Coaching and Mentoring
Coaching for RESULTS (The RESULTS Coaching Model)
There are many kinds of coaching in modern life. Just a few of these are:
- Personal coaching
- Skill-based coaching (sports/music etc.)
- Career coaching
- Life coaching
- Performance coaching
- Business coaching
- Leadership coaching
- Executive coaching
Although all of these kinds of coaching share the common feature of one individual offering support and guidance to another, at the detailed level they are quite different. For example, at a general level, the types of coaching on the left side of the list above focus mainly on the individual’s personal or career needs, while those on the right side are more concerned with the individual’s outputs in terms of the wider organization, or in terms of their impact on workplace people or processes. Although it caters for both, The RESULTS Coaching process focuses more on the right-hand side of this chart.
What is the RESULTS Coaching Process?
The RESULTS coaching process is a progressive system in which a coaching experience can both slowly unfold and have a better chance of achieving positive outcomes (for the coach and the person receiving the coaching).
The RESULTS coaching process itself is an acronym standing for Reflect, Evaluate, Strategize, Understand, Listen, Take Action and Systematize (on which we will expand later). The coaching intervention in its entirety follows each stage (or letter in the acronym) progressively over time, pausing for as long as necessary to explore the key issues that should ideally be considered at that point. In this sense, the RESULTS coaching process acts as an outline for the relationship, session-by-session, or as overall conversational “scaffolding” for forward plans to be built by the two parties involved in the coaching experience (as slowly or as quickly as they both see to be necessary).
It is important to remember that this process aims to be “enabling” and is not designed to be a “rigid” structure to be slavishly followed. As such, more or less time may be spent at certain stages in the process. Sub-steps may also be added at any point, or steps may be shortened or skipped, as and when the need arises. This is simply because every coaching relationship is inevitably unique and will always follow its own particular path (often times based on the problems, issues or challenges that are raised in each session). Nonetheless, based on extensive experience, the RESULTS coaching model is a very useful reference model in almost every situation.
The RESULTS Coaching Model – an Overview
The RESULTS coaching model, used on an international basis for almost 15 years now, was evolved to enable managers and executives at all levels to be coached on a more structured basis, with the key advantage being that the model is deliberately designed to overcome the shortfalls that can occur when using the more “input-oriented” coaching processes and methods. These are often extremely useful for personal reflection and career coaching but may not lead to tangible changes which are observable to others.
The RESULTS coaching model consists of seven sequential and iterative steps as follows:
(R) Reflect – Take time to think, ask questions and re-frame
Because today’s senior managers are almost inevitably under a great deal of pressure to perform and to deal with a multitude of issues all at once, the chance to reflect and think about issues at a deeper level is often minimized and in some cases eliminated altogether. This first step is therefore used to encourage executives to reflect for longer and at a deeper level so as to commence a forward change journey with high levels of both personal and organizational awareness (and appreciating the wider context in which successful change always occurs).
(E) Evaluate – Carefully assess all the forward options
Just as most managers often have too little time to reflect, they also don’t always have the time to assess the many possible forward options which may exist (some of which are almost thrust upon them). This step therefore seeks to help an executive to both generate more options and to evaluate each valid one more systematically.
(S) Strategize – Select the plan(s) with the best chance of succeeding
Executives are often forced into pursuing the most apparently suitable strategy, well before it has been properly considered or assessed. In this step, the coach works with the executive to develop rigorous criteria against which one or more strategies can be assessed, allowing the plan(s) with the best chance of success to be selected, and pursued.
(U) Understand – Appreciate what resources will be needed to succeed
Every strategy needs a robust tactical execution plan, which includes an estimate concerning the resources that are likely to be needed (such as people, assets, finances, etc.). In this step therefore, the coach works with an executive to better understand what is needed in practical implementation terms and in determining how to go about organizing the resources needed to succeed.
(L) Listen – Pay attention to the input of employees and colleagues
Once a strategy has been chosen and a resource plan is developed, human factors are often the most significant issue to have to manage and execute well. In this step, the coach aims to help an executive to collect and listen carefully to internal feedback, and adjust plans according to the input.
(T) Take Action – Implement plans and follow-though persistently
Strategies and plans can only truly pay-off if they are implemented/executed strongly. However, successful execution also needs a step-by-step approach, as well as the ability and persistence to deal with obstacles as these arise. The coach therefore needs to lend his or her full support and experience to an executive at this stage, as he or she may be dealing with a range of obstacles or difficulties which may threaten to slow or stop the change.
(S) Systematize – Ensure that processes are permanently changed
Once a strategy or plan has been executed, and a change for the better has been brought about, things can often slip backwards if processes and systems are not permanently changed. At this point, the coach therefore aims to help an executive to identify the key processes that have undergone change and, where necessary, directly assists in ensuring that these are designed to be strong or as stable as possible.
Unlike many other progressive coaching processes, the RESULTS coaching system is designed to be highly action-focused at every step. It also allows both the coach and the person being coached to build and implement a strong forward plan, which is change-oriented and has the maximum chance of really sticking. As a result, this approach has enjoyed widespread success at many leadership levels, from middle managers to CEOs, and in organizations of all sizes and types.