Coach's Corner

From the Director, Dr. David F. Bush

The Coach’s Corner is a place for those engaged in executive coaching to share ideas about how this practice can be made more effective. We hope that this will become a place for dialog, for innovative practices, and the sharing of ideas. Cases, essays, and suggestions are all welcomed. To submit your ideas send an email to:

Tag Team Coaching

My colleague, Richard J. Anthony, Sr. and I have worked with clients where we alternately shared the giving of feedback and assisted with raising issues about strategy selection for goal attainment. A number of coaches currently promote the “tag-team” approach. Ken Blanchard and Don Shula, in their Little Book of Coaching, use the tag-team approach to impart the five leadership secrets in COACH.

C is for conviction-drive = never compromise your beliefs
O is for over learning: practice until it is perfect
A is for audible-ready: know when to change
C is for consistency: respond consistently to performance
H is for Honesty-based: walk your talk

Assessment Based Coaching (ABC)

In 1989 and 1990, Richard Andrulis and I developed Assessment Based Coaching (ABC) as part of an extensive Quality Team Facilitator Selection and Development program that was created for Baxter Wellmon, who was at that time General Manager of the Stations Division of Conrail. ABC starts with an assessment of relevant skills and abilities, which is followed by feedback sessions and coaching. Assessment instruments are selected based on the goals for the individual or group. Today we make frequent use of the EQ Map. The assessment helps the client create goals based on the current situation. The coach’s help the client select tactics and strategies for achieving the goals selected. The assessments keep the process grounded.

Suggested Reading

Win-Win Partnerships: Be on the Leading Edge with Synergistic Coaching by Steven J. Stowell, Ph.D. and Matt M. Starcevich, Ph.D. CMOE Press, Salt Lake City, UT: 1996.

"In a time when everyone is moving faster, trying to do more with less, and with high technology creating the 'virtual relationship' - we need the skills and training to build 'learning relationships,' and engage others in productive dialogue. This is what the authors call 'coaching.' It is the art of facilitating the flow of information, stimulating creativity, and building honest consensus. Coaching skills and values revitalize and rejuvenate the relationships in small or large organizations and even in schools and families."

Coaching Ethics: the Perception and Reality of Confidentiality

For the Coaching Process to have credibility both parties must develop mutual trust. For the client to disclose relevant information, the coach must appear worthy of trust. As Covey has pointed out for years, we appear to be worthy of trust when we demonstrate that we can be trusted. I recently heard a story of a coach who lost a client by creating the perception of being unworthy of trust. During a coaching session, the name of a third party person with whom the client was developing a referral relationship entered the conversation. The coach responded to the name by sharing some unflattering gossip about the third party. This behavior caused the client to wonder if the coach might casually divulge similar confidential information about others, including the client. The coaching relationship was terminated shortly. Remember, if you wish to be worthy of trust, you must maintain both the perception and the reality of confidentiality. What is said here stays here.