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John Fitzgerald Paul Mullan Adrienne Davitt
had to take on more responsibility and make tough decisions. With young leaders often catapulted into a role because of their
“It’s critical to focus on the leaders’ development and I see that talent in a particular area of expertise, she says a whole new land-
businesses are now putting more money into helping existing scape opens up, which can be quite scary and complex, especially
people lead through change.” in fast-growing firms. “It’s about being strategic in your thinking,
taking time-out to reflect on how effectively you are behaving and
Personality mapping
planning to be more effective and successful.”
At the start of the executive coaching process, Davitt says psycho-
metric profiling is instrumental in helping people map out their own
Brand ‘me’
personality, exploring areas such as self-awareness, where they are On the flip side of the coin, people who are unhappy in their current
currently, how they behave, what they think about how they impact role, or in a career where they feel unfulfilled, choose to see a career
others, how they manage relationships within the organisation and coach to help decide their career direction, explains Paul Mullan,
how they manage their work. founder of the career coaching firm Measurability.
The coach will then work with the individual to identify the areas “They could be in a profession that they are miserable in. They
that are critical in terms of achieving success, bearing in mind that want to work with someone to help them understand how they can
the process will often require some shift in attitude and certain bring more happiness into the role they are fulfilling,” he explains.
behavioural changes. “What you are looking at is helping people For people who have been made redundant or who are changing
identify the new behaviours and skills they need and find ways to jobs, Mullan says a career coach can help them look at how they
acquire them, not just academically but also in practice.” market themselves on documents such as CVs, cover letters and
While the length of a coaching relationship can vary, Davitt rec- social media profiles. “A growing area is around professional brand-
ommends that it be at least six months, with a 12- to 18-month ing where employees are going about trying to develop their own
contract being standard. brand within their own industry, within their sector,” he says.
Fitzgerald, meanwhile, offers the view that more than one year is Fitzgerald points to how he has worked with a lot of marketing
“unhealthy” for a coaching relationship. “I think people need a fresh people over the past 12 months who have been made redundant
person every year if they are having continual coaching. A typical and who now have to ‘reinvent’ themselves. “They are quite often
programme would last between six and 12 sessions – maybe one working with powerful brands and it’s about helping them to identi-
or two sessions a month.” fy what their personal brand is when they go out into the market-
place,” he says.
The coach from within
And in some cases, he points out that people may have been in
Where people are moving into leadership roles within their organisa-
the right job but in the wrong organisation. “We help them to identify
tion, Fitzgerald says those who have been very task-focused up to
their skills – the skills that they love to use and the skills that stress
now may find the transition a challenge. “When they move into lead-
them out. We help them to identify their interest areas, so that they
ership roles, the task becomes less about how they are rewarded.
can align a career or a company in that space. Then we talk about
It’s a whole new skill set. That’s why coaching is so important to
values: what their most important values are, whether they are cur-
rently being satisfied and how they can be satisfied in the future.”
Davitt adds: “You work with somebody who has been promoted
The key benefit of the coaching process, he says, is that it helps
into a leadership position and what they frequently ask is ‘how can I
people focus on their individual strengths and make the most of their
know what the strengths and development needs of my people are
innate skills and talents. “It is about increasing self-awareness,
and how can I help them?’ Part of our leadership programme is to
understanding how others perceive you, building trust and building
help the leaders become coaches to their own people.”
great relationships,” concludes Fitzgerald.
54 Marketing Age Volume 4 Issue 1 2010
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