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Sharon Jordan-Evans

 

Executive Coaching

Sharon coaches the people you can least
afford to lose.

How It Begins

A Human Resources exec or department VP calls Sharon about one of their organization’s key performers.

The performer is in transition. He’s either moving into a new role and the organization wants to make sure he hits the ground running, or his performance is suffering because of some personal or professional issue.

During the call, Sharon learns about the situation. Who’s concerned about it? What do they hope to accomplish? What’s already been tried? These and other questions establish the parameters of the coaching assignment.

From the beginning, Sharon makes it clear that she works for the company and the coachee. Both must benefit for the assignment to be a success.

After the call, Sharon speaks with both the coachee and the coachee’s boss. The “chemistry conversation” with the coachee is free of charge and key to insuring a good fit between the coachee and the coach. The conversation with the boss provides an excellent opportunity for the boss to explain to Sharon what goals the company wants to achieve through coaching.

The Presenting Problem

Once the organization hires Sharon, she meets the coachee face to face, where she learns about her background, the obstacles that hinder her, and the dreams she aspires to. Sharon also describes the coaching process in detail.

At this first in-person meeting, which lasts about three hours, Sharon begins coaching on the “presenting problem” and crafts two or three to-dos based on the problem. This roll-up-the-sleeves-and-get-to-work approach is different from other coaches, who normally begin with an assessment. Sharon’s method is more effective, because it leads to immediate improvement in a tangible area.

When the coachee and organization see improvement right away, they’re more excited and diligent in supporting the coaching effort. The changes come more quickly and are longer lasting.

What Success Looks Like

Once coachees are working on their to-dos, Sharon begins her data-gathering efforts. She interviews peers, bosses, and studies performance reviews. She often conducts a 360 degree feedback survey and meets directly with her coachee to go over the results.

Most importantly, Sharon uses this data to customize a development plan of action, which focuses on the two or three behaviors the coachee most wants to change. The plan is based on a clearly defined set of “success indicators,” and will serve to guide the ongoing coaching relationship for the next six months or year.

 

Sharon and the coachee then conduct weekly sessions by phone or in person. During these sessions, Sharon helps her coachees focus on the outcomes they want, gets them to consider other perspectives, and gently pushes them to try new behaviors.

In addition to implementing their development plans and building specific competencies, Sharon helps her coachees more effectively deal with the day-to-day challenges they face at work. She calls this aspect of the weekly coaching session the “radar screen.”

During the radar screen portion of the call, Sharon and her coachees discuss what happened in the past week, what can be learned from that, and what are the concerns for next week. Here, she might help a coachee plan for a presentation to the board, or manage a difficult employee situation.

An Important Note

Some coaches have one problem-solving methodology or technique that they teach all their clients. It doesn’t matter who the client is or what their situation is.

Doing that rarely works. Human beings and situations are too complex.

A coach has to have an entire toolbox of techniques and perspectives that she can share with clients. It’s more a matter of finding the right tool among many, and then coaching people to have the curiosity to try it and the enthusiasm to make it work.

This, then, is Sharon’s approach. While working with a coachee, she doesn’t force anything on them. Instead, she dips into her vast array of productivity and engagement tools, and comes out with the ones that are right for that coachee.

Maximum Potential Realized

The sessions become something the coachees look forward to. They learn fresh perspectives, try out new behaviors, and start making huge gains – both for themselves and their organizations.


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