Executive and Professional Coaching - Issue 049
- Message from the Director
- News and Notes
- Feature Article
- Coaching Integrity in Business
- Research Corner
- Coach’s Notebook
- Student Corner
Fall is the ‘new year’ for academia. Once again we are looking forward to a large fall class—Cohort 10A. In fact, we will probably be oversubscribed, with some later applicants moving to a waiting list. While I believe this is a testament to the quality of our program and the reputation in the field, I also realize that the quality of our support for our students is a critical part of our success. This was recently recognized by one of our fall applicants in a note to our program. The person is employed by a company in which several of their colleagues had attended our program and gave positive feedback about their experience and the results achieved. But in addition to their affirmative remarks about the program generally the person added this statement:
“Additionally, the simplicity of the process (expediting grade notification for educational assistance) and assistance I’ve received from the staff at UTD (quick responses to questions and reminders of admission timelines) have given me confidence that this program is the correct next step for me in my personal learning and development and attainment of my career goals.”
It is enormously satisfying to receive this kind of recognition for what we try to provide our students. Bravo to Judy Clothier and Debb Fuqua whose tireless efforts make this kind of experience happen for all of our students.
That’s it for now. We welcome your comments and suggestions for future articles.
Robert Hicks, PhD
Director, Organizational Behavior & Coaching Program
University of Texas at Dallas
“You cannot consistently perform in a manner which is inconsistent with the way you see yourself.”
― Zig Ziglar
By Judy Feld, MCC
Assoc. Director, ACTP Graduate Certificate Coaching Program
University of Texas at Dallas
School of Management
New Credentials, Prism Award
We are proud of the Executive and Professional Coaching Program at UT Dallas and proud of all of our graduates. Recent graduates from our twelfth cohort are already joining the ranks of ICF credentialed coaches. Our earlier cohorts also continue an impressive record of professional development. We want to congratulate the following coaches who have received a new ICF credential, and continue to be involved in the UT Dallas community:
Neil Colica, ACC, Cohort 8A; July 2012
Richard Winters, ACC, Cohort 7B; July 2012
Congratulations to UT Southwestern and Dr. Bill Behrendt on winning the PRISM award
On June 21, 2012 the North Texas Chapter of the International Coach Federation, (ICF) honored UT Southwestern Medical Center for its leadership coaching excellence programs with the 2012 Prism award (nonprofit category). Bill Behrendt, Ph.D., Vice President for Human Resources and Cohort 5B graduate, accepted the award and spoke on the panel. The Prism Award recognizes DFW organizations embracing coaching as an integral part of their leadership and business strategy and delivering quantified transformational results from that strategy. Judy Feld was the nominating coach.
“The transformative power of coaching in organizations is measured by the initiative’s effectiveness, strategic application to key business issues, and its return on investment to the organization,” says Jim Cooper, Prism Event Chair and Cohort 4 graduate. For the panel the nominees presented their results in areas including leadership development, change management, team effectiveness, culture, performance and organizational alignment, all which support their reputations as employers of choice.
For more about the winning program at UTSW please see the feature article below. Photos from the award dinner are at left.
Judy Feld, MCC, was the 2003 ICF President. She has been a full-time executive and professional coach since 1995 and is the co-founder of the Executive and Professional Coaching Program in the School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas (view the website). She teaches “Foundations and Structures of Coaching”; “The Business of Coaching”; and “Strategic Alliances for Coaches.” Feld is the co-author of SmartMatch Alliances http://www.coachnet.com/info/resources-smartmatch.html and a mentor to innovative coaches www.coachnet.com.
UT Southwestern Prism Award
UT Southwestern (“UTSW”) was honored and proud to receive the 2012 non-profit division Prism Award from the ICF- North Texas Chapter. We believe this award recognizes the commitment by UT Southwestern to develop leaders for both the present and future in a rapidly changing healthcare environment. Our challenges are particularly interesting due to our academic mission; i.e., how to maintain our commitment to science and education as we expand our efforts in clinical service and patient care. These challenges will require leadership skills from both faculty and staff that traditionally have not been considered essential parts of their roles.
UT Southwestern Medical Center is one of the premier academic and research institutions in the US with a top 20 Medical School, five Nobel Laureates, a large faculty practice plan and a University Hospital.
