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Schwarz, D., and Davidson, A. (2009). Facilitative coaching: A toolkit for expanding your repertoire and achieving lasting results. San Francisco: Pfeiffer/John Wiley & Sons. One of the primary reasons that coaching has shown such rapid growth in the business world is because it does not have negative associations. Instead, as the qualified executive coaches quoted in the article point out, coaching is associated with positive growth and more effective executive decision-making. In addition, the same person also mistakenly says that an executive coach's role is to help a leader mesh or fit-in with the organizational culture and avoid conflicts with other executives or managers. Unless this is a specific goal outcome desired by a particular executive, it is typically neither a common practice nor a focus of executive coaching. It is a bit ironic that the person providing the mistaken view works for an organization that describes itself as providing executive coaches, but neither the representative nor any of the CEO coaches noted on the company website belong to either of the two leading professional coaching associations: the International Coach Federation or the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches. Many companies have rushed to join the rapidly-growing coaching movement by re-branding their management consultant role as "executive coaching." In many cases, however, they do not have the specific coach training from an accredited organization; they have not earned appropriate coaching credentials, and they are applying outdated deficit psychology models to effective business leadership. Their disguise as executive coaches may lead to confusion for other executives who want to gain similar benefits described in this article. The authors are skeptical about the need for a coach to have a specific body of knowledge or have specific credentials or memberships and instead emphasize the role that certain personal characteristics (acute perception, diplomacy, integrity, sound judgment) and rapport with the person being coached play in the effectiveness of coaching. While advanced degrees or clinical experience can be helpful, the authors believe such accomplishments can also interfere with developing trust with a business person. In addition to the cementing of a triangle of partners for coaching to be successful, the authors recommend having a contract in place early that identifies goals, expectations, and explicit procedures. (Editorial Note: This article adds very little to the coaching literature. The writing is adequate, but it's surprising that it appears in a business magazine with the editorial standards of the HBR — The authors do not mention the ICF or WABC, although there is a byline for the Executive Coaching Network. The authors really fail to live up to what seemed like their goal: to add reliable information and evidence about the effectiveness of executive coaching. At most they've duplicated what has been said already in many books and articles rather than added anything new. At worst their piece is really a commercial for their company disguised as an academic analysis. Their descriptions or generalities about the clients they mention do not produce any revelations and it's not even clear that the information would be of value to executive coaches wanting to improve their practice by learning how others manage cases. Even the title, of the article ("wild west"), which might have been chosen by the magazine editors and not the authors, is slightly demeaning to the coaching industry and contradicts the reality of the practice of executive coaching.) >
A comprehensive report of a two-and-a-half-day meeting of invited leaders from around the world to meet together and discuss the future vision for coaching. The topics discussed, the process used to facilitate discussion, and a range of issues identified during the meeting and during a post-meeting debriefing are presented and analyzed from the perspective of one of the participants at the session. Download the PDF version of this report. (Note: a short video summary of the conference is available to the public on the ICF website.)
With more than 195 coach training organizations issuing 65 different credentials, some with the same name, but differing requirements that can range from extensive study and practice to just a couple of phone calls, the general public as well as coaches and those interested in becoming coaches can easily be confused and bewildered. This guide identifies the various credentials, details the issues associated with credentialing, and provides a series of recommendations to strengthen both the credibility of coaching and the ability of potential coaches to sort through the hype associated with credentialing. (Download MS Word Version or PDF Version or View Online)
The latest trend in coaching is to help coaches and clients find each other. The degree to which these services deliver a true match creates questions about their real purpose. But at least one of these services, The Coach Connection, provides exceptional value for both the coaches listed and the potential clients seeking a qualified coach, while another associated with a major coaching organizations is virtually worthless. (View Online)
A change in membership requirements announced by the International Coach Federation in July, 2005 will have profound implications for coaching. This article examines the details of the proposed changes and analyzes them in terms of how they will impact the current role and influence of the ICF, how such changes illustrate challenges faced in the coaching field in general, and the relationship of the changes to key trends and issues in coaching. (Download MS Word Version).
Gathering information about the value, the size of the industry, scope, fiscal practices, and research findings associated with coaching can be a daunting and time-consuming task. In addition, many of the sources of information are either unreliable or inaccurate. In this up-to-date compendium, a coaching industry expert combines his academic research skills, long-term engagement with coaching, and some detective work to compile virtually everything that is known about whether coaching provides a return on investment, the size, scope, and breadth of coaching around the world, the fees associated with coaching, and concrete figures about other areas. (Peer Resources Network members can download a copy of this document from the PRN password protected area.)
