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Marshall Goldsmith

Stakeholder Centered Coaching

Stakeholder Centered Coaching

Part I:  Description

Stakeholder Centered Coaching: A Transformative Approach to Executive Coaching

"Stakeholder Centered Coaching" by Marshall Goldsmith presents a breakthrough methodology for executive coaching that maximizes both individual and organizational impact. Unlike traditional coaching that focuses solely on the individual, this approach recognizes the interconnected network of stakeholders that influence a leader's success.

Key Concepts of Stakeholder Centered Coaching

  • Who Are Your Stakeholders?: Identify the people essential to your success as a leader. These may include direct reports, colleagues, superiors, board members, and even customers or mentors.

  • Gathering Feedback: Engage stakeholders in a structured way to get honest, constructive feedback about the leader's strengths and areas for development.

  • Focus on Feedforward: Unlike traditional feedback that dwells on the past, feedforward focuses on providing actionable suggestions for future improvement.

  • Coaching for Change: Work with the leader to create measurable goals and a plan for implementing positive behavioral change based on stakeholder input.

  • Building a Community of Coaches: Engage stakeholders in supporting the leader's growth, forming a network committed to their long-term success.

Benefits of Stakeholder Centered Coaching

  • Increased self-awareness: Provides leaders with a broader perspective on their own behavior and its impact on others.

  • Enhanced leadership effectiveness: Leaders develop skills that resonate with the needs identified by stakeholders, leading to better alignment and results.

  • Stronger stakeholder relationships: The process fosters engagement and open communication between the leader and those impacted by their work.

  • Positive organizational change: Stakeholder Centered Coaching builds a culture of accountability and continuous development.

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Part II:  Common Questions

How does Stakeholder Centered Coaching differ from traditional executive coaching?

  • Answer: Traditional coaching focuses primarily on internal self-analysis by the individual being coached. Stakeholder Centered Coaching actively involves a circle of stakeholders who provide essential feedback and support for the leader's development, going beyond individual introspection to focus on tangible impact on the wider organization.

What are the specific roles of stakeholders in this process?

  • Answer: Stakeholders play key roles:

    • Providing feedback: They give open, constructive observations about the leader's impact.

    • Offering feedforward: Stakeholders provide actionable suggestions for future behavior changes, not just dwelling on past actions.

    • Championing development: They support the leader as they implement new behaviors, creating a network of continuous development.

How does a coach facilitate the stakeholder feedback process?

  • Answer: The coach plays a crucial role:

    • Selecting stakeholders: Works with the leader to identify the most relevant people to provide input.

    • Creating structure: Provides tools and templates for gathering feedback in a way that's constructive and focused.

    • Synthesizing insights: Helps the leader analyze and understand the patterns in the collected feedback.

    • Guiding goal setting: Assists in creating specific, measurable goals for development based on the stakeholder input.

What kind of leader can benefit most from Stakeholder Centered Coaching?

  • Answer: This method is particularly effective for leaders who:

    • Are open to external feedback, even when it might be critical.

    • Desire to understand their wider impact and improve relationships with key stakeholders.

    • Want to drive results that resonate with their team and organization as a whole

    • Are committed to taking action and follow-through on development plans.

Can Stakeholder Centered Coaching be used for development beyond the executive level?

  • Answer: Yes.! While originally conceived for executive leadership, the core principles can be adapted. This approach is valuable for anyone who wants to improve their performance through gathering insights and support from a network of individuals invested in their success.

Part III:  Additional Books Of Interest

The Leadership Challenge 

  • by James Kouzes and Barry Posner:

  • This widely respected book outlines five essential practices of exemplary leadership and provides frameworks for developing as a leader who inspires and empowers others.

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High 

  • by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler:  

  • Offers practical guidance and strategies for navigating difficult conversations with stakeholders, promoting honest dialogue, and building mutual understanding.

Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well

  • by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen: 

  • Explores how to mindfully receive feedback, even when it feels critical, and turn insights from others into a catalyst for positive growth.


  • by Marshall Goldsmith:

  • Another work by Marshall Goldsmith, focusing on how to identify and address behavioral "triggers" that hinder leadership effectiveness. Offers practical tools for becoming more self-aware and overcoming obstacles to personal and professional growth.

Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter 

  • by Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown:

    • This book explores the concept of leaders as "multipliers" who amplify the intelligence and capability of their team. Aligns with the Stakeholder Centered Coaching approach in emphasizing leadership that fosters a culture of collaboration and maximizes collective success.

Part IV:  Disclaimer

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