In 2004 UTSW decided to place more emphasis on its clinical enterprise and expand its scope into hospital ownership and operations. As part of its key strategy to develop a clinical enterprise, UT Southwestern implemented an innovative and comprehensive leadership development program for faculty and administrative leaders. This program was designed to, and has been successful in, re-defining the roles of administrative and faculty leaders and giving them the education, training and development necessary to manage a “business-like” enterprise (vs. the traditional academic/ research components of the University). It may be the only one of its kind within a medical school based academic medical center.
The UT Southwestern leadership development program is innovative and makes extensive use of coaching in order to anchor the learning:
- Coaching is an integral part of the on-boarding (new hire orientation/ assimilation) process for newly hired or promoted middle and senior administrative and medical leaders.
- UT Southwestern has partnered with the University of Texas at Dallas to establish a customized on-site Masters in Management degree program (now in its second cohort), designed specifically for high-potential administrative and physician leaders at UT Southwestern. As part of the program, all first year students (25 this year) receive 7 months of executive coaching aimed at developing the leadership skills taught in the Masters Program.
- A new Program for “Aspiring Leaders” has been established for those deemed capable and desiring to move into a management role. The program includes work with a coach for 12 months.
- All hospital managers at UT Southwestern have been assigned a coach to assist them with their ongoing development as leaders.
- The VP for Human Resources at UT Southwestern is personally coaching several internal leaders, including new hire executives and department chairs, high-potential leaders, physicians, and minorities in leadership roles.
- The VP for Human Resources completed the UT Dallas Graduate Certificate in Executive and Professional Coaching and is an ICF ACC credentialed coach. He has also received executive coaching (from an MCC coach) as part of his development as an expert coach since 2008.
- These coaching initiatives are part of a comprehensive leadership development initiative which includes several training programs and makes use of various assessment tools such as the DiSC, the Winslow, the Thomas-Kilman Conflict Inventory, and 360 degree feedback instruments.
- Physicians will play increasingly important roles in leading healthcare delivery (and addressing healthcare reform); as such UT Southwestern is seeking to develop their skills as managers and leaders. Skills training alone, however, is not sufficient to develop the new competencies. Therefore, executive coaching has been included as a critical aspect of their development as leaders.
- Moving up in the ranks and/or joining a new organization is often a difficult process. UT Southwestern has decided to provide executive coaching to leaders in new roles to help them orient to and assimilate into their new roles and cultures.
As a result of these efforts, we have accomplished several important outcomes:
- Patient Satisfaction scores as measured on a national Press-Ganey survey have steadily increased, especially with respect to provider satisfaction. The UTSW clinics have risen in rank from the 70th percentile in 2005 to above the 90th percentile in overall satisfaction in 2011, and its hospitals have improved from ranking in the teens to current rank in the 80th and 99th percentiles.
- The University Hospitals’ financial performance has significantly improved from a loss of nearly a million dollars a week in 2005, to significant profitability in 2010 and 2011.
- Three promotions have occurred among those in the Masters Program.
- Although still relatively new, the various coaching initiatives have been well-received by the “clients” and they have quickly gained new insights into their leadership styles and opportunities for improvement. Several of the physician leaders have reported, and their supervisors have commented that their interpersonal skills have dramatically improved and they are more effective in their roles.
- There has been no turnover of new leaders who have received the on-boarding coaching (previously the organization had experienced significant turnover and difficulty adapting among the new leaders)
Coaching has played an integral part in the development of our staff and leaders, and will continue to be essential to our evolution as a top tier academic medical center. We are just now beginning to see the tangible effects of coaching on our organization and look forward to being a role model for other similar organizations.
William (Bill) Behrendt, PhD, ACC, currently serves as Vice President for Human Resources at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, where he is responsible for all “people” issues at the Medical School, and its University Hospitals and Clinics. Prior to coming to Dallas in 2003, Dr. Behrendt served as Vice President for Human Resources for CareGroup Health System and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston Massachusetts. He previously held the role of Senior Vice President for Human Resources at the BJC Healthcare System in St. Louis, Missouri. He also served as President of Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital in St. Louis.
Dr. Behrendt earned a B.S. in Psychology from Tulane University in New Orleans, and his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, and completed a psychology internship at UT Southwestern in Dallas. He is also a graduate of the Certificate in Executive Coaching Program at University of Texas at Dallas, and an Associate Certified Coach member of the International Coach Federation.
