Executive Education

Module #3

Dates: Feb. 6-7, 2014

Coaching Executives and their Teams: A Multi-Disciplined Approach

Executives lead inside the context of complex organizational systems. Having a basic understanding of the concepts of organizational culture, systems, and team dynamics is a critical foundation for coaches attempting to gain maximum credibility with executive clients.

This session will explore the practical realities that are present in an executive’s organizational life and invite the coach to draw upon a multi-disciplinary approach to a coaching engagement when working with executive clients and their teams for enhanced credibility.

Specifically, this session will:

  • Provide coaches with a portrait of the organizational realities executives and executive teams face using a systems lens.
  • Review the basics of team dynamics and organizational culture in complex organizations and how this knowledge can enhance an executive coaching engagement.
  • Discuss practical, “real-life” executive team scenarios and explore possible coaching approaches and opportunities using the full-spectrum of tools available in different disciplines.

A panel discussion with executive clients and executive coaches sharing their perspectives and experiences will be included.


Janet Ioli
Director of Leadership Development and Executive Coach
Northrop Grumman Information Systems Sector

Janet is an executive coach and a leadership and organizational development consultant. Her experience working with leaders and as a leader herself spans over twenty years. During this time, Janet has worked as a senior leader inside several Fortune 200 companies in different industries, designed and led numerous executive leadership programs, provided one-on-one executive coaching, and created strategies to improve organizational effectiveness.

As a result of this experience, Janet has first-hand knowledge of the realities and complexities executives face leading their organizations. Simply put, she “gets it”, and understands the context her clients operate in. She has worked with leaders in manufacturing, banking, military, insurance, government, publishing, media, government contracting, and information technology industries and has lived and worked in Greece and Germany.

She is currently the Director of Leadership Development and Executive Coach at Northrop Grumman Information Systems Sector, President of The Mana Group, and an adjunct faculty member at American University in the Key Executive Leadership Certificate Program for government executives.

Selecting and Debriefing Assessments for Executive Coaching

Assessments are often used in executive coaching programs to help individuals gain greater self-awareness of their strengths and opportunities for improvement. In this session, we will review some of the current types of assessment tools being used in executive coaching with respect to their purpose or objectives, strengths, and limitations. A variety of tools will be examined, such as those measuring cognitive ability, personality, emotional intelligence, performance, and team skills. We will share insights about the effectiveness of various tools for varying purposes in executive coaching.

Coaches will have the opportunity to complete several assessments prior to the session to better understand the value of these tools. They will also have the opportunity to learn how to use summary assessment data and work with the executive to translate this information into meaningful developmental goals and plans. We will provide tips for effectively discussing assessment feedback. Coaches will also have opportunities to enhance their coaching skills by practicing coaching “executives” on their assessment feedback.


Dr. Joyce Russell
Distinguished Tyser Teaching Fellow and Senior Executive Education Fellow
Robert H. Smith School of Business

Dr. Russell is a licensed Industrial and Organizational Psychologist and has over 25 years of experience consulting with both private and public sector organizations. Her expertise is primarily in the areas of leadership development, negotiation tactics, executive coaching, and career development. She is the Director of the Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Program and a Ralph J. Tyser Distinguished Teaching Fellow in the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. Since joining the UM faculty, she has consistently been honored for being one of the Outstanding Teachers.

She developed the Executive Coaching Program for the EMBA program at The University of Maryland and at The University of Tennessee. As the Director of both Coaching programs, she has provided coaching for hundreds of executives as well as selected and trained numerous executive coaches. Dr. Russell writes a weekly Career Coach column for The Washington Post and a monthly online chat with readers of her column, and can often be seen on Maryland Public Television offering her insights on negotiations and leadership development.

Dr. Russell has published over 50 articles, books, or book chapters and has presented her research at national and regional conferences. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Industrial & Organizational Psychology from The University of Akron, Ohio and her B.A. degree in Psychology from Loyola College in Maryland.

Executive Education programs are facilitated by the Robert H. Smith School of Business Foundation, Inc.