A description of the speaker presentations, workshop sessions and activities that accompanied the Vancouver conference. Rated as the best report ever produced about an ICF conference (or any other conference). (View Online)
The Current Literature, including coaching research and resources you will not learn about from the International Coach Federation. Most articles and all abstracts are available to members of the Peer Resources Network.
An experienced executive coach provides guidance to newer coaches regarding each phase of the coaching cycle: contracting, assessment, goal-setting and action-planning, and coaching. Each phase is described in terms of appropriate and inappropriate actions or activities. For example, in the coaching phase, the author suggests that the coach prepare, but not direct, an agenda for each session. He also provides some advice on how to respond to a client who asks: "What should I do?" While the advice offered in this article is both practical and experience-rich, the author warns that coaches must remain flexible, and that the essence of coaching is helping clients to change themselves to respond effectively to people and circumstances.
Government officials at the highest levels in Britain are employing coaches, but this article uses a tone that mocks the practice, describes the coaches as "personal coaches," "mentors" and "critical friends," and chastises the officials for using "life" coaches at taxpayer expense. Either the author of the article received too little information, the firm providing the coaches did an inadequate job of describing the practice, or the "chartered psychologists" providing the coaching do not understand the differences between executive coaching and life coaching. Pity!
The authors present a step-by-step approach to illustrate the coaching process and provide numerous case examples to illustrate how this short-time approach can manage even the most challenging clients. Basically they have adapted the solution-focused therapy approach developed by Ms. Berg and Stephen de Shazer and are now using the terms 'coach' and "coaching." They advise coaches to minimize 'problem-talk' when working with clients and instead focus on 'solution-talk.' They also urge coaches to be continually aware of their own limits, particularly emphasizing the importance of referral when handling clients in crisis.
Peer coaching (PC) is one experiential learning method that can be used to enhance the depth of learning in managerial education. The paper explores the concept of peer coaching, and reports on the experiences of 43 students who participated in a PC program as part of their postgraduate management education. Powerful learning effects are reported by participants, and characteristics for successful PC relationships are examined.
This text introduces managers in work settings to techniques largely drawn from Brief Therapy as used in the UK by social workers, psychologists and counsellors. The book offers pragmatic tools that help managers structure helping conversations, and presents the principles of solution focused thinking in a language that is readily understandable. The author shows how those principles can be applied to a range of issues which managers may find themselves facing as willing or involuntary coaches.
Used to structure, feeling more pressured than their parents, twentysomethings are hiring coaches to help navigate the waters of early working life. A sidebar provides tips on what to expect in working with a coach. Fees are quoted as being from $50.00 to $750.00/hour.
The author shows that executive coaching efficacy can be measured empirically. She describes the application of an empathy questionnaire instrument to executive coaching. The findings support the hypothesis that the coaching client would be rated as changing most the behaviors directly related to stated coaching objectives; next, behaviors indirectly related to objectives, and least, behaviors not addressed in coaching. It concludes by considering the inextricability of sound practice and sound measurement.
The article describes coaching as one of the fastest growing career opportunities, and states that "20% of the 10,000 registered coaches earn six figure incomes, according to estimates from industry veterans." These coaches are described as people who "rake in money from those looking for little more than a cheerleader" and coaches who create businesses to cater to other coaches. One coach quoted in the article states that the key to a six-figure business is finding one specialty and persevering.
A survey focusing on the effectiveness of a coaching program commissioned by a global company for high potential employees who wanted to develop their emotional competence revealed that learning and behavior change among program participants was sustained over an extended period. Successful outcomes appeared to be related to the careful scrutiny of program participants, a collaborative model, an insight-oriented coaching approach, and persistent efforts to brand the program as a developmental resource. This work also indicated areas of continued opportunity for consulting psychology to include: the developmental branding of coaching initiatives, the need for early career coaching, ways to connect coaching results to existing HR practices, how to deliver high impact coaching in cross-cultural settings, and the critical need for empirical research in the areas of coaching and organization-based consultation.
