McDonald Graham, Psychology at Work, is a certified WBENC Women's Business Enterprise.
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McDonald Graham, Psychology at Work, is a certified WBENC Women's Business Enterprise.
dtl-seal-certified-facilitator-silver.pn

Birmingham Organizational Psychologist McDonald Graham, Psychology at Work

McDonald Graham, Psychology at Work, Executive Coaching

HUMAN AT WORK®

SERVICES

HUMAN AT WORK®
EXECUTIVE COACHING

Coaching may be appropriate if you or one of your leaders/emerging leaders:

  • has the potential to be more effective.

  • was recently promoted (or will be promoted soon) to a more demanding position.

  • is struggling to address a performance problem.

Coaching is first and foremost a trusting, supportive partnership between coach and client.  We encourage potential clients to interview more than one coach before committing to a relationship; you will be spending a lot of time talking about important (and often confidential) issues with this person.  Choose a coach with a proven track record whose process is sound, but also take time to ensure you feel comfortable and at ease when interacting with him/her. 

 

The purpose of coaching is to help a client become more effective, productive, and fulfilled. In our work together, we will identify and prioritize goals, develop a plan for achieving them, and solve any problems or challenges that emerge along the way.  In addition to goal-directed work, learning will occur as we work through real-time, on-the-job challenges that emerge during the coaching engagement.  And throughout our time together, we will take advantage of opportunities to build self-awareness as well as interpersonal and leadership skills.

 

No two coaching processes look exactly the same because every client is unique; our job is to meet each client “where he or she is” both physically and metaphorically.  Coaching may take place through face-to-face, virtual, or telephone sessions.  The duration of a coaching partnership varies widely as well – from a 3-month intensive coaching process that focuses on one specific change to a year-long effort that focuses on slow, sustainable change over time.  We even have some clients who have completed a formal coaching process and now prefer an “on-call as-needed” coaching relationship.  The basic phases of a coaching engagement are:

1.  Get - to - Know Session.  This session offers us the opportunity to meet each other and to begin the process of mutual selection.  Topics at this session are likely to include:

  • Your work history

  • What leads you to seek coaching 

  • Goals you want to achieve through coaching (Don’t worry if you have trouble defining them at this point.)

  • Your questions about our coaching approach and experience in the field

2.  Assessment. The purpose of the assessment phase is to identify strengths and developmental needs.  Assessment may be formal, conducted via a verbal or online 360-degree assessment.  It may also be informal, conducted via conversations with you and/or your manager.  Some clients come to the coaching process with clearly defined goals and don’t require an extensive assessment phase.

At the end of the assessment phase, we will have an understanding of:

  • The strengths you should continue to leverage intentionally

  • Gaps in your knowledge, skills, and/or abilities

  • Thought patterns and/or behaviors that may be keeping you from reaching your full potential

  • The system in which you exist -- and how it affects and directs your behavior

3.  Identify Coaching Goals.  Coaching goals emerge from the objectives you bring to the coaching process and the data we gather through the assessment process.  As a starting point, we will identify the 1-2 goals likely to most significantly and positively impact your success.

 

4.  Define Success. How will we know that the coaching process has been successful?  Based on your goals and, potentially, input from your manager (if applicable), we will define what success will look like at the end of the coaching process.  This definition may include elements such as:

  • The behaviors you will demonstrate

  • The way you will feel

  • New or different reactions others will have

 

Remember that true success always feels authentic. The coaching process is about finding new ways of being and acting that are aligned with who you are -- not about incorporating a set of standard leadership behaviors that don’t fit you.

