Coaching Great Leaders, by Marshall Goldsmith

Posted by Marshall Goldsmith

Feed It Forward

I have observed more than 50,000 leaders from around the world as they participated in a fascinating experiential exercise in which I ask participants to play two roles.

In one role, they provide FeedForward: They give another participant suggestions and, as much as they can, help with a specific issue. In the second role, they accept FeedForward: They listen to suggestions from another participant and learn as much as they can.

Step by Step

The exercise typically lasts 10-15 minutes, and the average participant has six or seven such sessions in that time. Participants are asked to

  • Pick one behavior they would like to change. Change in this behavior should make a significant, positive difference in their lives.
  • Describe this behavior to randomly selected fellow participants in one-on-one dialogues. It can be done quite simply, e.g., "I want to be a better listener."
  • Ask for FeedForward that might help them achieve a positive change in their behavior. If participants have worked together in the past, they are not allowed to give any feedback about the past. They are only allowed to give ideas for the future.
  • Listen attentively to the suggestions and take notes. Participants are not allowed to comment on the suggestions in any way, nor are they allowed to critique the suggestions, even to make positive statements, e.g., "That's a good idea."
  • Thank the other participants for their suggestions.
  • Ask fellow participants what they would like to change about themselves.
  • Provide FeedForward—two suggestions for helping the other person change.
  • Say, "You are welcome," when thanked for the suggestions. (The entire process of both giving and receiving FeedForward usually takes about two minutes.)
  • Find another participant and keep repeating the process until the exercise is stopped.

When the exercise is over, I ask the participants to complete the following sentence, "This exercise was...," with the one word that best describes their reaction to the experience. The words selected are almost always positive, such as "great," "energizing," "useful" or "helpful." One of the most common words used is "fun."

What is the last word most of us think of to describe the experience of receiving feedback, coaching and developmental ideas? Fun!

Reasons to Try FeedForward

I ask participants why this exercise is fun and helpful as opposed to painful, embarrassing or uncomfortable. Their answers offer a great explanation of why FeedForward can often be more useful than feedback as a developmental tool:

  1. We can change the future. We can't change the past. FeedForward helps people envision and focus on a positive future, not a failed past. Race-car drivers are taught to look at the road ahead, not at the wall. By giving people ideas on how they can be even more successful, we can increase their chances of achieving this success in the future.
  2. FeedForward can come from people whom we have never even met. It does not require personal experience. One very common positive reaction to the exercise is that participants are amazed by how much they can learn from people they don't know. For example, if you want to be a better listener, almost any fellow human can give you ideas. They don't have to know you.
  3. Face it! Most of us hate getting negative feedback, and we don't like to give it. I have reviewed summary 360-degree feedback reports for more than 50 companies. The items "provides developmental feedback in a timely manner" and "encourages and accepts constructive criticism" almost always score near the bottom on coworker satisfaction with leaders. Traditional training does not seem to make a great deal of difference. If leaders got better at providing feedback every time the performance appraisal forms were "improved," most would be perfect by now!
  4. FeedForward can cover almost all of the same material as feedback. Imagine you have just made a terrible presentation in front of the executive committee. Your manager is in the room. Rather than make you relive this humiliating experience by detailing what went wrong, your manager might help you by offering suggestions for future presentations. These suggestions can be very specific and still delivered in a positive way—without making you feel even more humiliated.
  5. FeedForward tends to be much faster and more efficient than feedback. An excellent technique for giving ideas to successful people is to say: "Here is an idea for the future. Please accept it in the positive spirit in which it is offered. If you can use it, great! If not, just ignore it." With this approach, almost no time is wasted judging the quality of the ideas or trying to refute the suggestions. This kind of debate is usually negative, wastes time, and is often counterproductive. By eliminating judgment of the ideas, the process becomes much more positive for the sender as well as the receiver.
  6. FeedForward can be a useful tool with managers, peers and team members. Rightly or wrongly, feedback is associated with judgment. This can lead to very negative—even career-limiting—consequences when given to managers or peers. FeedForward does not imply superiority of judgment. It is more focused on being a helpful colleague than an expert. As such, it can be easier to hear from a person who isn't in a position of power or authority.
  7. People tend to listen more attentively to FeedForward than feedback. One participant in the FeedForward exercise noted: "I think that I listened more effectively in this exercise than I ever have in my life!" When asked why, he said, "Normally, when others are speaking, I am so busy composing a reply that will make sure that I sound smart that I am not fully listening to what the other person is saying. In FeedForward, the only reply that I am allowed to make is ‘thank you.' Since I don't have to worry about composing a clever reply, I can focus all of my energy on listening to the other person!"