The author describes Strength-Centered Therapy, a new therapeutic model based on the positive psychology of character strengths and virtues as well as social constructionist perspectives on psychotherapy. The contributions of the positive psychology of character strengths and social constructionist conceptualizations of psychotherapy are examined. In addition, the theoretical assumptions, applications, and limitations of Strength-Centered Therapy are discussed. It is argued that Strength- Centered Therapy might contribute to the revival of character strengths and virtues in psychotherapy. This therapy model brings psychotherapy closer to the foundations of coaching.
Frustration with the politics and economics of traditional mental health care has led many psychologists to consider shifting to or adding executive coaching as a core competency in their practices. Experience with work-related issues in clinical practice makes this appear to be a logical extension of traditional clinical and counseling work. There are many types of executive coaching and consulting, however, and only some of these relate to traditional mental health services. The authors propose a four-category model of executive coaching defined by the intersection of focus (business vs. personal) and technique (brief-directive vs. extended-Socratic). Developmental coaching, which addresses long-standing behavior problems in both personal and work settings, is most likely to fit with traditional psychological training. Training or experience in the upper levels of the business world is essential to developing the capability to help corporate leaders with a broad range of needs and situations in which they find themselves.
Minority employees receive less executive coaching at many companies, according to a survey of thirty-one hundred senior human resources executives. Of those employers that provide coaching, 25 percent reported that minorities get coaching at a lower rate than their proportional presence in the workforce. The balance of respondents that provide coaching indicated minority employees are coached in proportion to their numbers. Virtually no respondents reported that minorities receive executive coaching at a higher rate.
The author is an executive with a Toronto-based coaching company, and was concerned that while coaching is increasingly touted as valuable by coaches, too little information about coaching is available from those executives actually coached. She interviewed coached executives from a variety of industries; however, no details about her methodology are included. The focus of her semi-structured interviews was on what the executives perceived as the benefits of coaching. Her results, which are discussed in detail, revealed five key benefits: continuous one-on-one attention; expanded thinking through dialogue with a curious outsider; self-awareness and identifying blind spots; personal accountability for development; and just-in-time learning. Two problems were also identified: coaches provide too little information about their procedures; and coaches often fail to provide continuity between sessions (not providing an opportunity to pick-up where they left off). And contrary to statements made by one of the more popular coaching associations, executives in this study did not consider whether a coach was certified as a key element in their selection. Instead, they believed that ability to develop rapport, listen deeply, and ask challenging questions were more important characteristics.
Now there are travel coaches; that is, coaches that can help plan travel to make it more efficient, less tiring and more productive as well as actually travel with you on that business trip. The article provides snippets of comments from both coaches and clients. The International Association of Coaches is mentioned. Fees for coaches are quoted as being in the range of $500 to $3500 or more a month for three to four one-hour sessions, in person or over the phone." A coach who travels with clients is quoted as saying that fees can be $900 to $3500 a day plus travel expenses, or $275 an hour if by phone.
As one article in a three-part series on leadership development methods, the author focuses on the exceptional growth and development of executive coaching into a billion dollar industry. The bulk of the article reports on the results of a study that included 48 organizations and 86 leaders being coached. One of the key findings was the evolution of coaching from a "fix-the-problem" approach to a "leader development" approach. Having a coach is now seen as an asset and at least 92% of those leaders using a coach would do so again. Another key finding from the leaders involved was their recommendation that business experience and ability to develop rapport were much more important than coach certification and cost - a finding that contradicts the primary direction of the International Coach Federation. The four additional suggestions include: be prepared to work hard and be challenged; make sure supervisors or bosses are supportive of coaching; use assessments to determine your own personal ROI; and find an appropriate ending point rather than letting the coaching continue indefinitely.
The authors provide details about the connection between wellness coaching, health coaching, fitness coaching and life coaching. They describe how a life coach works, provide a sample session, explain how life coaching can help organizations as well as individuals, provide suggestions about how to use life coaching, and provide a number of resources and references.
Executive coaching is described as helping one company make a change that filtered down from the top to all ranks. The author indicates that executive coaching has moved from a last resort, secretive approach to focusing on bringing out the best in executives. Described as a combination of psychology, consulting and mentoring, executive coaching is more like a mirror that helps executives reflect upon what is important to them. One company quoted in the article believes they have achieved a 100% return from the coaching work. The author offers five tips for selecting a coach: expertise, experience, references, chemistry, and trial sessions.
