We came up with the idea of developing “Super Coaches” - sort of master coaches who could serve as behind-the-scenes 'coaches for the coaches.' The staff at the Atlantis University was already close to being overwhelmed with training demands and Phase III would totally tax all of our resources. By tapping into executives, managers, and supervisors to take on this role in addition to their 'day jobs,' we leveraged our in-house expertise. This also helped to position this initiative as a line- owned initiative vs. an HR-driven program.
We positioned the Super Coaches as people who were not their bosses, were not out to steal their jobs, who understood the value of coaching and did not see it as a burden, and who genuinely wanted to see the other supervisor or manager be successful—to help them achieve their own success.
Dr. Myszkowski: How did you select and develop the Super Coaches?
Beverly: We asked the expert faculty at Lore to identify students in the workshops who seemed to learn and use the process easily and effectively. We then compared that list over time with what we thought we knew about these people and picked out people we were confident would be accepted as leaders and role models within the Atlantis employee and management community. Then we asked Lore to design and deliver a customized Advanced Coaching Skills Workshop to train these twelve Super Coaches in advanced skills.
Dr. Myszkowski: Were there other things you did to support the results of the training?
There was an immediate follow up 'back on the job' assignment for each of the students. First they had to go back and discuss what they had learned with their boss—who had probably already attended the workshop. We had specific assignments for students to take the initiative and apply their coaching skills to three or four individuals at least over the next six months, with follow up from us and their boss.
Lore also provided us with a Coaching Effectiveness Survey which each supervisor or manager could give to each person they coached, and after a specific time, the coach would receive a confidential report of the combined results of three or more coachees and their ratings of how effective the coach was at each of the different parts of the Lore coaching process. The confidentiality of the coachees was preserved and the report was not shown to the coach's boss - unless they chose to - it was purely for their continued development as a coach.
Then, as the ultimate safety net, we asked you, Gary, to serve as our external expert executive coaching resource to be available for consulting with us on coaching problems that escalated from a coach to either a Super Coach or faculty from Atlantis University, and where we felt we all needed some additional wisdom and perspective to solve the problem. In other words, you are the 'coach to the Super Coaches.'