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What is Public Trust Coaching?

Public Trust Coaching is the use of executive and professional coaching methods to enable the individual and organizational effectiveness necessary to meet the expectations of a collective body of independent stakeholders.

In some instances, these stakeholders may be direct customers or clients of a team or organization, while other times they may simply be in a state of reliance, at risk of harm if something terrible happens. Often it’s a combination of the two.

The methods utilized in public trust coaching should, whenever possible, include robust strategies for the assessment of how teams and individuals in positions of public trust are functioning. This requires a great degree of skill, planning, and access to reliable analytical tools because even the most trusted and reputable professionals become hypnotized by their own environments, causing some expected loss of self-awareness that makes it harder for them to assess themselves.

To earn and retain the trust of the public, teams must be perceived as performing at high levels of excellence while having the talent, vision, and strategies in place to keep it that way. Executive and supervisory leadership priorities must therefore be geared toward promoting and producing continuous improvement with a concurrent and equally resolute focus on the early recognition of emerging risks and threats.

It is in this regard that public trust coaching requires high levels of empathy and emotional intelligence, along with a deep understanding of executive leadership competencies, personal psychology, and organizational management theory.

Leaders and professionals working in positions of public trust are rarely congratulated for their work. This is because they are expected to be competent and trustworthy. Effective public trust coaching can bridge this gap through sustained encouragement, appreciative inquiry, progress inventories, and the implementation of cultural strategies that keep team members aware of and connected to the value they are delivering to stakeholders.

But in the final analysis, why is public trust coaching so beneficial?

Well, let’s put it this way. Every person, team, and organization expends a certain amount of energy on thriving – on being effective, motivated, creative, collaborative, and visionary. When teams are thriving, they are delivering high levels of value for their stakeholders.

At the same time, a certain amount of energy is wasted on coping with barriers to satisfactory performance – things that get in the way; things that demoralize, discourage, or even incapacitate. The more people cope, the more distracted and vulnerable they are.

Effective public trust coaching clearly identifies where people are succeeding and falling short – without blame or toxic judgement if things aren’t going well. Systems of accountability are set up to ensure positive change. Those changes will become clear during conversations, attention to the nuances of the organization’s culture, and the use of the public trust coach’s assessment tools. As the coach gains awareness about what’s going on, what’s threatening the performance of the team, and what opportunities exist for meaningful improvement, executive and supervisory leaders can be supported in their efforts to establish new strategies and more trustworthy ways of doing business.

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