The coaching profession continues to grow. A recent global survey found that 77% of organizations around the world are currently using coaches to develop their workforce (Coaching at Work, Vol. 6.6, 2011). As the coaching profession grows, so does the need to differentiate your coaching approach and ensure great coaching. The question is: what coaching approach will set you apart and deliver the most value to your clients? How do you ensure you are delivering great coaching that is the right fit for your clients and meets their goals?
If you’re anything like me you’ve heard a range of theories, from a focus only on one’s strengths to only fixing one’s faults. For me, these have always felt like half the story for real leadership development. Why not help people best utilize their strengths AND help them overcome the hurdles their weaknesses may present. Besides, I’ve found that when people overuse their strengths, those very strengths become a weakness (think of managers who are so detail minded that they don’t see the forest for the trees). In addition, most approaches focus only from the head up, mostly interested in the different ways we think. This, again, seems like a partial approach when research tells us how important other elements are to leadership effectiveness, such as how we sense our environment, our emotions, body language, health, and even physical movement.
This need for a whole approach to coaching is what first led me to the coaching tool called the FEBI® (Focus Energy Balance Indicator). The FEBI is the only validated psychometric assessment based on four fundamental patterns of the nervous system which show up in personality, cognition, emotions, physical movement and behavior. Theoretically, we have all four of these patterns within us AND we also have preferences as to which we use most or least. The FEBI measures those preferences, and also goes a step further (relative to traditional assessments), to prescribing what you can do to reach your full potential.
My journey with FEBI has taken me to where I am now a consultant with the instrument’s developer, Focus Leadership, LLC, and now spend much of my time helping other coaches become FEBI Certified and showing them how to use the FEBI in their own coaching practices. To the question raised earlier around how to ensure your approach is right for your client, the FEBI will allow you to start where the client is, in terms of these four energy patterns, and show where they likely need to go and how to get there. With this awareness, you can then work with your clients on how to effectively utilize these patterns in a whole way. Leaders who remain stuck only in their strengths or being “just the way they are” start getting marginalized or in trouble when the situation calls for something different (e.g., strategy vs. detail). In today’s dynamic business environment, our clients count on us to help them learn and be as dynamic as the situations they face. I’ve come to learn that means effectively using the right energy pattern at the right time. With FEBI Certification, we teach you how to coach your clients to do just that. And it will, indeed set your coaching apart and help you deliver the greatest value to your clients.