The Power of Coaching

At the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, we're learning a lot about how coaching can help our grantees succeed. As part of the Coaching and Philanthropy Project, a wide-ranging effort to promote greater understanding of coaching in the nonprofit sector, we've created a series of short videos that provide firsthand accounts about the value and impact of coaching, and how it works best. These videos, and our in-depth evaluation of coaching in the Flexible Leadership Awards (FLA) program, are part of a comprehensive online toolkit about coaching for nonprofits.

How coaching can help leaders change behaviors

Greater self-awareness: It's not always easy for Executive Directors to get honest feedback about how they're doing. Team-Up for Youth ED Janet Carter describes how coaching helped her identify strengths and weaknesses. (1:23)

Managing stress: The Executive Director's role is often accompanied by "the stress of making tough and unpopular decisions". Unity Council ED Gilda Gonzales on how coaching has helped her achieve balance. (1:47)

Better staff supervision: Lina Sheth, a Program Director at Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center, discusses the far-reaching impact that coaching has had on her ability to empower her own staff. (1:10)

Getting "unstuck": Coaching can help leaders address their toughest roadblocks. East Bay Asian Youth Center Executive Director David Kakishiba on overcoming the fears that can become barriers to action. (2:24)

Better communication: Coach Gail Ginder shares an example of how honest feedback can help a leader understand their impact on others and see when their behavior isn't matching their intention. (1:43)

Confronting issues head-on: Evaluator Bill Ryan talks about how coaching helped one coachee become a stronger leader by helping her confront a personnel issue that was challenging the organization and its staff. (1:47)

Asking hard questions: Gilda Gonzales finds coaching a unique way to explore the essential leadership question, —Am I the right person for my organization at this time?— (1:10)

How coaching works- or doesn't work- for leaders

For a new leader: Janet Carter describes how coaching helped her make the leap from the "number two" to the "number one" executive position. (1:22)

For a leader of color: Lina Sheth discusses how coaching helped her develop a framework for often being one of the only leaders of color at the table. (0:51)

For an executive transition: Gail Ginder talks about coaching a 30-year founder Executive Director who wanted to "leave with grace" in order to help set the organization up to succeed. (1:25)

For a new leader: Bill Ryan talks about how coaching helped an Executive Director take a more high-profile and visible role and how that helped his organization. (1:16)

For a first-time leader: Janet Carter talks about how coaching has helped take on new responsibilities - working with a board, creating a vision and communicating that vision effectively. (1:16)

When coaching is not the solution: Gail Ginder describes how coaching is not going to be effective if it's seen as an alternative to good management. (0:58)

When coaching won't work: Bill Ryan shares an example of how it's hard to provide coaching without a context and a clear feedback loop. (1:27)

When coaching won't work: Gail Ginder describes the challenges when coaching is imposed rather than chosen, and the coachee is not open to change. (1:06)

How coaching is distinct from other support

Unique value of coaching: Team-Up for Youth Executive Director Janet Carter talks about how coaching can help in ways that other leadership supports can't. (1:07)

Coaching defined: Coach Gail Ginder shares her perspective on what coaching is and how it’s different from consulting and therapy. (1:45)

Growth of coaching in nonprofits: Evaluator Bill Ryan discusses the prevalence of coaching in business and how quickly it's catching on for nonprofits. (0:59)

Common concerns about coaching: Coaching participants David Kakishiba and Gilda Gonzales and coach Gail Ginder address some of the initial concerns people have about coaching. (2:55)

A field still defining itself: Bill Ryan describes how, as an emerging field, coaching is still defined more by what it is not, than what it is. (1:10)

Coaching takes different forms: Bill Ryan talks about the three central approaches that coaches bring to their craft. (2:07)

Practical insights on how coaching works best

Example of a coaching process: Gilda Gonzales talks about the first coaching sessions, her initial skepticism and the unanticipated results. (1:15)

Example of a coaching process: Janet Carter describes the process of setting goals and how she and her coach continued to track the impact of coaching. (1:33)

Example of a coaching process: David Kakishiba reflects on how he and his coach worked together to develop coaching sessions that worked for him. (1:27)

Three key ingredients: Based on his broader research and his evaluation of coaching in the FLA, Bill Ryan identifies the essential elements of a successful coaching engagement. (1:03)

Selecting the right coach: There are a lot of qualified coaches out there. Gail Ginder gives advice on how to go about selecting one that's right for you. (0:46)

Selecting the right coach: Janet Carter shares what she believes is the single most important criteria for picking a coach to work with. (1:44)

Coaches ask good questions: Janet Carter talks about how, from the start, her coach helped her build a framework for what she would work on in coaching. (0:56)

Multiple coaches in an organization: David Kakishiba gives advice on what to consider when bringing in coaches to work with a number of people within an organization. (1:03)

Multiple coaches in an organization: Gail Ginder talks about the challenges and benefits of having multiple coaches and how best to manage communication and confidentiality. (1:40)

Advice for other leaders: Gilda Gonzales gives her input to other Executive Directors who are considering coaching, and talks about how to know if it’s working. (1:32)

Role of supervisor: Janet Carter describes the importance and value of the supervisor being included in setting coaching goals. (0:47)

Perspectives on funding and evaluating coaching

Encouraging leaders to invest: Bill Ryan discusses the unique role that funders can play in overcoming the "scarcity mentality" that stops leaders from investing in coaching. (1:05)

Advice for funders: Gail Ginder shares three considerations for funders who are thinking about investing in coaching over, or in addition to, other leadership support. (1:18)

Advice for funders: Janet Carter offers thoughts on how to approach coaching in a comprehensive way that will benefit every level of the organization. (0:33)

Haas, Jr. Fund's journey with coaching: Bill Ryan describes the FLA program's initial approach to coaching and how it evolved into a major strategy for leadership development. (1:14)

Evaluating impact: Bill Ryan talks about the process the Haas, Jr. Fund has taken to assess the impact that coaching has had for FLA participants.(1:39)

Return on investment: Bill Ryan proposes an approach to evaluation that mirrors the way businesses think about their investment in coaching. (1:27)

Goals of the FLA: Bill Ryan describes the goals and key elements of the FLA program and its focus on leadership development that strengthens organizations. (1:13)