When to Use FeedForward

The intent of this article is not to imply that leaders should never give feedback or that performance appraisals should be abandoned. The intent is to show how FeedForward can often be preferable to feedback in day-to-day interactions. Aside from its effectiveness and efficiency, FeedForward can make life a lot more enjoyable. When I ask managers how they felt the last time they received feedback, the most common responses are negative. When managers are asked how they felt after receiving FeedForward, they reply that FeedForward was not only useful, it was also fun.

This article first appeared in Business Coaching Worldwide (June Issue 2009, Volume 5, Issue 2). Copyright © 2012 WABC Coaches Inc. All rights reserved.

(This column has been modified from "Try FeedForward Instead of Feedback" inCoaching for Leadership, M. Goldsmith and L. Lyons, eds. Jossey Bass, 2005.)

Marshall Goldsmith, MBA, PhD, is a world authority on helping successful leaders achieve positive, lasting behavioral change. His executive coaching expertise has been highlighted in Forbes, Fast Company and Business Week. He is the WSJ and NYT best-selling author of What Got You Here Won't Get You There (Hyperion, 2007) and  Succession: Are You Ready? Learn more about Marshall in the WABC Coach Directory. Contact Marshall.
If you wish to reproduce this article in any material form, you must first contact WABC for permission.

The Five Stages of Change for Small Business Owners, By Susan L. Reid, DMA

Posted by Susan L. Reid

Change is a tricky thing. Some of us like change. Others of us don't. Some of us like some change some of the time. Others of us will do all that we can to maintain the status quo and cling to what is known and familiar. Yet, change is. Change happens.

If you are someone contemplating the changes that will occur by becoming a successful small business owner, it will be helpful for you to have a bird's eye view of where you are along the continuum. So, too, if you are a small business coach working with clients who are in the process of starting up their own businesses, it will be good for you to have a way to determine which stage of change they are in so you can plan an effective start-up coaching strategy to meet each client's needs.

To that end, Dr. James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente developed the Transtheoretical Model of Change in 1982 that has been applied to everything from weight loss to drug addiction with great success and acclaim. The difference between this model of change and other models is that this one doesn't tell you how to change or what you must do to change. Rather, it describes the stages of change so that individuals and those in the helping professions (that would include business coaches) can see which stage they are in.

Though Prochaska and DiClemente's model has never before been applied to those considering starting up a successful small business, it is a very relevant model that will help take the pressure off individuals thinking they should be further along than where they are, and it will provide a compassionate understanding of where each person is along the scale.

Three Great Things about the Stages of Change

Prochaska and DiClemente's Transtheoretical Model of Change identifies five stages of change: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance.

  • The first great thing about this model is that each stage is considered a step, and each step is meant to be taken in sequence.
  • The second great thing about this model is that it is cyclical.
  • The third great thing about this model is that there are no prescribed limits as to how long individuals should take to move from one stage to the next, nor are there any rules as to how long the overall process should take.

The Five Stages

Keep in mind that change is a process, not an event. Just "follow the Yellow Brick Road."

1. The Precontemplation Stage (Not Currently Considering Change)

This stage could really be called "the precursor-to-change" stage. This is the pre-small business start-up stage when individuals may not even be thinking about becoming small business owners. In fact, in this stage, they may not even be aware that it would be beneficial for them to make a change, though other individuals around them may be thinking that they should.

Precontemplation is the pre-change stage where, as of yet, there has been no personally convincing reason for change. There may just be the niggling odd sensation that change is in the air. Content to keep the status quo and with no compelling reason to actually think about making a change, this stage's motto is: Ignorance is bliss.

How to know if you are in the Precontemplation Stage:

  1. You're not really thinking about starting up a small business.
  2. You are basically okay with how things are.
  3. Others may be voicing their concerns about the hours you are keeping, the stress you seem to be under or how much you need to take a vacation.

Those in this stage do not intend to take action within the next six months and have a decided lack of readiness to do so.

2. The Contemplation Stage (Thinking about Change and Researching Options)

In the Contemplation Stage, individuals are aware that a change is needed and they actually desire to make a change. Although they are seriously thinking about change, they have no clear plan of action because they are feeling ambivalent about change. This stage's motto is: Just sitting on the fence waiting to see what will come along. It is a time of inward seeking and searching.

