Coaching helps employees achieve their goals

April 8, 2015

Q: One of my managers is alienating his team with his harsh approach and is in jeopardy of being moved out of his role. To bring his style in line with expectations, is making coaching mandatory the best option?

A:  Executive coaching is an excellent method for developing valued high-potential employees and high performers — to grow their leadership skills, create constructive behavioural change and enhance performance. It focuses on leveraging capabilities and inspiring the coachee to maximize their professional and personal potential.

Frame the coaching as a value-add to support the manager’s success in their current role, rather than a punitive process. When an under-performing employee is sent to coaching to ‘fix’ them, they often resent and resist the intervention.

The employee must perceive a positive benefit for them to fully engage in the process. Ensure the employee knows that even though they and their supervisor create leadership goals linked to the employee’s performance plan, the coaching is confidential. Coaching is never a replacement for a supervisor’s responsibility to set clear, specific and descriptive performance expectations, provide detailed ongoing feedback and conduct regular quality appraisals.

It is the supervisor’s role to identify and reinforce strong performance and redirect where improvement is needed so the employee has the framework to achieve their goals.

Augmenting the supervisor’s role with professional coaching increases the employee’s ownership of their performance, improves their capabilities, meets their current goals and develops them for the future.

Reprinted from The Province, March 15, 2015


Be honest with career coach

April 6, 2010

Q: I am finally warming to my boss’s recommendation to get coaching. Now how do I choose the best coach for me and get the most value from the experience?

A: You’re already on the road to getting more value by your shift in attitude. An open and willing coachee achieves far greater results than a closed and resistant one.

Request a complimentary coaching session with a few coaches so you can test drive the different ‘models.’ Select a coach who is qualified, has strengths that match your needs, and a style that you can comfortably trust. Follow your gut when making your choice.

Your coach is your ally, be straight with them. Provide your new coach with relevant background about yourself.

I mean the good, the bad and the ugly. The good — your strengths and desired outcomes; the bad — where you get in your own way, your shortcomings; and the ugly — the self-defeating behaviours and habits.

You are responsible for getting value from the coaching. Your coach is your ally and wants you to be successful.

You know what makes you tick. Tell your coach what motivates you. Do you excel when you are pushed hard? Or do you thrive with gentle prodding? Growth in coaching can happen in fits and starts. Be patient, realistic and enjoy the process.

The results from coaching are directly proportionate to what you invest in it. Create three to five significant goals that would make a considerable difference to you at work or in your life by achieving them. Bring a relevant topic to every session. Expect to be amazed by yourself.

Originally printed in The Province April 4, 2010.

Coaches build on your career

February 15, 2010

Q My boss says I need coaching if I want to be promoted. I’m feeling singled out. How is coaching going to help me and what guarantee do I have that what I say won’t be used against me by my boss?

A This is the best possible news. Your boss is actually saying he’s confident in your untapped potential and you’re worth the investment. You’re also in good company. Up to 40 per cent of Fortune 500 companies engage coaches for their high performers.

Coaching is a powerful way of moving you from where you are currently to where you want to be — producing extraordinary results in less time than you could typically accomplish alone.

In two or three focused confidential sessions each month, a coach accelerates progress by asking provocative questions, listening, contributing observations and directing your awareness, choices and actions. Any reporting out to management will come from you, not your coach.

As a client you’ll gain clarity, insight and learning. By building on your strengths, revealing blind spots, developing new competencies and taking effective actions, you’ll be able to replace unproductive outdated strategies.

Results are entirely dependent on your willingness to invest in the coaching. Ninety seven per cent of clients report coaching exceeded their expectations. More than 75 per cent experience improved working relationships, while over 60 per cent experience smarter goal setting, an increase in job satisfaction and less stress. Who doesn’t want that?

Choose a coach you trust and who is certified by the International Coach Federation — the worldwide professional governing body. A full description of the ethical standards is available at

Originally printed in The Province February 14, 2010.

Feature Article: How do you find your purpose?

October 25, 2007

Joni Mar was featured on on October 25, 2007.

A life coach can help you ask the hard questions.

When many people hear the word coach, their first thought is of someone who advises an amateur or professional athlete. They’re unlikely to think of having their own coach, who can encourage them to achieve their goals in life.

But that is starting to change, now that Vancouver has become a hub in the burgeoning field of life and business coaching. There are approximately 200 members of the Vancouver chapter of the U.S.–based International Coach Federation, according to the local president, Ray Williams, with about half of them ICF–certified.

[read full article]