Coaching Program

Coaching provides a demonstrated and critical component to successfully implement the Leadership Academy.  

The Leadership Academy Coaching Program integrates best-practice coaching competencies approved by the International Coach Federation (ICF) to help Leadership Academy participants engage in transfer of learning activities, ongoing leadership skill development, and guidance to support the successful integration of their Change Projects.

The Leadership Academy Coaching Program is designed to coach the “whole” person so participants can get the most out of the Leadership Academy and become more effective leaders. The coach will encourage, support, and guide Leadership Academy participants to exercise leadership skills in a safe and nurturing environment. The Leadership Development Coach will assist the learner with the integration and application of the necessary skills required to advance positive systems change.

The Butler Institute’s Academy of Professional Coaching defines Developmental Coaching as: coaches the whole person; focuses on raising awareness of thoughts, assumptions, mindsets, beliefs, values and emotions that drive actions and behaviors; and focuses on the process and underlying aspects that influence behavior (values, beliefs, mindset), not just the outcome and skill development (which is performance coaching).

Throughout their training experience, Leadership Academy participants receive developmental coaching support from a Leadership Coach. The coaching program consists of three coaching phases: Training Readiness Coaching, Leadership Academy Coaching, and Post-Academy Coaching. Coaches provide one monthly, 45-60-minute leadership development coaching session in all three phases:  1) two-three Training Readiness sessions; 2) five sessions during the Academy delivery (one session for each module); and 3) four-six sessions at the completion of the synchronous and modularized training delivery. 

Key considerations to developing the coaching component include recruiting, training, matching, and supporting as outlined in the Coaching Planning and Delivery Timeline

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Careful consideration must be given to who you recruit as coaches and where your recruitment efforts will be focused: advertising to build within your program or department, or outside of your department.  Elements to prepare for recruitment and selection include coach description, coaching essentials, time commitment, an overview of the training and support that will be provided, and a Leadership Academy overview.

As you consider in-house capacity or available resources for external options take a moment to review The Leadership Academy Coaching Guide, section 2 which provides criteria for effective coaching essentials. Preparing to be a Leadership Academy Coach requires an initial investment of time.  Participation as a Leadership Coach will span over a period of approximately 9-12 months per coaching cohort, along with the additional initial investment of 3 months of foundational coaching training. 

With the investment by the agency in training and supporting coaches, as well as the preparation investment by the coaches themselves, it is suggested that during the recruitment and selection process, you consider the opportunity for the coach to potentially serve two Leadership Academy cohorts as an important component of your capacity building and sustainability discussion. 

A Coach Description will be beneficial for communication about the expectations and responsibilities of a coach as you engage in recruitment. Experience in some jurisdictions has focused heavily on internal resources, and others have included external resources through agency partnerships such as universities and other supporting departments like HR, Office of Diversity, etc.

You may find it more amenable to have a committee nominate and select a cadre of cohorts or your jurisdiction may decide to have potential coaches participate in an application process (sample application).

It is ideal to have one coach/one participant to help ensure the availability and capacity of the coach through all three phases of coaching since this responsibility is typically in addition to their regularly assigned workload.  Once all participants and coaches have been identified, thoughtful consideration will need to be given to decisions around matching the coach with the participant. Some things to consider include position within the agency, potential current or prior working relationship, individual characteristics, and styles, etc.  The aim here is to minimize any unnecessary barriers to establishing rapport and building the coaching relationship.

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Once coaches have been selected conduct a Leadership Academy Overview and Orientation to provide context and overview information about the Academy and their role as a coach. It is important to realize that initially there will be a heavy lift for the coaches in completing training and becoming familiar with the curriculum concepts and materials. The Leadership Academy Coaching Guide is a valuable resource for the coaches.  The Coaches Guide provides information on the purpose, definition, and rationale of coaching; includes coaching essentials; coaching tools; coaching resources for all three phases of coaching (readiness, academy, and post-coaching); and an appendix with case scenarios illustrating real coaching experiences. Familiarity with the Coaches Guide, as well as communication and ongoing support from the Lead Trainer providing the monthly support throughout all three phases, is critical in helping to facilitate the success of this significant component of the Leadership Academy.

