Coaching Pilot Program

2018-2019 VNRLI Alumni Leadership Coaching Pilot Program

We are pleased to extend a new professional development offering to our alumni: one-on-one leadership coaching –

AT NO CHARGE during this pilot phase. The market value is estimated at $2,000.

Key Pilot Program Details

  • 10 hours of one-on-one leadership coaching sessions over a 4-month period with Michelle Oliva (see bio below). 
  • All sessions will be offered remotely via video conferencing or in-person in Charlottesville, VA.
  • Two intakes: Starting in Sep 2018 and Feb 2019 respectively.
  • Eight (8) coaching clients will be selected for the pilot program: 4 for the Sep 2018 intake and 4 for the Feb 2019 intake.
  • Session Times: Clients will have an opportunity to sign-up for sessions that suit their schedules within the available windows, tentatively planned for Fridays 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. 
  • If you would like to be considered, please complete the application (which can be found here) and submit to Michelle Oliva at no later than Wednesday, November 28, 2018. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

Prospective Applicants: Selection Criteria and Application Process

Slots are limited and by application only. Candidates must meet the selection criteria as detailed below. Consideration will also be given to ensure a diversity of participants.

Coaching clients should be:

  1. Within an organization and be in a position to influence others.
  2. Willing to be coached.
  3. A leader with direct reports, however, the client can be a staff person without direct reports if they are in a position to significantly influence business results, projects, programs, initiatives, etc.
  4. Able to identify a leadership coaching issue as a starting point: i.e., performance, style, leadership, skill acquisition, communication, management.
  5. Committed to personal and professional development and motivated to change.
  6. Willing to challenge current beliefs and able to accept feedback.
  7. Able to commit to 10 hours of coaching over about 4 months, and available to meet with the coach (by video conferencing or in person) on a regularly-scheduled basis.
  8. Committed to making the time to do the work of coaching that often happens between sessions. This may include reading, completing assignments, implementing new and changing behavioral practices, self-observations, and actions you choose as a result of the conversation. 
  9. Able to develop goals related to your work where coaching will help improve your performance or enhance strengths.
  10. Valued current employee with a commitment to current employer —this would not be outplacement counseling.
  11. If selected, willing to enter into a written coaching agreement which will be based on this sample agreementadapted for the needs of specific coach/client relationship at the start of the engagement.
  12. For the pilot phase only: The coach may request to record one or more session/s to be used for evaluating the coach’s performance. The recording will be destroyed after the evaluation is complete.

Coaching will be delivered by Michelle Oliva, MBA – Managing Director of Profit with Purpose. Michelle is a management consultant, organizational development specialist, and leadership coach with more than 15 years of experience supporting nonprofits and other mission-driven organizations in the US and internationally. Michelle recently joined the University of Virginia/IEN team as a 2018-2019 Scholar-in-Residence. This year, Michelle is also further developing her coaching skills through a program at Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership. She is excited to offer this service as a way to support the leadership development of VNRLI alumni. You can find out more about her leadership and creativity work with IEN and her resume here.

Employers are seeing the return on investment of leadership coaching. Increasingly, across public, private and nonprofit sectors, employers are sponsoring their employees through professional development or other funding sources. Depending on the success of the pilot, VNRLI may consider offering leadership coaching to alumni in future years on a fee-for-service basis, and we will seek alumni feedback as the pilot phase continues. 

What is Leadership Coaching

In this pilot phase, the best practices of the International Coaching Federation and Georgetown University (an ICF-accredited coaching training program) will be applied. Our leadership coaching philosophy will be grounded in the Co-Active Coaching model (see below), as well as other complementary approaches.

 “In our view, coaching is not about solving problems, although problems will be solved…We believe coaching is chiefly about discovery, awareness and choice. It is a way of effectively empowering people to find their own answers, encouraging and supporting them on the path as they continue to make important life-giving and life-changing choices…

A coach is someone who cares that people create what they say they want and that they follow through when they choose. The coach is there to hold people accountable and keep them moving forward toward their dreams and goals. Ultimately, the coach is there to help people live lives of meaning and purpose…

The term Co-Active refers to the fundamental nature of a coaching relationship in which the coach and coachee are active collaborators…this is a relationship – in fact an alliance – between two equals for the purpose of meeting the coachee’s needs…

We start with this assertion: people are, by their very nature, creative, resourceful and whole. They are capable: capable of finding answers; capable of choosing; capable of taking action; capable of recovering when things don’t go as planned; and especially, capable of learning…

Evoking transformation (is) a cornerstone of this model…Coaches play a key role, by holding a vision of what is possible and through their commitment to transformative experience. Coachees still choose the topic, the action and the results they want.”

SOURCE: Kimsey-House, H., Kimsey-House, K., Sandahl, P., and Whitworth, L. (2011). Co-Active Coaching, Third Edition, Boston, MA, Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

Learn more about leadership coaching: