Dr. Peter A. James specializes in leadership development, transformational change and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives for organizations, his passion truly revolves around the shifts that leaders make as a result of executive coaching. To that end, the “coach-approach” to many of his engagements is evident and helps his clients to realize goals and objectives that may have once been thought of as out of reach.
When coaching leaders, Peter is able to draw on his experience as an entrepreneur and owner of multiple businesses, as well as his sales and marketing background with a Fortune 100 company. Additionally, he has honed many of his skills as an officer in the U.S. Army for 8+ years. This work required multi-tasking capabilities with a strong ability to lead, plan, prioritize, and manage complex projects under aggressive timelines, thereby bringing closure to tasks and goals.
Through High-Performance Coaching, clients are not only able to deepen their learning, but also to heighten their performance, enhance their quality of life and realize their full potential. High-Performance Coaching is grounded in the awareness that all individuals (regardless of demographics) are capable of developing and improving their intellectual, emotional, and creative capacities.
Peter possesses a PhD in Organization & Management, a Masters in Business Administration, and holds a PCC credential as an executive coach. He is certified as a DisC assessor, an EQ-i & EQ-360 assessor, and Hogan Personality Assessments.
Given Peter’s extensive background, we asked him a few questions regarding coaching in the modern world.
How can coaching help to create retention and engagement?
One of the biggest strengths that coaching provides is awareness. Awareness of one’s gaps and shortcomings. But also awareness of one’s goals and dreams. Once any of these is identified, it is important for the coach to inquire about the will and desire of the coachee as they look to overcome (gaps/shortcomings) or accomplish (goals/needs). Relative to retention and engagement, once the coachee is more aware of their values and how they line up with the organization (and their leader), then retention and engagement (alike) become somewhat (dare I say) easy. However, if values are incongruent, then we have another conversation on our hands. [Lots of details in this response. I would love the chance to chat with an organization’s HR department if they desire to unpack.]
How is coaching being most utilized now?
I am seeing coaching being most and best utilized for mid-level managers and staff/employees who have not historically been exposed to this type of professional development. This is magical. Senior leaders are beginning to see that if there is more alignment, awareness, and connection, then retention and engagement increase. As an example, in one organization with whom we partner, we offer Coaching-Office-Hours to managers and leaders of color who mostly have never had a coach in their careers. It is changing lives. It is changing careers. And it is strengthening the organizational culture!
What makes an effective coaching program?
I have been blessed enough to be both a mentor coach and facilitator in great coaching programs. The best ones allow the prospective coach to not only learn and practice this new skill but also to shift their own mindset as they are challenged in their own thinking. The most effective programs also allow the prospective coach to be on the receiving end of powerful coaching while also practicing how to do so simultaneously. [Of note, every great coach should have their own coach. Would you continue going to a doctor who did not have one of their own?]
What are some creative ways to offer coaching to a broader audience?
What a great question. First and foremost, I continue to see too many individuals on the internet call themselves a coach. The fact of the matter is that not everyone is a professional coach. Therefore, it is important for us to promote what authentic and professional coaching really is and how it can change lives. One of the best ways to do so is for individuals to see the impact in real-time – an actual coaching session – on video perhaps. We have too many platforms where this can happen today. I encourage those who are curious to seek out a “coaching consultation” in order to experience its effects. And then spread the word as to how this may help to strengthen your own organizational culture.