ICF Code of Ethics
When to Terminate the Client Relationship, Part 2
A Series of Articles based on Ethics FAQs
(Note: Send your Ethics questions for clarification to Vicki@Excellentcoach.com , and please include the number of the ethics code relating to your question.)
In this series of articles, we are considering the deeper implications of the Code of Ethics. The 20th Code is concerned with the ethics of terminating the client when the needs of the client might best be served by someone else or another resource. We must also ask ourselves when or if we may offer additional services and information to our clients outside of the realm of pure coaching. If we did, how might that affect the coaching relationship?
The 20th Code is the following: I will encourage the client or sponsor to make a change if I believe the client or sponsor would be better served by another coach or by another resource.
What are the gray areas that require further consideration and discernment? Ask yourself these questions:
- What if my client wants specific information of a consultative nature, and I have some ideas and expertise that might be helpful? May I share my ideas with my client?
- My client wants to explore her early childhood relationships to understand why she developed her limiting beliefs and past personal issues. May I approach the exploration of this topic with her in coaching?
These questions are addressed below in two scenarios.
The following questions and answers are quoted from the ICF Code of Ethics Frequently Asked Questions, used with permission of the ICF:
Scenario one – providing consultation: I know a lot about nutrition from dieting and taking vitamins and my client has a goal to know more about nutrition. May I share with her what I know?
Answer: More appropriate than giving her information would be to encourage her to find an expert or consultant who is trained in that area. Recommending a professional nutritionist, websites, literature, books would all be acceptable.
Scenario two – exploring past relationships: My client wants to explore how her past relationships have formed her beliefs about current relationships. I have a degree in psychology and learned a lot about that topic. Can I devote time to coaching her about this?
Answer: If you are not a practicing psychologist or therapist, it is not appropriate to bring this information into the coaching relationship and you should encourage your client to find another professional to help.
If you are trained, you could consider creating a separate agreement to deal with this after your coaching relationship has ended. Whereas you might be clear enough in the role differentiation, likely it would be confusing to the client to have you as a therapist and coach at the same time.
Becoming a credentialed coach involves learning about and discussing the standards of behavior and ethics as set by the International Coach Federation. Indeed, having clearly defined ethics as well as a means for reporting violations and providing consequences supports coaching to be a respected profession.
The ICF Code of Ethics takes on a richer meaning when it can be applied to specific situations with clarity. Almost every guideline has a gray area – a point needing interpretation. As we explore the published FAQs, perhaps we can support the further refinement of our profession’s standards of behavior.
If you have an ethics question that you would like to have answered, please let me know and I will initiate discussion and hopefully help you find clarity. Your questions will enhance our professional progress!
Warm regards, Vicki Escudé
VICKI ESCUDE, M.A., MCC, Mentor Coach, is a pioneer in the coaching profession, promoting the professionalism of coaching to several areas of the country for over 15 years. She was among the first coach educators for UTD, Success Unlimited Network®, LLC (SUN), and Strategic Executive Coaching Alliance (SECA). Escudé served on the Board of Directors for the ICF, and was Board Liaison to the Ethics Committee. She has subsequently been a member of the Ethics Committee for several years, and was on the subcommittee to develop the ICF Ethics’ FAQs. Escudé has an active executive coaching and corporate coach training and mentoring practice, and is author of several coaching books: Getting Everything You Want! Coaching for Mastery; Create Your Day with Intention in English, Portuguese and Spanish, and the Fast-Track Leader series published by Get-to-the-Point Books.
The Research Corner: July 2012
The Boundary between Coaching and Psychotherapy: Brick Wall or Picket Fence? (Part 2)
A look at conflicts around the globe shows that borders are never quite as solid as they appear to be on a map. Similarly, the ideas offered in Part 1 of this essay suggest that early maps of the coaching/psychotherapy boundary may warrant reconsideration and renegotiation. Ten years ago, Rotenberg (2000) noted “…a growing trend among psychoanalysis and psychoanalytically trained therapists working as occupational coaches in corporate environments, industry and public organizations.” (p. 653) For the past several years, the British and Australian Psychological Associations have supported a Special Interest Group in Coaching Psychology whose members engage in research and scholarly debate about the foundations, practices, standards and boundaries of the field. Increasingly, the scholarly literature appears to be pointing toward a more complex and nuanced understanding of the framework for considering the intersections and distinctions of coaching and psychotherapy.
