NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. –
The Office of Personnel Management defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
According to the DLA In-House Coaching Program Pilot website, the Coaching Program's mission, values and vision support DLA's People and Culture Plan, particularly objective 1 – Develop Leaders:
Mission: Through in-house coaching, improve leadership capability across the agency that inspires a skilled workforce to excel in every aspect of personal and professional growth.
Vision: A coaching culture that fosters a continuous learning environment for all levels of leadership
Values: Leadership, Professionalism, and Technical Knowledge through Dedication to Duty, Integrity, Ethics, Honor, Courage and Loyalty.
Coaching helps clients bring their life into focus through solving individual challenges, achieving professional goals, clarifying decision making and focus, and learning and personal development. Coaching also helps with wellness and work-life balance, increasing self-awareness, and helping with self-management.
There are nine coaches participating in the pilot program. DLA Distribution has three coaches: Dave Harris, Ramona French, and Ed Visker. Distribution has more pilot coaches than any of the other Major Subordinate Commands participating.
French is Distribution’s Chief of Integration J4. She participated in a mentor program in 2016. She believes that mentoring and coaching are very different.
In citing the differences, French said, “In mentoring, it was teaching people how to stand up and give a three-minute presentation with key points, how to do interviews, looked at resumes, and talked about things that hindered them in their walk. That was mentoring. This (coaching) deals with the person – helping them to see themselves through self-discovery, finding the courage to acknowledge their limitations and strengths, and then helping them to remain curious on a path which will hopefully help them reach their goals beyond the horizon they thought possible.”
“We say people are our greatest resource, but until you actually look in the eyes of people and engage in the process of change without knowing what is possible, and help that person understand their choice to accept, observe, and question the person they are, only then can we really show what is really at stake – people growing beyond their current way of being. I’m hoping that the DLA In-House Coaching Program will transform the organization and how we think about ourselves and our people,” said French.
For Visker, director, J9, Distribution, the key to coaching is about the client discovering the answers for themselves.
“I can help show them the path, but they have to decide which way to go on the path and whether they’re going to take the steps forward or not. I’m excited about it.”
According to Visker, coaches went through different coaching programs prior to the pilot going live. The common denominator – all of them need to be accredited by the International Coaching Federation – ICF.
Vanesha R. Marshall-Alls, team chief, Integrated Supplier Team (Raytheon/Switches) at DLA Land and Maritime, is coached by Visker. She decided to get a coach because she needed someone to help her be accountable, focused, and grounded in pursuing some of her professional goals.
“My coaching is going beyond great! From our first session, Mr. Visker really made me think about what it was I wanted to do to become a better and successful me. He has challenged me to structure my goals in a way I never thought before. We focus on the things that really matter to me and my future and how I can achieve them,” said Marshall-Alls.
Marshall-Alls recommends a coach for everyone.
“A coach can shed light on difficult situations. They can act as a sounding board at tough times, help with sharpening your skills, and will motivate you to be a better you.”
According to the IHC website, the Coaching Pilot Program is accepting additional requests for coaching from Sept. 24 to Oct 12, 2018. However, they will only accept requests from ELDP Level 4 employees (employees who have completed ELDP Level 3 and managers) not currently receiving coaching from another source.
DLA will begin to accept additional coach applications after the completion of the program pilot (June 2018 - June 2019), in the fall of 2019.