Executive Coaching

The Six Steps of Getting Coaching Right

Getting coaching right isn’t as easy or as straight forward as it might seem. Getting an excellent result every time requires process, commitment, and an investment in time as well as money.


HFL has been offering executive coaching solutions since 1991 – more than 25 years – and during that time we’ve worked hard to develop a robust system that enables us to deliver outstanding coaching results to our clients.


Whether you are an HR manager proposing coaching to a client, a business leader paying for it, or a coachee looking to grow their capability, it’s crucial the investment you make in executive coaching produces the results and returns you are looking for.


We’ve developed a six stage process that gets coaching right.  The six stage coaching process is summarised below and explained in full here.


Your organisation and coachee has access to THE RIGHT COACHES


Ensure the coachee has a choice of quality coaches – and our advice: always offer at least two to choose from.  The choice of coach must be made by the coachee – it’s their development, their commitment.


Coaches need to be able to offer relevant experiences, an advanced and proven coaching (not mentoring) style, personal fit and chemistry, and qualifications and coaching experience.


The processes and systems deployed ensure THE RIGHT SET UP


Make sure all parties understand why the coaching is happening, and what results are expected. Coaching engagements are generally expensive and need to be set up properly via the correct procedures.


The coach and the coachee have THE RIGHT CHEMISTRY


Make sure the coach and coachee click and build trust quickly.

In a research study conducted by HFL a number of years ago, we asked coachees what they believed the most important element of the coaching framework was to ensure success.  Trust turned out to be the most common response.


Trust is built over time, but early chemistry is very important.


The coachee undertakes profiling and/or assessments so they get THE RIGHT ILLUMINATION.


Make sure the coaching is evidence- based, and real.

Most professional coaches will want to start their engagement with some hard evidence as to current state and desired impact of the coachee concerned.


There are various evidence sources that can be mined to capitalise on what is current and available, or select appropriate tools.


The coachee and coach discuss and agree THE RIGHT CONTRACTING;  that is, both parties have clarity of, and commit to, the roles and responsibilities of the partners in the engagement.


Despite the wide spread acceptance of coaching as a powerful leadership and professional development tool, for many coachees it is their first time. Most come to the process with their own – often inaccurate – views on who does what and why. These get in the way of a strong start to the coaching sessions, and eventually, long term results.


  • Organisations can avoid these pitfalls by ensuring:
  • Clear definitions of who does what, and why.
  • Coaches use consistent approaches and models when working for an organisation;
  • Coachee’s managers are involved
  • Escalation processes are clearly defined if things are not working


The engagement is structured correctly so that THE RIGHT CHECK-INS take place effectively during the course of the engagement.


A coaching engagement is a journey for several parties – the coachee, the coach, and the coachee’s manager.  Organisations can maximise buy-in, communication and therefore engagement from all parties by adopting a high touch approach, which might include:

  • A documented Personal Growth Plan, developed after any evidence-based data capture, and validated in a three way meeting between the coachee, coach and coachee manager;
  • Further check-in’s with the coachee’s manager throughout the engagement;
  • Clear reporting of events (but not conversations) during the process. So the client and the manager can see how many sessions have taken place, and are still due;
  • A clear focus on how success will be measured, and a reporting at the end of the engagement.


Read more on the Six Steps for Getting Coaching Right.



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