Based on the experience and research of the Center for Creative Leadership, a leading executive coaching organization, this compilation of philosophy, advanced coaching techniques, and practical, hands-on information focuses on leadership coaching in a variety of special circumstances and with a variety of people. The book has chapters, for example, on coaching women leaders, coaching leaders of color, coaching across cultures, and coaching senior leaders. In addition the editors have included chapters on coaching for emotional intelligence, physical well-being, coaching through change and transition, coaching teams, and creating a coaching culture. A CD-ROM is included with the book. The book can be ordered from https://www.ccl.org/leadership/forms/publications/publicationProductDetail.aspx?pageId=1252&productId=0-7879-7684-9
Minority employees receive less executive coaching at many companies, according to a survey of thirty-one hundred senior human resources executives. Of those employers that provide coaching, 25 percent reported that minorities get coaching at a lower rate than their proportional presence in the workforce. The balance of respondents that provide coaching indicated minority employees are coached in proportion to their numbers. Virtually no respondents reported that minorities receive executive coaching at a higher rate.
A general overview of how executive coaches work with examples from two highly successful cases that illustrate different approaches and the results clients gained. The author believes that "a good coach can transform your business; a bad one can mess it up." She cautions that coaches are great at selling themselves, and provides six ideas for choosing the right coach (establish goals, set a time frame, insist on a trial period, get references, go slow, and beware the cult of personality). The author also provides advice on how to determine what kind of coach you need (based on four pop-psychology personality type descriptions of coaches: the best friend, the guru, the number cruncher, and the drill instructor). The author states that the number of executive coaches has increased from 2,000 in 1996 to 10,000 today, and that rates can vary from several hundred to several thousand an hour, but does not provide a source for these statistics. The author also warns that "Anyone, with any amount of experience, can crown himself coach and start offering advice. Hairstylists face more stringent licensing requirements."
The author provides examples of how not just the wealthy are hiring coaches to manage their lives. Many workers are hiring business coaches to help build business practice, reach goals, and help them stretch past their comfort zone. Cautions in hiring are important and three criteria are recommended: certification from the ICF, background in the area of help needed, and chemistry. The author quotes a study that says the majority of U.S. companies use formal coaching as an employee development method.
The author, an entrepreneur and founder of a wealth management company, details what he went through to find a coach. While coaches are plentiful, he says, finding the right one, requires careful shopping. There are many business models and considerable diversity in the coaching field. After developing a short list of coaches that learned about through referrals, he interviewed each one as if he were hiring a key employee. The sense that he could trust the coach to hold the conversation in confidence and could understanding his concerns seemed to be the criteria that sold him the most on selecting the coach he chose from a group of ten.
A coach describes the value of coaching and having her own coach, and provides some guidance in how to select a coach.
Lawyers can gain benefits from working with a coach to enhance performance in the many roles that law practice requires (and that are not taught in law school). The author provides brief information about how to select a coach and what to expect in the engagement. Finding a coach with experience working with legal professionals and making a commitment to doing homework between coaching sessions are two suggestions provided by the author to make coaching worthwhile.
Using a brief case study of how a realtor benefited from coaching, the author describes seven ways a coach can help achieve a client achieve balance and satisfaction: view the big picture, put systems in place, set priorities and goals, exploit unexplored niches, work through life's roadblocks, take a bold new direction, and learn to live and let go. In addition the author provides five tips for what to expect when working with a coach.
Promotion and career advancement are highly prized aspects of work life, but they also present significant hurdles. Many first-time leaders and advancing executives feel poorly prepared for their new roles. Their struggles become most apparent during the transition period. Problems with people skills, corporate culture, gaining results, strategic or visionary skills, as well as a lack of experience, unrealistic expectations, imposter syndrome or inadequate preparation are some of the difficulties that rise to the surface during this time period. The authors of this article draw upon their fieldwork experiences to show how to help leaders, particularly during the first 90 days, when their actions can have a major impact on their success or failure. Of the various dilemmas faced by leaders in transition, the authors selected confused, unclear, or unrealistic expectations as the focus for this particular case study. They provide a description and rationale for the "transition coaching" they use and detail how such coaching is put into practice, particularly to help new leaders develop a "learning orientation." They share a number of techniques, including an "Appointment Charter," "Key Questions," "Productive Conversations," "System Issues," and a set of eight interrelated steps that lead to successful transition coaching assignments. They also compare and contrast two different coaching engagements to identify how to customize transition coaching for each situation. (The full text of this article is available to Peer Resources Network members through the courtesy of the article authors.)
