About New Heights Consulting
Over many years working as an executive coach, Dr. Festa has encountered a multitude of questions about the somewhat mysterious process of executive coaching. Below are some responses to some of the more common questions asked regarding executive coaching. The following Q&A is designed to help explain and demystify this confidential, "behind closed doors" developmental process.
Q: Why use executive coaching?
A: When I first began my work as an executive coach, many organizations were using the executive coaching process as a remedial program. However, over the past decade, the vast majority of organizations have appropriately shifted their focus to providing coaching for their high-potential individuals; those that they most want to invest in. Regardless of the situation, executives should never look at coaching as a remedial program - it is viewed in a completely opposite manner in today's business environment. Today, especially in the more progressive organizations, the best and brightest performers often have the opportunity to work with a coach to further enhance their skill sets and to prepare themselves for potential next level opportunities.
A: I believe that there are three critically important areas to draw upon as a coach:
- First, my training in the behavioral sciences has been very important to me. I often draw upon my training in psychology and graduate training in Industrial and Organizational Psychology to help my clients better understand their behavior as well as the behavior of others with whom they interact.
- Second, I believe that it is critical for an executive coach to have experienced the many complex challenges of corporate life. My more than seventeen years of corporate experience has provided a tremendous foundation for understanding the wide range of business challenges being faced by my clients.
- Finally, having served as an executive coach for more than a dozen years provides a most significant advantage in serving my clients. As with any profession, experience provides deeper wisdom along with many more learnings to draw upon when attempting to address complex issues and challenges. In every coaching assignment I have the pleasure of working with talented individuals - this also allows me to learn from every experience. In addition, having the opportunity to experience a wide range of organizational issues and challenges on a daily basis has provided me with a tremendous amount of applied experience in dealing with some of the more difficult and challenging organizational situations. I pride myself (and NHC) on coaching in a very business oriented manner. The NHC coaching approach is designed to allow clients to immediately apply their learnings to address immediate organizational issues and challenges. This type of action learning model, which is consistent with adult learning principles, allows clients to learn (i.e., broaden their skills and approaches) while addressing key organizational objectives (and enhancing their organizations impact).
Q: How do you ensure confidentiality?
A: Confidentiality is at the heart of our practice at NHC. A client needs to be able to say "Ron I am struggling with the following...", without expecting that information to show up in a year end review or succession planning discussion. The focus is on helping the individual work through any challenges and the confidentiality process allows each client to be totally open about his/her key challenges, with confidence that you are there to help them grow and thrive in their careers.
Q: Does taking part in a coaching program mean that I have to change who I am?
A: I believe that another very important factor in any coaching relationship is the ability of the coach to quickly and accurately recognize the many strengths that the executive brings to his/her career -- and then working to leverage those strengths for success.