Personalised coaching can be needed to improve posture or communication skills, to overcome a difficult situation or to make a success of a new job.
We all know how hard it is to restore an image that has been damaged by mistakes or a false step, and waiting too long before calling in outside help may have drastic consequences.
Requesting or taking coaching sessions is not a sign of weakness - the proof is that many powerful and successful managers have benefited from it.
Coaching is a space for freedom and creativity, aiming to establish suitable behaviour and actions.
Asking the right questions, simulation exercises (taken from the daily work of the person involved) and situation analysis make up the main working material.
To give the person concerned the chance to step back and be available, sessions take place outside the company, with one session every two or three weeks. A direct telephone line is available to deal with emergencies in between sessions.
When beginning a new job, in particular, we recommend ”Four-handed support”, in which two consultants alternate sessions. Carried out by people with complementary personalities (woman/man), who take charge in turn of the “hard skills” and “soft skills”, this work is rich in results and reduces the risks of “imitation”.
A three-way meeting (line manager and/or HR + consultant + the person concerned) is set up beforehand to fix the objective(s) to be achieved. Similarly, each session begins by a review, before setting out the objective(s) of the day.
The course concludes with a debriefing session during which the person involved can talk about the results of the work and the plan of action going forward.
This exercise in maieutics is conducted on an ethical basis and in strict confidentiality, and enables the consultant (a qualified professional) to work in harmony with the executive and carry out his role as a “sparring-partner” in order to increase the well-being and employability of the person concerned.
An approach focused on the individual, Skills Assessment (SA) is a valuable tool in a professional career, opening up perspectives for the future when weariness or doubt set in. It gives professional people the chance to step back, to reflect on themselves as individuals and to think about their careers and give them meaning and coherence.
Skills Assessment is based on an interactive and structured approach (with the help of tools encouraging self-knowledge and reflection), and aims at:
- Drawing up a list of skills and motivations, both personal and professional
- Elaborating a coherent individual project adapted to the objective situation (the job market, etc.)
- Setting out and prioritising the future personal and professional paths to be explored
- Devising an action plan to promote future success
The goal is not to fuel fantasies or unrealistic dreams, but to allow professionals to take back control of their careers before deciding how they should project themselves positively into the future, while remaining realistic and objective. The process is based on alternating phases of exchange, as well as exercises or simulations in which the consultant plays the role of a mirror or inner voice for the benefit of the candidate.
Whether SA is chosen by the company or the employee, it works best when the employee is an active participant in the job to be done and feels at ease with his or her "sparring partner". The success of the process is not due to the consultant alone, but is conditioned above all by the candidates’ level of commitment, as well as their desire to play a full role in the task in hand, and which presupposes a certain readiness to call themselves into question.
The candidates must choose their consultant, who therefore must have a sensitive attitude concerning the climate of trust that is created at the first contact interview. The candidates need to choose the formula that is best for them, between what we might call “positive” support (consisting in professional affinities or temperament, etc.), or, on the contrary, to prefer a choice based on a certain difference! The consultant needs to have the necessary university background (psychologist, qualified coach, etc.) and professional experience, and the right tools, but must also reassure the candidate by his ability to produce a sensible result jointly, and not merely to say what the candidate wants to hear.
If we bear in mind its individual, specific nature, SA can only ever be a personalised undertaking. Carried out on the basis of a complete diagnostic (regarding skills, motivational drive and personality traits), it involves a kind of realisation on the part of the candidate as much as the creation and definition of an action plan. SA is a genuine tool to mobilise capacities, with the aim of stimulating and concentrating the candidates' energies and making them more employable on the job market.
If the mention of an appraisal interview in the second half of a career is sometimes met with scepticism, people of any age can take advantage of the exercise combining career review and analysis of future potential, and which can play an active part in individual development.
While some executives nearing 50 only put up with their daily professional life, or feel they are in a dead-end job, the mid-career interview is mainly seen by those who have benefitted from it as an opportunity that is useful for:
- Taking a step back and thinking in terms of a future “project”
- A career appraisal with its successes and failures
- Reappropriating specific skills (personal and professional)
- Opening up a new “range of possibilities”
A legal obligation in France from the age of 45, the mid-career interview provides an opportunity to think about the future and to give interviewees a new project-oriented dynamic, as well as the motivation to knock at the “right doors” in order to:
- Talk about skills, whether or not they are applicable elsewhere, as well as the desire for change
- Rekindle motivation at work and give oneself the chance to see it in a new light
- See if a planned project is feasible (inside the company or elsewhere) and whether or not it should be put into action
- Give new momentum and go forward once more by taking up a new challenge
The aim is to explore a professional (or even non-professional) career, to analyse its stages, reflecting on its successes and failures, and to set out the skills the interviewee has developed.
The final written summary can be submitted to the Human Resources department, with the agreement of the person concerned, and includes:
- Highlighting acquired skills and abilities
- Setting out motivations, resources for action, values and main interests
- Recommendations for preferred future assignments and projects, and suggestions for future skills to be developed
Carried out in a strict ethical framework (concerning confidentiality, in particular), the task is undertaken in confidence with a professional, and helps the interviewees rediscover the motivation to become fully involved in new projects in the short and long term. It gives back meaning to the interviewee's everyday life and results in a new project-oriented dynamic.
The question of reorientation (inside or outside the company) can be posed when a feeling of having reached a dead end appears, and when taking a step back becomes advisable, so that one can think about making a “fresh start”. Such symptoms of weariness or unease (in the context of change, mergers, etc.) that many executives experience one day or another involve a need to ask questions about their professional future.
It is clear that answers will emerge more easily if the issues are approached realistically and in good time. And when faced with such a sensitive subject as the future of an executive, we strongly advise that he should not be left on his own, but should benefit from the support of a professional from outside the company! A course of this kind (5 to 7 three-hour sessions) develops as follows:
Outline of phases
These specific individual sessions begin by a career review (successes and failures, etc.), and from there move towards the development of a project(s), to conclude by the establishment and application of an action plan. The consultant passes on his expertise in the phases of analysis and in the summary of strengths and danger zones, making use of the “mirror effect”, while encouraging self-awareness and challenging the person concerned in the phase of active application.
The success of the training is the result of this “cocktail” that results from the commitment of the interviewee, the effectiveness of the method used, and a subtle dose of benevolence and high standards. Our consultants live in daily contact with recruitment, training and coaching professionals, and carry out their role as “sparring partners” with passion, bringing out the ingredients of employability of the interviewee in achieving their reorientation goals.