This article documents the increase in the organization-wide use of coaching and the power such coaching has for senior and middle managers as well as employees. Job satisfaction increased, sharing across departments improved, staff turnover was virtually eliminated, complaints from clients served by the coached company decreased, and sales hit a record high. The article includes the names of the companies involved as well as the coaches and coach training organization that provided the basis to introduce system-wide coaching.
Unfortunately, we missed this valuable booklet the first time it was published in 1997, but fortunately the Center for Creative Leadership has continued to reprint copies. We received our copy directly from Robert Witherspoon, one of the authors, an executive coach with over 30 years experience as a consultant and business executive. The authors believe that the role that an executive coach plays must be based on the executive's need. They identify four primary needs: (1) coaching for skills; (2) coaching for performance; (3) coaching for development; and (4) coaching for the executive's agenda. Role clarity, particularly in the early stages of a coaching relationship is essential for clarifying expectations, developing a common language, knowing where to start, and establishing ground rules and a feedback system. In this booklet the authors detail each of these four roles, recognize that the roles can overlap, and most importantly for the reader, give brief case examples drawn from their experience that describe the situation, the process used, and the results gained for each of the four roles.
The author expresses some concern about coaching and the scant attention paid to qualifications. He particularly attacks the number of coaching websites that induce people to not only become clients but also become coaches. He compares this addiction for training coaches to a medical office that has a sign saying, "Would you like to see the doctor or become a doctor?". The author acknowledges the role of Thomas Leonard as a founder of the modern coaching movement and he also points out that many coaches appear to be doing the same things as psychiatrists and psychologists. Several coaches are quoted describing why coaching has become so popular and effective. Among the qualms about coaching (which he labels a "river of flowing muck") the author cites: no regulations; anyone can be a coach; practioners have too little experience in helping roles; coaches promote easy solutions; reports of success are exaggerated because the cost of failure is too high; the focus on results and speed minimize a focus on causes and real solutions.
The author of this article makes a false start by characterizing executive coaching as previously being "highly suspect." He then states that the current interest in executive coaching has been stimulated by ROI studies (such as the MetrixGlobal study and an article in a business journal). Businesses, according to the author, use executive coaches for two reasons: leadership succession and creating a better image for the company. Coaching can also boost learning that comes from seminars or other training events to maximize putting such learning into practice, according to a coach quoted in the article. The author also likens executive coaching to teaching executives eitquette, proper cubicle behaviour, and "body odor diplomacy."
In an effort to explore coaches viewpoints about supervision and accreditation, this UK-based professional association conducted a survey and received 162 responses. The survey covered: (1) the extent to which coaches currently have supervisors (48 percent); (2) their views about the importance of supervision (the majority were positive); and (3) reactions to the type of supervision offered by the Association as well as the Association's definition of supervision (many want wanted to view guidelines or standards, many objected to the term, and few believed supervision ought to be compulsory. In addition the survey examined "accreditation," which in the UK is equivalent to the North American use of the term "certification." Respondents were evenly divided as to the value of accreditation.
A variety of thought leaders representing coaching associations, organizations and academic institutions replied to telephone interviews and email questions. This paper summarizes the viewpoints expressed, and although the participants were a diverse group, their responses, for the most part, are remarkably similar. With regard for the need to have a common definition of coaching, for example, the most of those interviewed believed that creating a universal definition of coaching was both futile and time-wasting. There was less agreement about the importance of universal standards, although most participants agreed upon the importance of standards having an empirical basis and inter-organization support. Several dangers to coaching were cited, including over promotion, incorrect labeling, incompetence, proliferation of unaccredited training, management consulting masquerading as coaching, and government intervention. Other questions asked in the study focused on how to create public confidence in coaching; funding for professional review of ethics, credentialing and accreditation; and a request to specify other key questions for future research. (A copy of this study is available to Peer Resources Network members.)
The author identifies three types of providers of coaching services: the large conglomerate, typically multinational; the solo market where coaches work as individuals; and the specialized coaching team. He asserts that provider size is the key quality-related variable distinguishing these three types and suggests how the positive characteristics associated with each size can be maximized while the negative elements can be avoided.
The results of a survey regarding the prevalence, roles, requirements, metrics for effectiveness, and increase in use of internal coaches in companies in the US.
