| Tel: (852) 2302 0283 | Thinking Leadership

How to… manage coaching effectively



Executive coaching is currently embraced across Asia as an effective tool used for the further development of highly capable leaders as well as for rising stars.

Many organisations now offer their staff the opportunity to be coached through both in-house and external coaches.

The alphaeight institute uses a variety of tools to enable our clients to take accountable action through: 

  • Change orientated coaching – changing or developing a certain behaviour or skillset
  • Growth orientated coaching – focusing on sharpening existing performance

There are a wide variety of tools available to our coaches that add huge value to the work we do and we would like to share those 20/80 tools with you in this article.

Tool 1 – A Comprehensive Coaching Profile

Before we begin a coaching programme with a client, we give them a coaching profile document to fill in. We then go through the document in our first session to clarify and/or add further details to it.

For a coaching profile to be an effective tool, it must:

  • Give a simple explanation of the coaching process and structure. 
  • Assess the coaches’ level of coaching ability.
  • Contain a document that outlines to the coachee the behaviour that is expected of them. This is very important because the action taken between sessions by the coachee is vital to the success of any coaching.
  • Find out the key 20/80 information that will allow the coach to enable the coachee to move forward quickly. Some of our favorites include – What are you facing right now in your work or personal life that needs immediate focus or resolution? What behavioural traits do you believe that limits your own success?
  • Inventory the coachee’s strengths. Effective coaches help people to understand their key strengths and utilise them to move forward – bad coaches try to ‘fix’ people. There are a variety of simple tools that can be used to assess this and will be expanded on later in the article.
  • Allow the coachee to set some specific development goals that they would like to achieve. The simplest way of doing this is to give the coachee a simple table that allows them to split their job into all the different roles that it entails, i.e. manager, administrator…etc. and then set specific measurable development goals for each role.
  • Allow the coachee to set some specific business goals – again a simple table can be used for this that allows them to split their department / division into specific criterion, i.e. management, people development, business administration, finance, legal…etc. and then set goals for each.

Tool 2 – Weekly Planning

Coaching is all about taking action, most of the action the coachee will be taking is proactive – the stuff that tends to languish at the bottom of people’s to do list as they motor through reactive work lives.

To take action between sessions your coachee will need to plan the time to do it – otherwise it will not happen. Weekly planning will enable them to do this.

There are lots of time management systems out there that are just way too complicated to use. Weekly planning is very simple, just get the coachee to sit down for 20 minutes on a Monday morning, pull up the weekly view on their outlook calendar and black in time for the specific actions that they have committed to achieving (make sure that they over estimate each task’s timeslot by 50%). Then get them to bring a print out with them to review each session. This will also allow them to start taking control of their work life and moving to a more proactive approach as opposed to the traditional reactive world most employees live in.

Tool 3 – Assessments

Running a short form assessment at the beginning or during a coaching programme can add a huge amount of value as it allows the coach to ascertain the clients’ needs, strengths and development areas. There are a variety of assessment tools to choose from and we highlight below a few assessments we frequently use and also some examples of application in a coaching scenario.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

MBTI is a great tool to use at the start of any coaching programme, it allows coaches to give the coachee a comprehensive understanding of themselves (strengths, development areas, blind spots, needs, values).

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality assessment designed to identify certain psychological differences according to the typological theories of Carl Gustav Jung. In a similar way to left or right handedness, the principle is that individuals are either born with, or develop, certain ways of thinking and acting. The MBTI endeavours to sort some of these psychological differences into four opposite pairs, or “dichotomies”, with a resulting 16 possible psychological types.

Harrison Assessment

Harrison is a great tool to use if the coachee is looking for career advice or in the process of a career transition.

Harrison integrates six key behavioural assessments into one comprehensive assessment. (Values Inventory; Interest Inventory; Task Preference Inventory; Personal Honesty Assessment; Work Environment Preferences; Personality/ Motivation Assessment)

It measures a person’s suitability to specific careers, including but not limited to; highlighting their attitudes, motivations, interpersonal and decision-making skills, task and work environment preferences, as well as personality balance.

SHL 360 Assessment

This again is a great tool to use to kick-start any coaching programme and can be used instead of or in addition to MBTI.

As a coach, using the 360˚ feedback tool, you can gather coachees’ performance data from their managers, colleagues, direct supervisors, subordinates, customers and other key stakeholders. This feedback can then be used during the coaching programme to reinforce their talents and work on their development areas.

Tool 4 – Pre and Post Coaching Forms

It seems obvious – but many coaches do not use pre and post coaching forms. These forms help to reinforce the coaches’ commitment to both the process and the actions they will take between sessions.

They should be simple and quick to fill in. Our pre coaching form simply asks what they would like to focus on for the session and what they have / have not achieved since the last session. Our post coaching form prompts them to put down the actions they have committed to, what they learned from the session and asks them to rate the session effectiveness from a scale of 1-10.

By Alistair Lamont, International Practice Director, the alphaeight institute.

If you would like to know more, contact us at