When I first began working with Frank, he shared that he was willing to do the work that his coaching program would involve. Generally, I always ask a new coaching client to complete a DiSC® behavioral profile as a foundation for our working together. Coaching is about gaining self-awareness. Learning about one’s strengths and one’s areas for development are critical. In this situation, his immediate supervisor and his second level manager were both sharing that there were certain behavioral issues that needed to be addressed. So, we added a 360° feedback instrument to his program as well.
Once Frank received a summary of comments from the 360° feedback, he stalled on reviewing it and identifying areas for improvement. It was one delay after another. It was becoming obvious to me that he didn’t want to face the constructive feedback that he was being provided, most likely taking it very personally. Without his own analysis of this data, I knew that he would not be able to move forward. It’s customary to collect data by asking all the respondents the same questions twice. Once, at the beginning of the coaching program and then again at the end to hear their perspectives, hoping for noticeable growth that was also sustainable.
When I meet with any potential coaching clients, I emphasize that I’m a catalyst for their change. The need to do most of the work, my role is a mere 10%. When I saw that Frank was halting the process by not presenting a plan for his actions to move forward, I needed to play hardball. It was a card that I have never had to play before but one for which I was most serious. My message to Frank was that if he didn’t complete the required task of reviewing his data and identifying the largest red flags that I would not continue to work with him. This was a turning point. Shortly after, he did what was required and we were able to move forward. Gladly, I can say that he grew tremendously once he was able to face the comments and the ratings in his summary. We laughed about it many times after as it was a turning point towards his success. He is certainly my “poster child” for a 180° turn in the right direction.