Coaching in organizations often focuses on either how to address issues effectively or how to perform well in a situation. At times these interventions will prove ineffective. There is, however, another possible focus of coaching, one that confronts making sense of one's life and the fundamental values and meaning that get expressed through choice and action. This is "alignment coaching." The authors share a perspective on business coaching, distinguishing alignment coaching from both performance and executive coaching models. Using a case study illustration, further distinctions are drawn about the types of issues clients face and the type of business coaching that, when matched, can provide 'best fit' to achieve desired results.
Coaching has evolved because there is a great demand in the workplace for immediate results. Many executives are becoming proactive rather than waiting to be told to get a coach. Executive coaches Marshall Goldsmith, Stephen Fairley, and Michael Goldberg are quoted.
A description of a coach that helps a retired geologist begin a second career in massage therapy and healing meditation. The article reports that coaches charge between $150 to $500 a month and some even more.
Executive coaching is a very private, efficient and effective way to gain insight into political issues and interpersonal dynamics operating in the credit union executive's work world, while giving him or her a completely confidential opportunity to sort through old behaviors and try out new approaches that might better serve the executive and the workplace.
The behavioral coaching process is designed to help successful leaders achieve positive, long-term, measurable change in behavior. Columnist and executive coach Marshall Goldsmith's firm has learned to qualify its coaching clients, meaning that it only work with clients whom they believe will benefit from the firm's coaching process. The following eight steps outline his firm's behavioral coaching process: 1. Involve the leaders being coached in determining the desired behavior in their leadership roles. 2. Involve the leaders being coached in determining key stakeholders. 3. Collect feedback. 4. Determine key behaviors for change. 5. Have the coaching client respond to key stakeholders. 6. Review what has been learned with clients and help them develop an action plan. 7. Develop an ongoing follow-up process. 8. Review results and start again.
At present there is very little formal and credible training available to executive coaches, nor is there professional accountability to guide and monitor the quality of the profession. Although there is no blue-print available to avoid making the wrong choice when selecting a coach, the following will act as a guideline: 1. Assess the need of the individual to be coached. 2. Decide whether the services of an internal or external coach be employed. 3. Match the profile of the coach with that of the need of the individual, the issues to be explored and the organization. 4. What is the relevant experience of the coach and how much experience have they had. 5. Ensure you obtain testimonials from previous clients. 6. Decide how will quality be monitored during the coaching assignment. 7. Agree measurable outcomes for the coaching assignment. 8. Determine qualifications and any membership of professional bodies. 9. Match personal qualities and characteristics with the individuals they will coach.
Coaching CEO successor candidates is challenging and deeply nuanced in the best of circumstances. The stakes rise exponentially when the sitting CEO owns the company, resents having "anointed" an eventual successor, and has been phenomenally successful despite the bruising effects of his narcissism and toxic micromanagement. This case study describes how a data-driven, insight-oriented coaching methodology helped the CEO candidate accelerate his effectiveness, instill hope in the organization, and forge a more stable relationship with the CEO- - a sufficiently functional relationship for the future CEO to decide to remain with the company. Furthermore, this work highlights the importance of clinical skills and three coaching meta principles (traction, trust, and truth-telling). Finally, this longer term coaching engagement illustrates the dynamic role shift from coach to trusted advisor. Through this deepened relationship, coaching gains were consolidated and an objective sounding board was retained for both the CEO and his eventual successor.
Coaching has become a popular method to develop senior executives, yet its effectiveness is open to debate. First, coaching is often conducted without addressing the environment in which the executive operates, making gains derived from coaching difficult to sustain. Second, executives often resist being coached, inhibiting them from learning or acting differently. This article demonstrates executive coaching to be an effective management and organizational development tool, particularly when coaches become more aware of their own resistance to coaching.
This article is a review of a coaching engagement that started as a three-month contract and included a DISC assessment and wound-up spanning a two-year period. The client was an executive with a global corporation and expressed goals that included: lack of fulfillment in current position, unable to enjoy time away from work, more freedom, increase in courage and confidence, increase in energy level, have more fun, and discover purpose. The article describes the initial, middle, and final phases of the engagement and conclusions are provided from both the coach's and client's perspectives.
In the literature of the coaching profession, the voice of the client is rarely heard. This case study examines the coaching process from the perspective of both the coach and the participant, providing unique insights into the art of coaching. Beginning with background descriptions of the coach and the participant, the authors move into a discussion of the first coaching engagement, which began in 2000. Two years later, after Jennifer had been promoted into a larger and more complex assignment, the authors began working together again. The authors discuss highlights of the coaching experience from each of their perspectives and compare what was similar and different across the two coaching engagements.