How to know if you are in the Contemplation Stage:

  1. You find yourself going to the library, doing online research and thinking about what it would be like to be a small business owner.
  2. You seek out the perspective of others who have "been there, done that" and consider their advice.
  3. You find yourself attracted to magazines and online journals about entrepreneurship and small business ownership.

Those in this stage are considering taking action within the next six months.

3. The Preparation Stage (Ready for Change and Making Plans)

This stage of change is readily apparent by the amount of activity, decisions and overt action that is taking place in preparation for a small business start-up. During this stage, individuals look outside themselves for assistance or help, and ask, "What steps do I need to take to make this happen?"

This is a time of exploring options and planning how and when the start-up process will begin. This is not a time for quick decisions. Instead, it is a time for thinking, talking, drawing, writing and then doing it all again. It is a time to look at every angle, to weigh the pros and cons, and to connect the dots to successful small business ownership. This is the perfect time to hire a small business start-up coach and get the transition wheel primed and pumped. This stage's motto is: I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

How to know if you are in The Preparation Stage:

  1. Your small business start-up coach has become your best friend.
  2. Your white board or mind mapping software is getting a daily workout as you look at every aspect of small business ownership.
  3. You are regularly experiencing both excitement and fear, although you can't tell how much of either you are feeling at any given time.

Individuals in this stage are intending to take action within the next month.

4. The Action Stage (Making Change and Taking Charge)

This stage is characterized by a considerable amount of steady, forward movement. The planning that was done in the previous stage is being put into action plans that are well-conceived and formulated. All the necessary paper work is filled out, business checking accounts opened, company name registered, business cards selected, website developed and strategic action plans mapped out.

This is the time when businesses are started and launched, when new ways of being in the world are experienced and when excitement and satisfaction are high. The motto for this stage is: Carpe Diem.

How to know if you are in the Action Stage:

  1. You are in full-out action mode.
  2. You're spending most of your day focused on your new small business and loving it.
  3. Each new day brings something new for you to do, be or have.
  4. You are committed to seeing your actions through.

Individuals in this stage are taking action.

5. The Maintenance Stage (Continuing Forward Movement towards Goal)

By this stage, individuals are firmly ensconced in the forward movement and momentum of launching and servicing their new small business. Every day there is a new opportunity for growth and expansion, for learning something new and meeting new individuals. Continued commitment to sustaining the forward movement of their small business success is the goal of this stage. The motto of this stage is: Westward, ho!

How to know if you are in the Maintenance Stage:

  1. Your business is running smoothly.
  2. You have begun cycling back through the stages of change to further develop and expand the growth of your small business.
  3. You are actively looking for new opportunities for change and growth.

Individuals in this stage are continuing momentum.

In Praise of Prochaska and DiClemente's Transtheoretical Model of Change

As has been demonstrated, Prochaska and DiClemente's Transtheoretical Model can be easily adapted to the stages of change that occur in small business start-ups. Though it doesn't tell you how or why individuals change, it does accurately pinpoint where an individual is in the change process. The reason why this is so attractive is that change can be viewed on an individual basis, according to each individual's needs.

Individuals considering whether they are ready to become small business owners need no longer be left with the question of "if." Rather, they can easily find a clear answer to where they are along the change continuum. As a result, they themselves become powerful and effective agents for change. What's more, they learn that change, while life-altering, can be life-affirming and life-enhancing.

This article first appeared in Business Coaching Worldwide ( 2008, Volume 4, Issue 2). Copyright © 2011 WABC Coaches Inc. All rights reserved.


Susan L. Reid, DMA, is a business coach and consultant for entrepreneurial women starting up businesses. She specializes in taking the fear out of starting up a business. Susan is the author of Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman's Journey to Business Success. Her website is Alkamae.com. Learn more about Susan in the WABC Member Directory.

If you wish to reproduce this article in any material form, you must first contact WABC for permission.

Potential is a Terrible Thing to Waste: How to Get Out of Your Own Way at Work and Help Others Do the Same, By Mark Goulston

Posted by WABC

Coaching seems simple enough. You help your clients define their most important long-term goals, break their goals down into short term milestones, hold them accountable, keep them focused and voilá... success.

In fact, it seems so simple that if you are a potential client, why would you even need a coach to define what's important to you and then, like a "nagging-but-loving" parent, make sure you do your homework? That's easy. In spite of your best intentions, if you are like most people, you become distracted. A "nagging-but-loving" parent or coach may come in handy--whether it is to make sure that children get their homework done or that you make it to the goals you set for yourself.

