to the business plan
• To retool command-and-control managers into effective leaders of the flattening, information-based organization

How We Do It
Specializing in optimizing human performance, our firm has designed a powerful individual coaching program that integrates our core competencies:

• Advanced expert systems that enhance psychological testing and assessment
• Computerized 360° technology
• Keen diagnostic skills
• Advanced rapport-building methods
• Accelerated development strategies
• Motivating and creating true behavioral change

By integrating these performance development technologies, we assist the candidate in assembling the three essential ingredients for high performance: feedback (both broad and deep), multi-lateral motivation to make changes, and change partners for their development initiative. Together, these three elements serve as the infrastructure for a Blueprint For Action, which guides the candidate's achievement of measurable results.

Program Methodology
The program is designed around the principles of adult learning and around the structure of the adult learning cycle. It's now well established that adults:

• Prefer self-direction when involved in learning and development.
• Improve their performance best through experience, experimentation and low risk; adults develop most effectively and most efficiently on the job.
• Develop only when there is a clearly perceived need (i.e., pressure) to change. In essence, learning for adults is a response to problems and challenges.
• Are competency-based learners, in that they are motivated to learn and change only when they can apply the learning in a pragmatic way to immediate circumstances. That is, utility rules.
• Can also be motivated to learn by appealing to personal growth and gain,i.e., WIIFM (What's in it for me?).
• Can also be inspired to develop if enhanced self-esteem and/or empowerment are part of the deliverables

The adult learning cycle is integral to the adult learning model. The four key steps in the cycle are:
• Assess
• Plan
• Act
• Reassess and Refine

Given this structure, our Enhancing Effectiveness Program unfolds as follows:

I. Assess
• Conduct a series of life-career interviews with the candidate, focusing on:
• personal and work history
• interpersonal experiences
• attitudes, values, and interests
• aspirations
• Assess the candidate, using an array of business-based psychological inventories and 360° tools, most of which are computer analyzed.
• Integrate performance management data into the assessment.

II. Plan
• Deliver an in-depth, confidential debrief of all assessment findings.
•Identify the candidate's key strengths and areas in need of development,
as they relate to personal aspirations and to the business strategy.
• Clarify inner motivators for change and inner resistances to it. Harness the former and neutralize the latter. Clearly specify WIIFM and WIIF Org.
• Synthesize findings into a Blueprint For Action
• Detail the specific behavioral changes desired - precisely what does the candidate want to continue, start, and stop doing? Computerized assessment reports serve as an invaluable resource for development activities. In addition, we take advantage of dozens of activities for development-in-place (i.e., activities that do not require a job change).
• Identify all the benefits that will accrue to oneself and to the organization when the change objectives are achieved.
• Similarly, identify all potential impediments that could hinder the change effort - inner, interpersonal, organizational, and so forth.
• Specify the action steps that will be required to achieve the prescribed changes.
• Determine how to enlist the involvement of others. Change requires support from others, playing an array of roles: coach, mentor, colleague, friend, role model, counselor, protege, advocate, and so forth. Change requires change partners.
• Establish time frames and metrics, against which progress is measured.

III. Act
• Recognize and reciprocate with those who gave feedback to the candidate. Enlist one or some as a change partner.
• Debrief candidate's manager and involve them in refining the Blueprint For Action.
• Begin action experiments during real-time, day-to-day work life, then debrief and further refine with coach.
• Adopt high-impact behavioral change techniques.
• Measure progress against plan. Design simple and practical feedback loops into work routine.

IV. Reassess and Refine
This final phase of the adult learning cycle works best when it is hard-wired into the Action Phase of the cycle. By designing monitoring and evaluation tools, the candidate can regularly reflect on progress and then re calibrate the Blueprint for Action.

Final Thoughts
If people are truly the primary resource of a company, as most organizations assert, then they must be managed and developed like other assets. It's really not unlike the management of any asset portfolio. That is, every person is like an individual portfolio with a strong potential for either managed growth or sub-par performance. The portfolio, however, is at least partially opaque, as regards its assets and liabilities. We have the expertise, though, to "value" the portfolio. If one is to optimize the asset-liability mix, the portfolio must first be valued; that is, assessed for its strengths and weaknesses. Then after this initial appraisal, we are in an excellent position to optimize the potential of that individual's set of assets. The optimization process involves maximizing the person's strengths, minimizing their weaknesses, and adding new "assets" to their portfolio (i.e., skills, behaviors, and attitudes), in order to maximize performance and protect against downside risk.

Whether we're talking about the development of key contributors, the turnaround of potential derailers, career path development, or even team building, there is one strategy that is more effective than any other. People can change, but the most substantive and permanent change is realized when people develop from the inside out. This is the surest way to prepare and motivate someone to accept the new change opportunities made available to them. Consequently, whenever we're working to enhance an "individual human resource portfolio," the surest strategy is to begin at the beginning and focus on the inside (that is, self-awareness and self-understanding) before the outside (that is, skill building and on-the-job development). This change strategy has proven to be a more certain way of assisting people through the process of behavior change, self-development, and performance enhancement.

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