 

5.  Design and Implement an Action Plan.  Creating an action plan involves breaking your goals down into smaller weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly objectives that we will monitor at regularly scheduled meetings.  An action plan may include efforts such as:

  • Experimenting with new ways of making decisions, solving problems, and/or interacting with others

  • Inviting your coach to observe you during a team meeting

  • Seeking out new opportunities for visibility

  • Reaching out to develop new relationships

  • Trying out new ways of thinking about a difficult situation

  • Strategizing about how to react to a challenging situation

6.  Measure Impact.  The final phase of the coaching process is to determine how our work together has enhanced your performance and/or experience of your work.  As in the assessment phase, we may measure impact formally or informally.  A formal measurement may involve a follow-up 360 conversation with select participants or an online 360 assessment.  A more informal measurement of impact may take the form of a capstone conversation between you and your coach – a review of your coaching goals and an evaluation of the changes you’ve made and your feelings about those changes. 

At the end of the coaching process, you will have new skills, a slightly altered perspective, and a revived enthusiasm for your work.  Our goal is for you to feel prepared to take on whatever leadership challenge comes next.

 
HUMAN AT WORK
PERSONAL COACHING

 

Personal Coaching may be a fit for those who:

  • want to pursue coaching outside of their work organization

  • seek to become more effective, productive, and fulfilled in any area of their lives -- personal or professional

  • strive to experience a stronger sense of control over their own lives

 

Through the personal coaching process, we will identify and prioritize our goals for your life, develop a plan for achieving them, and work together to solve any problems or challenges that emerge along the way.   The coaching process provides a private setting with a seasoned psychologist who is entirely focused on helping you build the life you really want in a way that is relevant, supported, and personal to you. The goal is for you to experience a strong sense of control in your own life and an overall improved sense of well-being and fulfillment.

 

We recognize that every client is unique, and we strive to make the coaching process fit your life and your needs.  To this end, coaching may take place through in-person, virtual, or telephone sessions.  The duration of a coaching partnership can vary from a brief but intensive coaching process that focuses on one specific change to a longer term effort that focuses on slow, sustainable change over time.  We even have some clients who have completed a formal coaching process and now prefer an “on-call as-needed” coaching relationship. The phases of personal coaching include:

1.  Information Gathering.  During this phase, we will focus on understanding your history and current life situation in greater depth, identifying what you want to achieve through coaching, and answering any questions you may have about the process or your coach’s approach and experience.  In the first few sessions, we will spend time defining your goals and discussing how your thoughts and behavior patterns relate to achieving those goals.  We will take inventory of the resources available to you, i.e., your constellation of strengths, skills, experience, and outside resources available in your life situation, and work to use those resources to their greatest advantage in your life. We also will identify any hidden barriers that are preventing you from making changes you want to make (and may have tried to make in the past without success) and determine how to overcome these barriers.

 

2.  Action Planning. You can expect to have a working action plan fairly early in the coaching process.  We will break down your goals into “bite-sized pieces” that feel relevant, manageable, and most importantly, do-able. An action plan may include efforts such as:

  • Experimenting with new ways of making decisions, solving problems, and/or interacting with others

  • Seeking out new ways to deal effectively with conflict

  • Reaching out to develop new relationships

  • Creating an organizational plan for a busy life

  • Trying out a new ways of thinking about a difficult situation

  • Strategizing about how to react to a challenging situation

 

3.  Implementation and Course Correction.  As you implement your plan, we will discuss in detail how the changes with which you are experimenting are working, and we will make modifications as needed. We also will take advantage of real-time opportunities that arise during the coaching process to build self-awareness and to strengthen your skills.

4.  Maintenance. During the final phase of personal coaching, we will check in periodically to make sure that you are still living a life that fulfills your personal definition of success.

 

We strive to help you create a life that works for who you are.  True success should feel authentic, like you are creating the best version of yourself. The coaching process is about finding new ways of being and thinking that are aligned with your values and aspirations – and that ultimately contribute to flourishing in your life. 

 
HUMAN AT WORK®
GROUP COACHING 
Transforming Success® is group coaching with a curriculum created by McDonald Graham. The program targets emerging leaders, and the curriculum is built around recurring challenges our professional clients frequently face.