Coaching to boost Exec MBA students


The revised Executive MBA at Massey will now feature one-to-one Executive Coaching as part of the new Applied Personal Leadership course in Part Two. Students will be able to team up with a personal mentor, should they so wish, from the MBA alumni, or a broader group of experienced business leaders from a range of sectors. The coaching will be delivered through a new Register of Coaches and Mentors, which students will be able to search through to find an appropriate individual. The members of the Register are personally recruited as people who have the appropriate experience and skills to provide relevant assistance to Executive MBA students.

To develop and maintain the necessary skills to be an effective coach and/or mentor, we are setting up a Coaching Hub within the Executive Education centre at Massey Business School. This hub will provide supervision, networking opportunities and coaching skills training to members of the Register – ensuring consistency of approach and quality assurance. Massey Executive Development is also working on a formal coaching qualification which could be available later in the year for those who want to take their practice to the next level.

Why are we doing this?

There has been a huge increase in the use of Executive Coaching in organisations, and by individuals, in the last decade. Coaching has moved from being seen as a remedial activity, focused on poor performance, to a developmental process used by the most successful managers and leaders in all kinds of organisational life. When used in conjunction with other development activities, such as an MBA, or an in-house leadership development programme, the additional value gained from the course can be enormous.

Coaching allows the individual to reflect on their learning and experiences from a course, and apply this to their own context, with consideration of their personal perspective in their role. The coaching relationship is confidential, and focused on the goals and desired outcomes of the person being coached. There is no other agenda from the coach apart from enabling their coachee to become more effective. Often, helping a person work out what their goal is can be a large part of the work undertaken by the coach.

The difference between Coaching and Mentoring

There can be much discussion about the similarities and differences between these two activities. We are taking the line that Mentoring depends upon the mentor having personal experience of the work context, business sector or technical specialism of the person they are mentoring. They can share their own experiences, give advice, provide resources and connections. Coaching is a process of enabling a person to gain awareness of their behaviours, be invited to take different perspectives and to be assisted to come up with their solutions to whatever problem they might be facing.

It is the case that the best mentors use coaching skills as part of the way they offer mentor support. A good coach can work with a coachee from an entirely different business or life background to their own, without this making any difference to the quality of the outcome from the coaching.

The Massey Register of Coaches and Mentors will show the various specialisations of the individuals listed. This will include who coaches, and who has specialist coaching skills such as Careers Coaching, Performance Coaching, Team Coaching etc. Mentors will be described according to industry sector, personal experience and individual focus. Some people, of course, will be listed under both Coaching and Mentoring, and the initial conversation for all relationships will be to clarify what the individual is looking for in this process.

For more information, or if you might be interested in becoming one of our Coaches or Mentors, please send us an e-mail.

Find out more about the Massey Executive MBA.

Patricia Bossons is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and has worked in Executive Education as a leadership development specialist, business psychologist and executive coach throughout her career.

She has recently taken up the role of Director of Executive Qualifications at Massey Business School, Massey University, NZ. Before this, she was the founder, and Director, of the Henley Centre for Coaching and Behavioural Change at Henley Business School, UK.

Patricia is currently designing and developing qualification programmes in this field at the professional master’s level for delivery in New Zealand through Massey Business School.


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