David Gray (2006) suggests an approach which integrates a psychotherapeutic model of coaching with a model of transformative adult learning as a viable alternative or complement to psychodynamics. He also notes the caveat that the coaching process “…may open up deep seated anxieties which between may be more appropriately addressed by a psychotherapeutic approach.” (p.475). Gray proposes a collaboration between psychotherapist and non-psychotherapist coaches. In Gray’s model, a network of coaches from various backgrounds can serve as a resource for collaborative learning and professional development through sharing and debriefing critical incidents and exchanging ideas about tools and resources, considering ethical practices and providing supervision.
continuing ambiguity about the border between coaching and psychotherapy underpins a key theme in the on-going debates among members of the coaching psychology community and other practitioner groups in the field. As participants in a recent series of essays observed, “complexity as a theoretical and practical construct…may assist in developing an understanding of our world, our context and our practice.” (Whybrow, Grant, Palmer & Kent, 2012, p.72). The authors put forward the premise of the “co-created, emergent nature of all human interaction”, and acknowledge that the people we coach “make decisions, act and react in the face of multiple, competing agendas, rapidly changing circumstances and the emergence of new and unpredictable problems and issues” (p.73).
In a similar vein, Jerome Kagan’s (2012) re-evaluation of the methods and principles of research in the social and behavioral sciences urges professionals in the field of psychology to reconsider the field’s emphasis on single causal or defining factors. Kagan argues that life circumstances, values, language norms and context-driven experiences all contribute to mental states and that assessments must be made in ways that acknowledge the diversity and complexity of human behavior.
If we accept this notion, then the principle of a single, universally applicable and solid boundary between coaching and psychotherapy no longer applies. Instead, a determination emerges in the process of the coach-client interaction as to the most appropriate course of action. This may entail coaching in the strictest sense, psychotherapeutically informed coaching, referral or provision of appropriate therapy or some customized combination. To navigate this more ambiguous territory effectively, it may be helpful for practitioners to consider two key signposts. The first of these is the coach’s knowledge base, understanding of psychodynamics, clinical knowledge and the degree to which the coach’s professional judgment is developed and honed. Comparing the types of coaching goals and processes and measuring these against the knowledge and skill sets of different groups of coaching practitioners, Bachkirova concludes that coaches must be aware of the limitations of their skill set and apply the skills they have appropriately with respect to psychological issues in their practice. The second signpost addresses client characteristics and coaching goals. Respondents to Price’s (2009) survey noted that clients play a “much more important role in determining what makes a coaching or therapeutic interaction than the coach/therapist” (p.140). Ideally, the client has some degree of self-awareness and the ability to objectively reflect on the self-observation. The goals for the coaching engagement should be consistent with coaching goals: specific, measurable, outcome-oriented and future directed (Price, 2009; Maxwell, 2009).
Julie Allan (2012) highlights three key concepts which may anchor the continued exploration of this ambiguous territory: professionalism, empiricism and wisdom. Regarding the first, Allan states that a profession goes beyond knowledge of the principles and practices of a field. It is also “an issue of judgment and praxis” (p.119). Empiricism rests on on-going attention to and reflective learning from the evidence provided in practice and theory. Wisdom encompasses both empiricism and appropriateness. She cites five elements which must be present: knowledge of content, knowledge of process, understanding of life stages/contexts/relationships; knowledge about the presence of different values and priorities; and tolerance of ambiguity.
The exploration is by no means over; the boundary is dismantled and has not yet been fully redefine. The dialogue has, however, opened up a space for deepening the practice and profession of coaching in a world in which our boundaries are shifting every day.
Allan, Julie (2012) Wisdom needed: Reward offered. International Coaching Psychology Review. 7(1) March 2012. Pp.119-121.
