During my long career in Human Resources management I was often called upon to coach employees at all levels of the organization’s that I belonged to. Often my coaching was sought because the employee, manager or leader was exhibiting behavior or conduct that others in the organization found troubling, off putting etc. These types of coaching arrangements were often quite difficult and sometimes unsuccessful because the “coachee” felt as if something was being done to them not for them. In many cases I found the subject of the coaching blissfully unaware of how their colleagues, subordinates or other organizational stakeholders viewed them.

Over the last three months, I have become engaged in a more useful and productive method of coaching called “stakeholder centered” coaching. I had the great pleasure of being a part of a recent certification course put on by the Marshall Goldsmith training team.  Our instructors led us through a rigorous course that taught us the basics of this coaching methodology and philosophy. I found this approach to coaching to be realistic, straightforward and grounded in real world experience. I also found stakeholder centered coaching to be derived from research into leadership changing behavior.

Most leaders will respond more quickly and sustainably to feedback from key stakeholders in their organizations. This makes perfect sense if we look at our own behavior and motivation. It makes sense that we pay much more attention to feedback given to us by those we interact with on a daily basis at work. This group of people understand the pressures we face, the resource limitations we are under and the organizational cultures that we function in.

The other key difference is the coachee must go to their stakeholders and ask them to participate in the coaching process by providing feedback directly to the leader being coached. This is an important difference from traditional coaching arrangements. In many traditional coaching arrangements the coach is introduced to the coachee but few (if any) others within the organization. Traditional coaching arrangements may not be successful because the coaching subject feels put upon (why are you doing this to me) and the coach may not understand the culture of the organization they have been asked to coach in.

In the “stakeholder centered coaching model”, the coachee is empowered to engage key stakeholders in providing specific, actionable feedback directly to them and this process may have an important additional benefit to both the coachee and the organization . Work relationships often fray yet no one talks about what happened to cause the rift or why it occurred. Stakeholder centered coaching has actually been four be highly successful at repairing strained work relationships.

We spend a good deal of our lives working. Doesn’t it make sense to utilize tools which can help us get the most out of each work day and the attendant relationships?

If you would like to know more about stakeholder centered coaching and if it might be right for you fill out a brief contact form on my website.

Hoping I can be of service to you.

Prior to opening Vista, he was the Associate Vice President of Human Resources at Portland State University where he has served for five years. Prior to going to PSU he held the same position at Lewis and Clark College. Over the past three decades Dr. Dixon has been an active participant in the advancement of the human resources profession working in both the private and public sectors in Oregon.