Individuals

 

 

INDIVIDUAL SERVICES INCLUDE:

 

  • Psychological Assessment for hiring and promotion
  • Excutive integration
  • Leadership Development and Coaching

 See below for descriptions and examples of each of these individual service areas

 

PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT

Assessment of “fit” between the individual and the organization involves:  

Understanding the organizational imperatives 

What challenges is the organization facing that would affect the job in questions?  For example, is the organizations facing a downturn or expanding rapidly?  Will it grow organically or through acquisitions?  Is there a strong team in place or will the individual need to assemble and retain a strong management team?

Clarification of success profile

Given the organizational imperatives, what personal qualities are required for the individual to succeed?   For example: strategic focus, learning agility, special skills in building a team, leading change or innovative thinking?

Assessment process

The assessment involves an in-depth interview designed to assess dimensions in the specific success profile for this role and (when appropriate) psychological tests of cognitive abilities, leadership or personality).  The interview is done in a non-threatening, conversational style.  The goal is developmental not merely evaluative. 

Oral and Written Reports

Both an oral and a written report are provided to the organization (typically to the hiring manager and the head of Human Resources). The feedback addresses specific concerns of the hiring manager and is closely linked to the success profile.  It addresses key areas of performance including thinking and problem solving style, interpersonal relations, emotion and motivation, communication style, emotional intelligence, and leadership style as well as specific competencies required by the unique position.  It is given in clear, direct language to assist the organization make a decision about the individual’s fit with that specific job.  Because the report identifies areas of strength, blind spots and developmental needs, it can clarify issues that would help or hinder full success in the job.   Blanton Consulting can also provide “coaching notes” to the new leader’s boss to help him/her motivate and supervise the new  leader.

Feedback

If the person is hired, he or she would meet with the consultant to review the assessment and discuss the implications for the new job and development.  It is often useful to hold a three way meeting (the person assessed, the hiring manager and the consultant) to discuss the report.  

 If the person is not hired, he or she will be offered the option of general  feedback by phone.   

 

EXECUTIVE INTEGRATION

Whether someone is hired from outside or promoted from within, he or she must not only learn new tasks but must also understand the complexities of the new role, develop new relationships, and integrate into the culture.   Research indicates that it requires up to a year or eighteen months for a person to reach full productivity in a new role.  Blanton Consulting can accelerate this process by creating a development plan that builds upon the leader’s strengths and addresses potential weaknesses.  The executive integration plan is highly customized but generally involved a structured involvement over a period of nine to twelve months.  The plan typically includes working with the new leader, his/her boss and the new leaders’ team.  Such interventions have been shown to reduce turnover, speed productivity and avoid common problems of adjustment to a new boss and new team. 

 

EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT AND COACHING

Both high potential managers and leaders who are faltering because of their personal style can benefit from executive coaching.  See below for more information about the coaching process. 

If appropriate, Blanton Consulting will supplement coaching with a full development plan that involves activities such developmental job assignments, service on a task force that would broaden perspective or build new skills, targeted reading assignments, continuing education courses or training modules to develop specific skills.

 

Suggestions for choosing a coach

  • Ask about the coach’s understanding of the realities of your world and worked to resolve issues similar to yours.  Will the coach clearly link development to business imperatives?  Does the coach have depth of experience in organizations similar to yours and with individuals in roles such as yours?  Does the coach understand the business context? 
  • Ask how they will determine what to you need to work on.  Evaluate how thoughtful and strategic they are in zeroing in on important issues and appropriateness of assessment methods. Pay attention to how the coach would partner with you to plan your development process. Ask how they will or will not involve your manager, peers or subordinates in the assessment?
  • Ask how the Coach will help you learn new ways to do things?  Merely being able to listen well or be an expert on a topic, providing feedback and giving advice are not sufficient.  The best coaches understand human development, individual learning styles, and are able to translate good ideas into practical steps that help you build new capacity. 
  • Ask the Coach about how he or she deals with issues of confidentiality.  What are the limits of confidentiality in the workplace?  Who gets what information? 
  • Ask the Coach how he or she will evaluate results?  What methods will they use to assess progress? 

