A Fortune 500 executive–turned-consultant looks at how to implement coaching programs inside professional organizations.
In this debut, Robertson draws on her own successful corporate coaching career to explain what coaching is, why organizations need it, how it serves a variety of human resource and talent development needs, and how it can lead to organizational change and improve results. The author discovered coaching while working in sales for MCI Communications in the mid-1990s. At the time, “life coaching” was popular, but professional coaching in corporations rarely extended beyond senior executives. She spearheaded a coaching program for MCI sales managers, who were dealing with rapid growth and technological change. Her program expanded to other departments and diversified in scope; meanwhile, MCI was acquired by WorldCom in 1998, which declared bankruptcy in 2002, emerged from bankruptcy in 2004, and was acquired by Verizon in 2006. Her coaching, she says, helped retain employees during the various crises and combine different cultures during mergers, which garnered her two consecutive International Coach Federation Prism Awards. This book’s content and workbook format appear to be aimed specifically at human resources administrators. Robertson uses her experience to offer instructions that are never dry or vague; instead, she moves seamlessly back and forth between her coaching principles and real-life anecdotes. She displays an encyclopedic knowledge throughout as she provides a step-by-step blueprint for launching an internal coaching program. Along the way, she also discusses how to use external coaches when time frames, budgets, or required skill sets warrant. The book looks at how to evaluate a company’s readiness for coaching and where it should reside in the organization and gives advice on how to write job descriptions, hire qualified coaches, develop talent, and measure results. Robertson continuously asks helpful questions in clear, if not always succinct, prose (“What level of impact do any pre-existing conditions have on the sales process and the ability to sell services into the account?”). There’s some business jargon, but it’s appropriate for the book’s audience; professional coaches, she notes, should be conversant in the language their clients use. She also offers document templates, training tools, and websites for further reference.
authoritative, and well-organized manual for boosting productivity through