Some people might describe the programme as a spring clean to review where the person is at, get rid of dusty behaviours and habits, and re-emphasise their strengths. Others, as an opportunity to take stock and refocus their energies on the key issues. Still others describe it as a check up to make sure everything they are doing is OK and there are no hidden pitfalls in their approach.
So what is the Executive Development Programme
The programme is tailored to individual needs but has covered areas such as:-
Leading organisational change
Interacting effectively with others
Motivating and influencing others
Adjusting management style to engage others
How to get the most from my team
Am I getting things right
The programme consists of 5 phases:-
Analysis and coaching
Phase One – Information Gathering
An initial meeting is held with the executive to get a feel for the areas they might want to cover. If there are specific reasons for wishing to undertake the programme such as leading culture change, bad habits have crept in, strategic review, general check up, etc, these are discussed and put in context. Interim objectives are established and any organisational needs clarified. Usually, the coach then agrees with the executive which people the coach should see to get a view of the executive from those with whom they interact.
Interviews with these contacts, normally around 6 people, then take place for roughly an hour each with the coach. A programme is then designed for the individual. If any other pre-work is required then this is agreed between the coach and the executive.
Phase Two – Discovery & Motivation
The executive attends The Taylor Clarke premises in Glasgow for 2-4 consecutive days of intensive coaching, the first part of which is Discovery. Discovery normally consists of some psychometric tests to help the coach and the executive see how the executive perceives themselves. This is compared and contrasted to the feedback from the contacts interviewed by the coach. Further discussion helps identify the gap that exists for the executive between where they are and where they want to be.
Crucial, at this stage, is to help the executive identify a hook for themselves as to why they should put the effort into closing the gap.
Phase Three – Development
A lot of time is spent discussing how the executive thinks, feels and behaves at work and why. If the issues are behavioural then an actor may be employed to help practise the issues with video feedback. If the issues are cognitive in nature then blocks and structuring of thinking are investigated and reframed or sorted. Where emotions are at play, we look at triggers, and mechanisms to clarify the triggers, and how to deal with one’s emotions constructively. Should the issues be in the executive’s environment, then we talk about how best to tackle and influence these.
Phase Four – Action Planning & Application
Once it is clear what needs to be done then an action plan is drawn up and help given as to how best to carry out what the executive wants to achieve. The plan is tested at length to ensure that it is robust and that the executive is committed to it. Dates are then set for the follow up meetings. The executive then applies the learning in the workplace (and sometimes outside of work).
Phase Five – Follow Up
It is normal to have 1 formal follow up day about 2-3 months after the intensive coaching. However, sometimes this is taken as two half day sessions, e-mail and telephone contact is kept going for about a year to ensure the executives are still on track and to discuss any concerns or difficulties and resolve these.
Whilst the foregoing gives the impression of structure the programme is extremely flexible and is moulded to the needs of the individual. Thus whilst the general flow will remain relatively constant the exact make-up of time and content can be tailored to what is required.