How about you if you are a coach? You love coaching, you love helping others and dang it, if only people would hire you, they would love the results you can get for them...But to hire you, they have to find you. Oh, c'mon; that's just wishful thinking. You have to find them and then convince them that what they need (that is, you, in order to reach the goals they set for themselves that they can't reach on their own) is what they want.

This is called marketing and selling. Marketing is getting yourself in the position to offer your services--getting to the telephone or face-to-face conversation with a potential client. You must then sell your services in such a way that a potential client hires you.

As a potential client, you get this--you expect people to lay out their USP (unique sales proposition). But if you're a coach, although you wholeheartedly agree with how coaching can help people define and reach their goals, you may feel a knot in your stomach about anything related to marketing and selling.

Despite knowing what you each need to do in order to become more successful, your self-defeating behavior may often get in your way. If you're a potential client hiring a coach, or if you're a coach committing to marketing and selling your services, you may instead either procrastinate, get defensive, make excuses, quit too soon or engage in some other self-defeating behavior. There is almost no limit to the number of ways you can defeat yourself. I've written two books that cover 80 of them.

Human nature doesn't exist, only animal nature
and the human potential to not give in to it.

Whether you're a coach or a client, you both know that you get in your own way. What may be less clear is why you do it. Understanding how and why people in general, and you in particular, engage in self-defeating behavior will enable you to take that first step toward getting out of your own way.

Success: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back (Figure 1)

From your first breath to your last, you are stepping into the unknown. Your first baby step is daunting, yet exhilarating. The real challenge to your evolving personality occurs when you take that first step and fall down. To be successful throughout your life, you want to make sure you take two steps forward and one step back, instead of no steps forward or one step forward and two steps back.

Think of an infant taking his first step. He crawls, then stands holding onto a chair or his parent's leg, and then ventures out into the world of homo-erectus. He steps away from any supports, balances precariously, and looks back at his parent (developmental psychologists refer to this stage with the French word, rapprochement, which means "looking back"). He feels reassured and ventures forth.

Sooner or later he falls and cries. One minute he felt like Superbaby; the next he found himself a helpless little creature. He turned out to be as fragile in the next moment as he felt powerful in the first. He looked back at his parent for reassurance (in other words, coaching--see far right column in Figure 2) that what he had experienced was a slip--it doesn't mean he has fallen through the cracks and can't get up and try again. Taking in his parent's reassurance, he does get up and try again. This occurs over and over, until one day he is able to walk on his own.

When a child internalizes this new skill, a little piece of self-confidence develops and he integrates it into his evolving personality. As his personality develops into his own distinct identity, he becomes more and more an individual, and a confident one at that.

One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to
lose sight of shore for a very long time.
-Andre Gide

This process continues all the way through life. Our personalities and identities are constantly evolving in this two-steps-forward, one-step-back dance of learning--falling, pausing, refueling, retooling, and retrying. Along the way, we make mistakes and learn from them; over time, we can develop perseverance, persistence, and effectiveness.

When you make forward progress, you feel vital, effective and empowered. You seek out opportunities to test your mettle in the world. The world is one giant opportunity and your oyster to explore and enjoy.

Self-Defeat: What Goes In, Comes Out (Figure 2)

So what happens to you when you defeat yourself? As a baby, if you take that first step into the unknown, go to take a second step, fall, look back, and your parents do not respond to you with encouragement, you become stalled. Worse, you may slide further back and regress. You feel tentative, ineffective, disempowered. You seek out any mitigating behaviors that give you relief from these feelings. You adopt so-called "quick fixes"--ways to cope that give you momentary relief from the trauma of falling from Superbaby to Powerless Baby. The problem is that quick fixes fix nothing, and actually hurt you in the long run.

What happens when Superbaby is criticized (and feels as if he has done something wrong), ignored (and feels alone in his helplessness), or coddled (and then feels confused when not coddled)? Superbaby's reaction is fear, guilt, shame, anger and confusion. Negative messages about the meaning of what he's experiencing begin playing in his head. He is suddenly knocked off the resilience track. He doesn't have the self-confidence he needs to get up and try again on his own.

And instead of becoming effective, he seeks relief. Anything and everything he does in reaction to feeling "upset" triggers a negative coping reaction that works to make him feel better in the short run, but in the long run turns into a self-defeating behavior (SDB).

