Whether you have just begun coaching or you’ve been growing your practice for a decade or more, you know that the profession is in the midst of growth and what you might consider a second wave of transformation. In the first wave, almost twenty years ago, there was a push to professionalize and standardize coaching with best practices, certifications and courses offered by associations and universities. In this new wave, just beginning, I believe there will be demand for, and insistence on coaches who have more than methodology. They will have to have data that provides insight and perspective.
I’ve advised leaders for more than two decades, and from my vantage point as the CEO of a firm, I’ve observed that today, leaders are more discerning. Coaches who bring only experience and advice provide limited value. Put simply, what leaders want is better data on their leadership.
With the advent of data analytics, leaders have become more sophisticated in their analysis of the business. Leaders make decisions based on data from finance, supply chain, customers, employees, market, geopolitical and business trends. So, it stands to reason that savvy leaders see greater value in data on themselves. They are more willing to trust when data underlies evaluations of their leadership. Many of them have already experienced standard assessments such as the MBTI, the DiSC and even more recently released versions of the Hogan.
They’ve seen their employee engagement scores, though they often don’t find the reports particularly useful in telling them what to do to improve engagement. Company-designed 360s can be valuable but can feel dated or limited by views of what good leadership was, not what it will be in the future.
These limitations are among the reasons we began researching leaders and teams - to gain a fresh, global perspective. We cast a wide net in our review of many disciplines related to leadership and teams, distilling the latest thinking about how leaders win trust and get things done.
We began with individual leadership: in particular, what enables leaders to engage, align, inspire and spark action. This work led to development of Bates ExPITM assessment. A couple of years later, we had aggregate data from global companies, and mapped the leadership behaviors that drive growth. We also looked at the qualities that promote innovation and enable leaders to drive change and transformation. Our clients started listening even more closely when they saw how the behaviors were tied to driving business results.
Later we took the same science-based approach to developing the Bates LTPITM, which measures how teams perform. Again, we wanted to bring innovation, so we looked at how the team performs in their unique context, not simply the aggregated tendencies of leaders regardless of their differing roles on teams. We again took a global, agnostic approach by distilling a broad array of expert global research.
We also translated what often feels to leaders like dense and inaccessible advice into straightforward business language and actionable feedback. This practical approach is one reason why the Bates assessments today are used by corporate and independent coaches in 21 countries.
What have we learned from this experience? As a coach, you will:
- Earn trust when you provide accurate data on individuals and teams that is connected to current business challenges like growth and transformation;
- Gain commitment with fresh insights that engage the leader and the team because it really makes them think;
- Get traction with a foundation of knowledge built on a science-based, comprehensive view of a leader’s strengths and gaps
- Move the needle with actionable feedback on behaviors, not “tendencies” because leaders can change their behaviors and thereby change perceptions;
- Differentiate yourself with business savvy. Be well-read and current in your examples, tools and analogies so they apply today;
- Achieve top echelon status in the profession when you bring innovation and good data tied to how leaders drive business results.
It’s an exciting time to be in the field of coaching whether you work in Talent, Leadership Development, HR, or as an independent consultant and coach. But it’s a hard time to go it alone, given how crowded the field has become. This is why it is critical to join communities of practice that challenge you to think and grow. And, whether you are relatively new, or a veteran coach, it’s important to stay current and on trend.
If you are interested in learning about how to join the Bates community by becoming certified in Bates assessments, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org