Coach Responsibilities

  • Building strong relationship with person receiving the coaching (the coachee)
  • Linking coaching to business results
  • Understanding the organizational/work context of the coachee
  • Setting clear expectations
  • Serving as a sounding board on key issues
  • Playing “devil’s advocate” and raising tough issues
  • Assisting in exploring options and alternative strategies for actions
  • Identifying lessons learned from developmental assignments
  • Observing the coachee in work settings and team interactions and providing specific feedback
  • Holding the coachee accountable
  • Providing resources (books, articles, materials, referrals) to coachee on relevant issues/developmental areas
  • Being  flexible and willing to modify coaching style to match that of the coachee
  • Monitoring progress

Responsibilities of the Person Receiving Coaching

  • Listening with an open mind. Working to avoid “defending or justifying” behavior.
  • Focusing efforts. Pick only a couple of developmental areas, ones that will make a genuine difference in your job when they are improved.
  • Taking coaching seriously; doing the homework assignments and readings that are suggested.
  • Being open with your coach.  Sharing warts and all.
  • Using others besides your coach to provide you with feedback on the areas you want to work on.
  • Taking responsibility for change yourself.  It is your development plan, not the coaches.
  • Giving the coach feedback about what is working and what is not working in the coaching.
  • Keeping notes between meetings on things that have worked and areas of difficulty to focus discussion at later coaching sessions

 

individual services examples

Here are examples of my work with specific clients in assessment for hiring and promotion,  executive integration and leadership development & coaching.  Many other instances in other settings and different contexts could be provided because, although individual consulting often deals with similar themes, each instance is unique and requires a customized approach

 

Assessment for hiring

A Board was hiring a new CEO in preparation for the retirement of the current CEO who had been in his role for more than 10 years.  I interviewed key Board members in order to understand the organizational imperatives and challenges a new CEO would confront in the industry and with the company.  This was used to develop a profile that went far beyond a job description but identified success factors necessary to meet future challenges and pinpoint specific skills necessary to move the organization ahead in the future.  In this case, some of the skills included ability to expand internationally and to select and develop a new senior team that was more sophisticated and strategic than the current one.  After the search firm identified three finalists, I used well-validated psychological assessment tools to assess their leadership and personality characteristics.  In addition, I interviewed each one in depth to gain insight into each of the identified success factors.  Then, each candidate was rated on each of the various success factors.  I provided the Board with a written report on each candidate as well as a visual template that compared the three candidates in terms of their fit with each of those factors.  I then met with the Board to discuss the findings and they were able to agree on a solid successor who performed very well when he took over.  (I was also involved in his executive integration - see example of integration below)

 

Assessment for promotion and leadership continuity planning 

Executive Coaching

Coached and consulted with woman partner in major law

firm who wanted to expand and promote her practice area but felt she was

ineffective in working with her male colleagues and her executive presence

needed improvement so she could be seen as more credible. Worked with her to

identify her strengths and capitalize on these in her interactions. Though coaching,

she took to take on a more constructive, collegial and positive role within the organization and

obtained the support needed to expand her staff. She also took on more of a mentoring role within

and outside of her firm and received a major honor in the industry for her work.

 

Coaching for leadership skills

Worked with COO of consumer products company. The company had been

growing rapidly and the CEO was concerned that the COO was too much of "doer" rather than a

"leader" or strategic thinker. Although his strong technical knowledge had been instrumental in

the early days of the company and still critical, the increased scale of the organization required the

COO to let go of many "hands-on" tasks that he enjoyed. He was in jeopardy of losing his job.

I worked with the COO to re-think his role (and that of the plant managers), to develop ways of

monitoring performance without micromanaging and to develop strategies for increased

delegation. I asked the CEO to include the COO in more strategy discussions and help him focus

on the larger picture. The COO was able to pull back from his over-involvement with the plants and delegate more to the plant managers. The CEO was able to use the COO's technical skills in a more strategic way

and he became, again, a key part of the leadership team.

 

Coaching in cross cultural environment

Retained by high tech US company to coach the head

of a manufacturing facility in the Philippines who was failing because he was viewed as

authoritarian and verbally abusive to his staff (who called their Monday meetings the Monday "beatings"). Worked to increase his understanding of his impact on others and coached him on alternative methods of leading this international team. Combined the use of structural changes such as revising how meetings were run and making his office more physically accessible with coaching on more effective leadership tools and strategies. As he developed new methods of holding staff accountable without being overbearing, his team became more  engaged and effective.

 

Coaching in Communication skills

The Executive Director/CEO of quasi-governmental utility organization was referred by his Board of Directors because of communications problems with

the Board and also with his team. I coached him in person and by phone, reviewed his written

documents and emails with the purpose of helping him be more transparent and clear in his

communication style. I also worked to work on his "tone" to avoid coming across as defensive

or sarcastic. We held an off-site with his staff to agree on a "communication architecture"

including ways to use his individual and team meetings more effectively. I also facilitated a

meeting with the ED/CEO, Board Chair and one of the Board members with whom he had the

most difficult relationship. His next performance review from the Board was much more

positive and recognized his work and progress in the communication area.

Below are resources related to work with individuals

 

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