What's done to children, they will do to society.
-Karl Menninger

These behaviors waste time and squander his potential. Instead of seeing the world as a terrific place to explore, he views it as a terrifying place that can trip him up at every step. This causes him to stall in his life and his career. If he repeats these behaviors often enough, they become habits. Eventually they become internalized parts of his personality that are very resistant to change. That is why you must not become discouraged if you are not able to stop and overcome these self-defeating behaviors overnight. Becoming impatient with yourself is in itself self-defeating.

When you run into adversity in your adult life, the trick is to cut the endless playback loop of the old negative messages so that you can develop the inner strength and resolve to become effective in your life and work. This means replacing the abusive, critical, avoidant, neglectful, or overindulgent and authoritarian voice in your head with the voice of the supportive, authoritative role model, mentor or coach.

At first, you may want to conjure up the image and voice of that supportive person telling you to pause when you most feel like reacting or doing something impulsive. In my case, I brought to mind the image of Dean William MacNary. Dean MacNary, who passed away fifteen years ago, was an advocate for me during some difficult times I had in medical school. When I would run into stress and was about to do something foolish, I could see him in my mind's eye making a Rabbinical shrug (despite his being an Irish Catholic) and saying to me in his Bostonian accent: "M-a-a-h-k, c'mon; take a deep breath and don't do what you're about to do. Let it go." I would occasionally get into an argument with him in my mind, but "Mac," as I and my fellow medical students called him, would usually win and prevent me from shooting from the hip and then shooting myself in the foot.

Over the years I have internalized his voice as part of my personality, but on those occasions when I want to dip into the gratitude I feel towards Mac, I'll still imagine his Rabbinical shrug and steadying voice keeping me in line.

You might want to do the same with the people who have helped you along the way. It will help you feel less alone, and fortify you when you're battling those impulses that could derail you from your goals. In addition, you can enlist the help of a coach so that you can begin to internalize that supportive, authoritative voice. And ultimately, you'll replace those self-defeating messages and behaviors with confidence, motivation and determination to succeed.

This article first appeared in Business Coaching Worldwide (Spring 2005, Volume 1, Issue 3). Copyright © 2011 WABC Coaches Inc. All rights reserved.

Mark Goulston, M.D.
, is Sr. Vice President Executive Coaching and Emotional Intelligence at Sherwood Partners. He writes "The Leading Edge" for FAST COMPANY, "Directions" for the National Association of Corporate Directors' Directors Monthly, and is the author of Get Out of Your Own Way at Work... and Help Others Do the Same (Putnam, available October 6, 2005). Read more about Mark in the WABC Coach Directory. Mark may be reached by email at mgoulston@markgoulston.com.

If you wish to reproduce this article in any material form, you must first contact WABC for permission.

Five Keys to Successful Business Coaching in India, By Kim Benz and Sasmita Maurya

Posted by Kim Benz

India has perhaps the oldest tradition of coaching-related services in the world. The lives of all great rulers of ancient India were impacted by the powerful presence of their 'gurus'individuals who, in many ways, were similar to modern-day mentors or coaches. But, ironically, modern Indian business leaders have been very slow to incorporate the coaching advantage in their success stories.

Business coaching itself is very new in India, and is commonly viewed as yet another buzzword for consultancy and training services. Certified business coaches are almost non-existent. Where they do exist, they are active in the corporate sector in large metropolitan areas. Most companies are hesitant to embrace coaching. For one thing, business coaching is often perceived as excessively expensive; for another, many high-profile executives do not wish to admit their own need for coaching.

Ms. Herjeet Dutt, the Chief Consulting Officer of Practice Success Dot Com, asserts, "Business coaching has always existed in India, although most of the time it gets clubbed (associated) with the consultation, facilitation or mentoring process."

Indian businesses are largely a mix of two representative clusters:

  • Cluster 1: Multi-national organizations, local entrepreneurial ventures that have expanded their business offshore, and local business organizations with public holdings and stock market listings.This cluster recognizes the need for coaching in a limited sense—in-house mentorship is more widely practiced. As the investment in development of high-potential employees continues, the need for business coaches will increase here.
  • Cluster 2: Closely held businesses with no stock market listing, partnership business/trading companies, and independent business owners.This cluster makes a minimal investment in employee development, and coaching is most likely to be viewed as an expense.

