Accelerating Localization in China through Coaching – By guest poster Jerel Bonner

ChinaSolved is proud to publish the work of China-based experts and thought leaders. This month Jerel Bonner, a highly sought-after executive coach in Nanjing with over 7 years of experience in China, shares his views on how to accelerate your localization plans.


Employee coaching is the new option for developing and accelerating your China operations. The right coaching program is more effective than other options since the right practitioner can:

    1. Align the coaching program with the business strategy and goals.
    2. Cultivate personal relationships that inspire the team to learn.
    3. Provide employees with feedback so they gain the wisdom to manage their career.
    4. Build the employees’ confidence by acknowledging their success.
    5. Allow the employee to select competencies they want to improve.
    6. Assist management in recognizing the behaviors that separate top talent from the rest of the team


Not every coach can do this, so it is important to take some time to interview your coach to get the best results from your program. So how do you select a “GGREAT Coach”? Here are some guidelines to determine if your potential coach meets “GGREAT” standards.

    GG – Goals to Get Better
    R- Realistic
    E- Enthusiastic and Passionate

The above five criteria will ensure that you select the best coach for your team’s coaching program. Let’s dig deeper into each of these requirements.

Goals to Get Better
The main goal of coaching is to improve your team, so the first thing great coaches must be able to do is improve themselves. Uncover their self-development process. Do they have mentors? What books have they read, and how often? What websites do they read and what conferences do they attend to stay ahead? Next, determine whether or not they set goals and deliver on them? How can your coach measure your teams’ improvements if they cannot measure their own success? Coaches that are motivated to improve themselves will improve your team by setting goals for your staff and teaching them to measure progress.

A great coach is realistic and knows how to articulate a clear message to persuade a participant about the realities of any situation. A good coach can guide your employee to set reasonable targets. Wise goals allow the employee to feel good about the progress they make. Employees often try to do too much, and end up “drowning by trying to drink from a fire-hose”.

Enthusiastic and Passionate
When you hire a new employee, you want them to be excited about the job they do and about joining your team. Expect the same from your coach. Are they energized about the opportunity to inspire your team? Do they talk about their passion for seeing others improve ? Do they talk about the positive impact they have made during previous coaching assignments? If they bore you during the interview then it is likely that their coaching will not be inspirational. You want a coach who will generate power that will stimulate your team to achieve new highs in their performance.

Attitude could be the toughest trait to judge in your perspective coach. Yet, their behavior is critical. Does the coach’s attitude reflect positive behavior, which focuses on how your team can succeed and make progress? Can they manage their emotions when things get sticky so that they set a good example? Do they share with you past positive behavior and results that they have created with other employees? A great coach will have the confidence to use their mistakes as a learning lesson

Building trust is one of the most critical skills a coach must possess. To earn the trust of your employees the coach must have integrity and credibility . Does the coach practice what he preaches? Will he be able to walk the walk when things get tough? Will he take the heat when things go wrong? Can he apologize for his own mistakes? An employee will recognize a fake and your program will be dead before it starts. Therefore, your coach needs to have strong recommendations from previous clients. Past wins are a strong indication of your project’s future.

Management coaching is nearly mainstream in China, and is rapidly becoming an accepted part of an overall talent development program. Whether you are considering working with a large organization or and individual practitioner, the success of your coaching program hinges on your coach’s ability to design and deliver a program that addresses the specific needs of your organization.

Jerel Bonner , an executive coach in Nanjing with over 7 years of experience in China, shares with us a new way to accelerate localization. For two years, Jerel has been in the trenches with a major MNC creating a coaching program that delivered real result with KPIs that were identified for his client.

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