What is Stakeholder Centered Coaching?
Stakeholder Centered Coaching (SCC) is a practice that is based upon the principles and practices of Marshall Goldsmith, a world authority in helping successful leaders get even better – by achieving positive, lasting change in behavior: for themselves, their people and their teams. As the business world becomes more complex with changing technology and global endeavors, the role of a leader is also growing in complexity making it more difficult to efficiently and effectively dedicate time to developing oneself.
SCC is a simple methodology that is neither time consuming nor difficult to understand. The method is based upon years of working with successful leaders who were willing to do what it takes to becoming even better leaders in their future. Without question, anyone who follows the Stakeholder Centered Process will improve in his or her leadership.
In its simplest form, the SCC practice is about an understanding that we are all successful largely because of ourselves and also in spite of certain aspects of how we behave. A recurring theme is that we are successful because of certain beliefs and in spite of those same beliefs. Consider for a moment, one of the natural beliefs of successful people – I am successful – in other words, they have a high degree of self-confidence. Now consider how self-confidence can be an aid – it gives you the courage to apply your ability and strengths – while at the same time, it may cause you to have difficulty accepting validity of feedback inconsistent with your self-image. A CEO of one Fortune 100 Company (who has had many “ups and downs” on the admiration scale) says this:
“Success can lead to arrogance. When we become arrogant we quit listening. When we quit listening we stop changing. In today’s rapidly moving world, if we quit changing, we will ultimately fail.”
Equipped with this understanding, clients will employ a 7-Step process that offers dramatic results in developing themselves as leaders. To succeed you will have to follow a disciplined practice. While this practice is simple to understand, it is at the same time difficult to perform. The disciplined practice used in SCC will be of value to anyone whose goal is a positive, long-term improvement in his or her own leadership behavior.
What are the beliefs and principles that underlie SCC?
Our approach is tailored to modify behaviors which take advantage of the positive aspects of successful people’s beliefs and to overcome the negative aspects that can interfere with development. The SCC methodology is based upon the combination of these beliefs and three underlying principles. Based upon this understanding and through the application of coaching skill, a developmental process is tailored for each individual to maximize the positive aspect of the beliefs and to overcome the negative aspects that can interfere with development.
Key Beliefs of Successful People
Principles of SCC
- I am successful – Successful people are self-confident.
- I choose to succeed – Successful people believe that they are doing what they choose to do, because they choose to do it.
- I will succeed – An unflappable sense of optimism is one of the most important characteristics of successful people.
- Place the attention and focus on your stakeholders – The true leverage points in behavioral change are the people who are interdependent with, and work with you every day.
- Emphasize FeedForward – Focusing on the future is much more effective than focusing on the past, which is something we cannot change.
- Change behavior and perception in parallel – It is useful to work in parallel on changing a behavior and the perception of your behavior by your stakeholders.
How does the process work?
SCC is not theory. It is about action. Success in this process does not have to take up a lot of your time. In fact, using this methodology is very time efficient.
In a typical engagement, the leader and the coach work together to select the behavior that will have the most significant impact on the leader’s development, and to determine the appropriate set of stakeholders to get the process moving. Once the process is in full swing, the coach and leader will determine an appropriate meeting frequency, which could be as little as one time per month. Then, the leader will check-in with his or her stakeholders each month; the check-ins should take no more than 2 to 5 minutes each. Finally, there will be two progress check-points during the engagement; stakeholders will participate in a mini-survey at 5 months and 11 months, where they provide anonymous feedback on the degree of improvement perceived. The survey focuses only on the behavior the leader set-out to improve.
Our experience suggests that the steps in this process must be rigorously practiced for at least a year before there is certainty that the change will be rooted in enough experience to become permanent. A year is a realistic minimum standard. Success in modifying some behaviors can take even longer. The more powerful benefit for you is when the process itself becomes a habit. Truly successful people are committed to getting better every year. Your greatest gift you gain is when this seven-step process becomes an ongoing discipline.
How is this method different from other coaching methodologies?
The fundamental principles of SCC – attention on the stakeholders, emphasis on the future, and parallel behavior/perception change – are distinguishing features of this process. The practical, and sometimes counter-intuitive, nature of involving the stakeholder allows the leader to turn these stakeholders into the true coaches, as they are the best “experts” in how the leader’s behavior can improve with them. The coach’s role moves more into the background as orchestrator, cheerleader, and integrator. Together this offers a transparent process, that highlights the leader’s personal interest in development; these two elements are critical in lasting behavior change, that is recognized by the individual, their team, and the organization.
Additionally, most coaching and leadership development focuses on a process of feedback as the key to improving. While feedback is an important part of the 7-step process, we emphasize FeedForward – a very simple process focusing on suggestions for the future. A key aspect of improving as a leader is to change the perception of stakeholders regarding that behavior. People do not readily give up their prior assumptions, opinions, and beliefs. Long lasting behavior change occurs when a leader undergoes improvement in a specified behavior and those around that leader both recognize and support that change. The SCC method provides the structure and guidance required to allow the leader to realize lasting change that will have a significant impact on the organization, often resulting in stakeholders and others modeling the 7-step process in their daily encounters.
Can you do this without a coach?
Sure, you can embark on this process without a coach and may see results. However, the coach offers you several advantages, which will increase your likelihood of success and decrease the amount of time to see measurable results. Not only does the coach offer an outside perspective, that might not be visible within the organization, but the coach also provides a tailored program, such that the leader focuses on the activities that are going to have the greatest impact on success. The coach also offers expertise by providing concrete and successful approaches to lasting behavior change. We have years of practical technical, experience as well as developmental expertise. We are all well versed in multiple leadership development methodologies and have the experience to maximize the engagement. Drawing from backgrounds as diverse as academia, engineering, operations, and manufacturing our practical examples are effective and insightful to identify impact and direction quickly. Let us help you reach your potential.
Used with permission:
Marshal Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching®