Q&A with Lawrence McGinnis, Erickson Corporate International Executive Director

How can Erickson Corporate International‘s solutions-focused coaching change the corporate environment?
Employees aren’t mindless drones; they want to actively contribute. Through solutions-focused coaching, the entire team is encouraged to offer feedback and ideas. Every person is given a voice. And that leads to a happier, loyal and more productive employee.

What’s your personal coaching philosophy?
I liken myself to an army general, and my employees to captains. My captains are closer to the ground, and so I rely on them for input and suggestions. When you ask your team for solutions, rather than telling them what to do, they’re more apt to feel personally invested in, and accountable for the results. They think, “Hey – this company actually cares about my contribution. They care about me.”

How is today’s corporate environment different from that of the past?
Ten years ago, managers told their employees what to do and that was the end of it. But things are different now. The corporate environment is fast-paced and constantly changing. Social media is king. You have to know about marketing on the web, about Twitter and Facebook. That’s why the hiring process is so critical: you need to zero in on the person who’s adept at the web. It’s easy to recognize those individuals. They sit at a computer and they just get it.

What future do you see for Erickson Corporate International?
Erickson has been around for more than 30 years, and though we’ve evolved and grown we’re still very much grounded in psychological principles. We don’t guess what works, but draw on scientific studies that show how the human brain functions. Our coaching program is the world’s best. The next step is making sure the rest of the world knows that.