Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Impact of Executive Coaching on Small Businesses and Franchisees

Steven Thomas Whiteside, Fielding's School of Human & Organizational Development

The question for this research was: Does executive coaching impact the success of franchisees? Six volunteer franchisees participated in 3-month coaching engagements, where different coaching methods and philosophies were utilized, such as co-active, facilitative, cognitive-behavioral, leadership, and positive as well as other executive coaching methods from which it was hoped franchisees would benefit.

An independent professional coach interviewed the participants at the end of six sessions. Through narrative analysis and a qualitative approach, the participants’ experiences of being coached were reviewed in depth to discover if they found the coaching experience successful.

The outcome of the research showed that overwhelmingly, the participants found the executive coaching experience to be a positive one. Four main findings were revealed: (a) coachees were the ones who decided if the coaching was successful or not for them, (b) participants had not set high expectations for their coaching experience, (c) participants identified six main categories of learning, and (d) trust between coach and coachee was built at the first coaching session.

Participants identified the most significant competencies they had learned communication, time management, confidence building, how to clear their mind, and business development. Six conclusions were developed to help coaches in their future work with franchisees and small businesses: (a) previous background of a coach is important for a successful coaching engagement; (b) success is achieved through meeting goals, facilitating change, and learning; (c) trust between the coach and coachee is a necessity; (d) multiple factors influence future hiring of a coach; (e) coaching can enhance an inner understanding through learning and change; and (f) through developing their own emotional intelligence and self-awareness skills, franchisees will be more able to resolve issues with their franchisors.

Lastly, I developed a theory of the 7 Cs, which reflects the seven large bodies of knowledge that can be worked on for a lifetime and from which all franchisees can benefit: create trust, confidence building, clear and effective communication, concentrated time management, continuous learning, coordinated business development, and clear the mind. To make sure no harm came to the participants, Fielding Graduate University’s research ethics policy was strictly followed.

Key words: co-active coaching, cognitive-behavioral coaching, leadership coaching, positive coaching, executive coaching, communication, time management, confidence building, franchisee, franchisor, franchise, business development

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