A simple way to re-energize your experts: expertship coaching
Summary: Expertship coaching is a great way to engage senior technical experts in professional development - building up their enterprise skills to complement their technical skills. It says investment, you're valued, and senior. And with the right coach - someone who really understands experts - it can be super-effective.
Written by Alistair Gordon 10 Jun 2020

Why coaching is a great option to re-energize your experts

Many leaders lead technical experts who would benefit from building their enterprise skills. But sometimes leaders struggle to get their experts interested in attending a course.

Why? Several reasons:

  • The expert doesn’t think they need any ‘development’ - they believe they are as expert as they can be;

  • experts are interested in building their technical skills further, and don’t see the importance of enterprise skills;

  • the expert has had a bad development experience in the past - perhaps being sent on a course they didn’t think was relevant, or was framed poorly for them (i.e., they felt they were being sent on the program to ‘be fixed’); or perhaps

  • the expert is ‘too busy’ - which is a real indicator, by the way, that the expert would benefit from professional development.

We have a solution to these push-backs - invest in a executive coach for you expert - but make sure it is one who understands experts and expertship.

Executive coaching sends lots of positive messages to your high-value technical experts - they are important, worth investing in, senior enough to warrant a coach, and you are respecting their time by suggesting an episodic approach to professional development.

It is also a confidential, safe environment for the expert to explore ways to add more value, and dispel frustrations.

In our experience where you might get push-back on a course attendance, you won’t with executive coaching.

Why is an expertship coach important?

Your expert needs a coach who:

  • understands technical experts and the way in which they work, and their work environment;

  • is familiar with models and tools that are specifically designed for and useful to technical experts;

  • can leverage experience of working with other experts to help their coachee realize that the challenges they face are common to many experts, and can be commonly overcome.

Want to coach your expert yourself? Here’s some coaching tips from a Master Expertship Coach, Dominic Johnson.

Where do I find a such a coach?

Well, there are very many coaches out there, but very few that are properly accredited expertship coaches - that is, specialize in helping experts be the best experts they can be.

Expertunity has a diverse group of accredited coaches who have been coaching experts for the last two years through our programs and coaching engagements - with amazing success.

What is the process?

Our process, refined over many years of providing executive coaching, is as follows:

  • We ‘take the brief’ from the manager (or HR): what are the objectives of the coaching, and what does the organization hope to get out of the investment? reasons might be retention, growth in enterprise skills, elevated stakeholder engagement skills, and so on. If you can’t quite decide what they need most take a look at our expertship topics.

  • We match two or three of our accredited expertship coaches to the experts, and send the expert (i.e. the person who will be coached) their bios, for them to select one. This selection process is important - the expert (or coachee as we call them) needs to be in control of the selection decision.

  • We organize a ‘chemistry virtual coffee’ between the coachee and the selected coach - and see whether both parties feel they would be a good fit for each other.

  • Once the expert is comfortable with the selection, their cycle of coaching sessions commences.

  • Our program team manage appointments.

How many coaching sessions in a cycle?

Typically clients purchase a cycle of 6 or 9 sessions (recommended). Six sessions is the minimum cycle. Note that it takes a few sessions to build up a proper agenda, build trust, and get into the topics and changes that will really propel your technical expert to a higher level of performance.

Most cycles occur monthly, but occasionally, if there is a big issue or a plan that needs to be developed, then the parties might meet more often.

How do I get my expert feedback?

We recommend a technical expert-specific feedback tool, the Expertship 360.

What do I do next?

Contact our team for rates, or for us to answer other questions you may have. We can also discuss which of our many accredited coaches might be ideal for your expert.

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