Following the overview and orientation, coaches will participate in the Virtual Coaching Learning Program (VCLP) to learn the foundations of coaching. To provide effective coaching and support the transfer of learning from the Leadership Academy coaches need curriculum content knowledge, including: 

      • NCWWI Leadership Model
      • NCWWI Implementation Phases
      • Racial Equity, Inclusivity, and Biases
      • Adaptive Leadership
      • Strengths-Based Leadership
      • Daring Leadership
      • Transformational Leadership

Coaches are expected to view all curriculum materials including foundational modules and Leadership Academy modules along with participant and trainer synchronous materials. In addition to the overview of the Academy in the orientation and their own independent review of the material, it is recommended for coaches to participate in the TOT curriculum walk-through with Leadership Academy trainers to further their exposure to and understanding of the concepts. It is expected that additional opportunities to expand their familiarity and understanding will be available in the monthly coaches’ support sessions.

The VCLP is a 12-week foundational training program for coaches that supports skill building for coaching of Leadership Academy supervisors and managers. The VCLP curriculum is designed to be delivered virtually and co-facilitated by individuals who already have certification in coaching. 

After participating in the VCLP, participants will understand the foundations of coaching and how coaching can be incorporated into various settings. Participants will gain knowledge of how to engage and support their client(s), and numerous skills and techniques to utilize in their practice. 

The four modules of the VCLP examine the Being and Doing of coaching. Participants explore the mindset needed to lean into as a coach, as well as specific skills used to support the coachee’s growth and development. Participants have opportunities to do individual learning as well as collaborative learning with their colleagues. This virtual learning opportunity provides foundational knowledge and skills needed to support learning and development of the individuals you will coach. Each module contains four elements: (1) Pre-work, (2) Virtual Learning Session (materials include PowerPoint and Annotated Agenda), (3) Try-it exercises, and (4) a Triad practice group. Please contact the Leadership Academy Team to explore how NCWWI can support your agency’s implementation of the VCLP.

Module 1, Introduction, introduces coaching as a unique profession. By exploring the differences between coaching, consulting, and mentoring we will define what a coaching mindset is, as well as explore the principles and assumptions of coaching and how it is used to support an individual’s growth and self-awareness. 

 Module 2, Skills and Techniques of Coaching, focuses on the phases of a coaching conversation, dives deeper into the skills and techniques used when coaching, and explores how questions can evoke discovery, insight, and commitment or action.

Module 3, Incorporating the Coaching Mindset, explores how the different levels of listening influence our coaching and allow us to be present and flexible while coaching. Further, we will explore how values and beliefs create context for actions and behaviors.

Module 4, Gauging Growth, brings into focus how to use the coaching relationship to support goal development and achievement, while tapping into the coachee’s ideas, suggestions, and desired outcomes. The coach’s role in holding accountability will also be explored.

Module 5, Closing: This closing webinar brings everything together to conclude your learning journey.  

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Just as coaches support participants through all three phases of coaching:  Training Readiness, Leadership Academy Coaching, and Post-Academy Coaching; coaches are supported by the Lead Trainer monthly throughout this same time. As the participant progresses, the intent of the coaching shifts from preparing for the best use of Leadership Academy training to the application of Leadership Academy training in the workplace, and likewise, monthly support for coaches will look different in progression as well.

Monthly support sessions with coaches should begin at the conclusion of the Virtual Coaching Learning Program and prior to the onset of their Training Readiness sessions with participants. In this first monthly support session, coaches may need assistance with timelines and logistics. For example, coaches will need to send an Introductory and Welcome Email to their assigned participants a couple of weeks prior to the expected timeframe to schedule the first Training Readiness session. Coaches may have some concerns about participant resistance to coaching and Coaching: Working with Resistance is a 16-minute eLearning module that can be shared during the session and complemented through group discussion.

The level and type of support needed may vary from one coach to another based on their own skill level and/or any potential dynamics in working with their assigned participant. While support can be provided individually, it is beneficial to provide opportunities for group learning through the monthly support sessions and this will also minimize time demands placed on the person providing the support. 

With group support sessions, the confidentiality of participants is primary.  If monthly sessions are virtual, consider having coaches submit questions or issues through a private message so the facilitator of the support session can bring the issue to the discussion without anyone readily identifying the coach or participant. If sessions are in-person, then consider having participants submit issues to the facilitator in advance. It may be that in some circumstances support will need to be one-to-one to better address any specific concern(s).

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As you plan for sustainability and replication of the coaching component for the Leadership Academy to subsequent cohorts, it can be beneficial to complete evaluations of the training and support coaches receive using these tools:  Virtual Coaching Learning Program Survey and Coaches Orientation and Curriculum Walk Through Survey, and Coaches Monthly Support Survey.  This will allow you to better tailor training and support to your agency’s needs, improving preparation and implementation of the coaching component that is critical to the effectiveness of the Leadership Academy.