Bachkirova, Tatiana (2007) Role of coaching psychology in defining boundaries between counseling and coaching. In Handbook of Coaching Psychology. Stephen Palmer & Alison Whybrow (eds.) 351-366. Routledge. NY: NY
Gray, David E. (2006) Executive coaching: Toward a dynamic alliance of psychotherapy and transformative learning processes. Management Learning. 37(4) Dec. 2006. Pp.475-497
Kagan, Jerome. (2012) Psychology’s ghosts: The crisis in the profession and the way back. Yale University Press: New Haven.
Maxwell, Alison (2009) How do business coaches experience the boundary between coaching and therapy/counseling? Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice 2(2) September 2009,149-162
Rotenberg, Carl T. (2000) Psychodynamic psychotherapy and executive coaching-Overlapping paradigms. Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis. 28(4) 2000. Pp 653-663
Price, John (2009) The coaching/therapy boundary in organizational coaching. Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice 2(2) September 2009,135-148.
Whybrow, Alison, Grant, Anthony M., Palmer, Stephen & Kemp, Travis (2012). Editorial: Coaching psychology coming of age. International Coaching Psychology Review. 7(1) March 2012. Pp 72-74
Francine Campone, Ed.D., MCC, coaches mature professionals to reinvent their lives by reinventing their work. She is a leader in the coaching research community and deeply committed to the development of reflective coaches in practice. Francine teaches evidence-based coaching and coaching research practices for UT Dallas and enjoys a wonderful life in Denver, Colorado beyond her activities in the coaching field.
Gaming the Balance of Priority and Risk in the C-Suite
Exposing a truth that is obvious to you but elusive to the organization with which you are working can be simultaneously simple and monumental. In my healthcare coaching practice, I have the opportunity to work with teams of senior executives that often include the CEO, the CFO, the Chief Nursing Executive, and others in the C-suite of hospital leadership. It is clear that the brief time spent with me may be the only time they have for a collective pause and some unscripted group reflection. I recently worked with a brilliant team that despite having a great dynamic, they could not get on the same page when asked to create a plan for a major transition effort that was only a few months away.
Realizing that there were significant underlying issues of confidence and differences in risk tolerance among the group of four, I had to think quickly about how best to expose these sensitivities in a way that would be fair to everyone and would actually expose the truth versus provide another opportunity for the group to come to consensus on the easy items and further delay any movement on the difficult ones. On the fly, I decided to make a game of it by creating 12 cards (simply marker on post-it notes), each with one word or simple phrase – profitability, patient satisfaction, employee engagement, physician loyalty, operational innovation, technology integration, nursing competence, management skill, clinical excellence, move day, patient safety, and health information/EMR. Working with the team of four leaders, I paired them up and gave each couple a set of cards. I then instructed them to do two things:
- Order the cards from most important (1st) to least important (12th) for the success of the new hospital and then record the position of each card in rank 1 through 12
- Order the cards from least confident (first) to most confident (12th) in terms of preparedness for the upcoming transition and hospital opening and then record the position of each card in rank 1 through 12.
The benefit of the exercise was two-fold. The discussion and arguments related to the ranking did exactly what I had hoped – it clearly exposed how differently the members of the team saw the challenges and opportunities ahead and did so in a way that was nonthreatening and productive. The other benefit was that the results were eye opening and critically important – there were inconsistencies in the top five priorities and more problematic, many of the top priorities also showed up on the list of those in which there was the least amount of confidence.
As a coach, I focused on my role as a facilitator and used strategic inquiry to frame questions that would provide the mirror that reflected the important “aha moments” back to the group. I asked them to discuss what changes were needed to raise the confidence of the group in certain areas. I asked them to tell one another what it would take for the cards to move from less confidence to more confidence in the key areas over which they had responsibility.
Overall, I think this is a simple tool that any coach could use with a team that seems to be out of balance but unable to articulate the source of the disconnection. For this particular client, we circled back two months later and repeated the exercise, looking specifically for an inverse relationship between the highest priorities and the greatest areas of risk and vulnerability. The cards made the “hard conversation” into a group-oriented game, which for this client, was much more productive than a fact-finding and finger pointing mission to figure out the source of the discontent.
Juliet Rogers, Cohort 8A, currently serves as President and CEO of Blue Cottage Consulting, a full-service healthcare consulting firm dedicated to transforming healthcare one project at a time. She works with hospitals and academic medical centers across North America to strategize, innovate and provide the highest quality patient care possible. A significant part of her job is coaching executives, clinical providers, students and employees.