This case study follows the evolution of an executive coaching consultation provided to the leaders of an organizational system over a 5-year period. The clients were part of a community outreach center in an academic medical center, and the coach-consultant was part of an internal service group. During this extended engagement, the clients' organizational system experienced a dramatic period of growth and change. The diversification of leadership roles, the dynamics of moving beyond the leadership of an organizational founder, and the challenges of rapid growth are all highlighted in the coaching content. Lessons learned from this coaching experience include an understanding of (a) the advantages of using coaching as an adjunct to other forms of organizational consultation, (b) how to manage changes in contracting and intervention goals over time, (c) how to meet the challenges of coaching to a leadership pair, and (d) mechanisms for using coaching to support leadership succession.
Professional sports teams are highly successful in generating new knowledge in order to remain competitive in the global arena, but can the principles derived from their success be applied to the business arena. Unstructured interviews with executive coaches and elite level sports coaches revealed that organizational form is the critical determinant for learning and is probably the reason that business teams have such limited success. The hierarchical structure of most business organizations stifles the development of the social capital necessary for sustained learning and knowledge construction. Business leaders must rethink their roles and attend to creating and managing the social environment, particularly supporting peer coaching, and reduce the power management practices so easily found in business.
According to Peter deLisser, leadership coach and author of Be Your Own Executive Coach, managers should spend 50 percent of a meeting's time preparing for the meeting, and the remaining 35% doing follow-up. Most meetings drag on ad nauseum because the person holding the meeting is ill prepared. It is best to spend a bit of time up-front and save on the back end. To prepare, deLisser gives these suggestions: 1. Know specifically what you want to accomplish by the end of the meeting. 2. Decide if you want to hold an information-sharing or decision-making meeting. 3. Have only those attend who can substantively contribute to the meetings bottom line. 4. Send out an agenda in advance with objectives listed. Other suggestions are discussed.
The authors recognized the value of coaching as used in managerial circles as a technique for enhancing executive personal development. They used such coaching in a six-month pilot to provide coaching support for a group of eight general practitioner physicians involved in a leadership development program.
While coaching and therapy have a number of similarities, the author shows that the two disciplines are quite different in many ways, particularly in terms of context issues bought to sessions and the ultimate intention. Typically, the skill sets required for each differ. Practical considerations such as terms of contract, length of session, pricing and boundaries also vary greatly.
An executive vice president of creative entertainment at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts arrived at the position with professional experience in theater in New York, but had never had a corporate job. Working with a coach who said, "You better perform, baby, or you are out of here," and combined warmth and toughness provided a realistic appraisal of the complexities of surviving and thriving at Disney. Such success stories are feeding huge growth in the field of executive coaching. Bringing outsiders in to coach CEOs, other C-level executives and senior vice presidents is almost a status symbol for today's rising corporate stars. The author estimates that this type of coaching as become a $1 billion business in the process and he provides some critiques of the problems associated with coaching. Executive coaches Marshall Goldsmith and others are quoted as to how they go about doing their work, including deciding which clients to take on.
The author asserts that the role of education supervisors in medicine will change from being informal role models to taking part in a more active and explicit coaching relationship. Challenging issues will be discussed to raise awareness of professional and other matters in a constructive way, to encourage continued improvement in the physician trainees' sphere of work. There is limited information in the medical education literature about coaching as a learning tool for self-development, but a definition is from business, where coaching is defined as the 'art of facilitating the performance, learning and development of another," may be appropriate. The definitions of coaching and mentoring suggest that there are similarities between the two processes. In practice, any distinction may be irrelevant if we understand the skills that education supervisors require to encourage others to focus on their own professional and personal development. Some may argue that coaching is just a new fad in medical education, and that limited resources might be better used elsewhere. This view is understandable, particularly as coaching is not yet established in the armory of medical education and evidence in the medical education literature is scant. There is a need to demonstrate the positive impact that coaching has for foundation doctors; therein lies the challenge for researchers in medical education.
A consumer's guide for HR professionals and executives who want to be good clients and savvy consumers of coaching services. Step by step, the book defines what coaching is, who uses it, when, and why. In this comprehensive resource the authors outline the entire coaching process, include key points on the readiness for coaching, and clients' first-hand accounts of their coaching experiences. Valerio and Lee describe the roles of the HR professional, the client, the boss, and the coach and how all work together in order to achieve a successful coaching engagement. Purchase from Amazon.com.