There are five keys that are critical to expanding the role of business coaching in India:

1. Create increased awareness of professional business coaching

Business coaching is a fuzzy concept in India right now. Many consultants, who view coaching as the latest 'fad,' label themselves as coaches. In reality, they provide consulting and training services. So the challenge in India, in order to generate interest and professional legitimacy, is to clarify what business coaching really is. Decision-makers must be educated to distinguish the differences among consultancy, training and coaching.As a practical matter, many coaches consider the certification process both expensive and risky, due to the almost non-existent current demand for professional business coaching services. At the same time, certification is critical to improving the perception of business coaching's legitimacy and professionalism in India.According to Ajai Singh, a certified coach based in Mumbai, there is potential for growth: "There is some organizational movement towards investing in the development of high-potential individuals using the coaching methodology, and I expect that in another couple of years, coaching will become a remunerative practice for qualified, certified individuals.

2. Develop flexible coaching models

The core goal of business coaching in India is to introduce new mindsets, leverage existing strengths, and deal with weaknesses in the workforce, thus creating the synergy required to enhance skills and overall performance. A basic coaching model, described by Avinash Kirpal in his article, Coaching for High Flying Corporate, is the GROW model: Goal setting, Reality checking, Option analysis, and Willingness to take action. And many individual coaches use models that are closely analogous to Kirpal's.India has over 18 different languages, and an equal number of variations in traditions and cultures. When developing or adapting coaching models for Indian clients, it is important to evaluate the geographical location of the client organization, its local work culture, and the traditional mindset of its people, since cultural factors have a stronger influence on the workforce than organizations' corporate personalities. Business coaches must therefore be sensitive, open, adaptive, and flexible with coaching models.

3. Network for increased impact and business development.

Networking is critical, since the coaching business in India is largely dependent on word-of-mouth referrals. What often works best is a multi-faceted approach to creating an appreciation for the value of business coaching services. In India, as in many countries, the established networking tools of business publications and journals, websites, business conferences, and personal contacts are the primary venues for effective networking. References from existing and previous clients help to increase the credibility of many service providers, and they work effectively for business coaches, too.

4. Set high standards for business coaching

Formal coaching qualifications and international credentials, including membership in respected coaching associations, set high standards and substantiate the coachs credibility. Decision makers may feel more confident in hiring business coaches with credentials and qualifications, and be more successful in justifying their expense.Ajai Singh says, "There are too many individuals calling themselves coaches, when actually they are consultants or mentors. My personal feeling is that anyone who wants to call him- or herself a coach must have some kind of formal training or accreditation from one of the plethora of coaching schools around the world."

5. View the coach/coachee association as spiritual rather than strictly professional

A coach in India must be viewed as a committed member of the 'organizational family.' This is the land where a guru (teacher) occupies a pedestal almost higher than God! But to be a guru demands undivided devotion to teaching and service. Building trust between the client and the coach depends on some degree of personal bonding as well.Commander Girish Konkar, CEO of Beyond Horizons, has an interesting observation from his experience in the Indian business scenario. According to him, "Here, coaching is looked upon as a spiritual association, as opposed to a 'business/commercial' association. Indian history describes the strong association with a guru throughout any learning process. Almost all rulers of ancient India were known to have had a guru for spiritual, emotional and administrative/political guidance."

    In addition to the five keys described above, some intangible factors also play a large role in business coaching in India. As MBCI accredited mentor and business coach Floyd Vaz shares, "There is one intrinsic credential that is far more important than any professional credential, and you cannot really be trained in such a thing. That is to have a genuine, sacrificial, unbiased love for the people and organizations you coach—in other words, serving them to be the best they can be."

    Perhaps that is the key to the highest standard for business coaching in India—or anywhere else.


    Dutt, Herjeet. 2006. Telephone interview, October 27.

    Kirpal, Avinash. "Coaching High Flying Corporates." Brefi Group. Available at http://www.brefigroup.co.uk/coaching/index.html

    Konkar, Girish. 2006. Telephone interview, October 27.

    Singh, Ajai. 2006. Survey response, October 18.

    Vaz, Floyd. 2006. Survey response, October 28.

    Kim Benz, BS, RCC, founder of TrilliumHill Consulting, is an organizational design and leadership consultant/coach. She specializes in research and development issues, and works extensively with scientists and engineers. Read more about Kim in the WABC Coach Directory. Kim can be reached by email at trilhill@aol.com.

    Sasmita Maurya, MBA, is a mentor and trainer. Her work with technical graduates, helping them to hone their interview skills and manage job-related issues, prepares them for their first placements in industry. Sasmita can be reached by email at sasmitamaurya@yahoo.co.in.

    This article first appeared in Business Coaching Worldwide (Spring 2007, Volume 3, Issue 2). Copyright © 2011 WABC Coaches Inc. All rights reserved.

    If you wish to reproduce this article in any material form, you must first contact WABC for permission.