The author focuses on coaching and how the workplace is changing from authoritarian bosses and jobs for life towards self directed learning and portfolio careers. Outlines how the Virgin Empire was built using a coaching culture and provides case histories of the implementation of coaching and coach training in the workplace. Provides some facts and figures about Return On Investment (ROI), and why companies introduce coaching. Concludes with a look into the future.
Managers often rise swiftly through the ranks on the basis of his or her technical ability only to find that, once they reach the top, these abilities pale into insignificance in comparison with the need for interpersonal and leadership skills. Such a problem is certainly not uncommon yet according to a recent study in the UK by Whitehead Mann Group, these senior executives are receiving little or no training in order to develop the necessary attributes.
Executives describe the importance and impact of coaching on their ability to more successfully grow and develop themselves, their companies, and their staff. Their coaches also provide ideas about what makes coaching successful. A sidebar included with the article provides information about the factors that prompt people to hire a coach, six potential outcomes associated with good coaching, and five ideas on how to select a coach. (Note about this article: In an otherwise excellent article about the value and increasing use of coaches at the executive level, it was unfortunate that a quote from one of the individuals interviewed for the article was integrated into the headline. The person quoted was completely in error when he said that coaching once had a "stigma" or was perceived as "remedial education." My guess is that he is confusing psychotherapy, counselling or even performance management or psychology with coaching.
Available from Amazon.com.
Personal interviews with leading professional coaches and allied healthcare organizations led the author (a member of the International Coach Federation and the Peer Resources Network) to conclude that a consensus has been reached showing coaching to be an ongoing relationship that focuses on clients taking forward action toward realizing their visions, goals, and desires. Interviews with wellness coaches and quantitative outcome studies clearly show increased return on investment (ROI) using coaching as well as improved wellness. This return was especially present for weight loss and cardio risk reduction. The benefits of life/wellness coaching are being increasingly recognized throughout the US healthcare system, particularly within complementary and alternative medicine and integrative practices. Conventional practitioners are still uncertain about what coaching is and where it might fit within their profession. The author believes there is a need for more research and outcome studies to further validate the benefits of coaching to the healthcare system and that a more health-conscious and vocal public will lead to a wider use of coaching in the healthcare profession. (Reprints or copies of this article are only available from the journal publisher. Call toll-free: 866.828.2962.)
This article describes the experiences of different parents and different coaches as they seek ways to help parents manage the stresses of parenting. Although unlicensed, many parent coaches have background training for well-known coaching schools and there is even a school that specializes in parent coaching. Another advantage of parent coaching appears to be the low fees charged that make it available to a wider-variety of parents who would not be able to afford the typical fees of parenting experts.
This major Canadian newspaper held a contest for readers so that they could be matched with a life coach to help them achieve a personal goal. Five hundred people applied and the editors narrowed it down to seven people who were then matched with qualified local coaches. Each situation experienced by the group of seven is described and summarized by a goal statement. The newspaper will issue regular reports about the progress of the coaching connection and the ability of the participants to attain their personal/family goals.
This research paper focuses on four areas: (1) knowledge of, attitudes about and experience with coaching among small business owners and professionals; (2) the creation of a demographic profile of these coaching clients and prospects; (3) identification of client variables that correlate with successful coaching relationships; and (4) the the creation of coaching industry benchmarks that can be used to track trends over time. Business owners and professionals in the USA and Canada with (147) and without experience (201) with coaching were surveyed. The study provides considerable data with regards to the the use of coaches over time and what variables are associated with increased use. This research, conducted in 2003, is a valuable companion for comparison to a previous study: "Analysis of the 1999 Survey on Coaching in Corporate America" conducted by the ICF. (A copy of the 2004 study is available to members of the Peer Resources Network by email from Rey Carr.)
The authors show that being coached has become a mainstream activity in the executive world. They contend that while coaching is most prevalent in US boardrooms, more than half of a 2002 poll of 150 companies located outside the US revealed that the companies had increased their use of coaches. According to the authors, executive coaches charge anywhere from a "few hundred dollars to $15,000 a day" for a few telephone conversations. Coaching is described as a "combination of mentoring, professional development, and support offered through a one-on-one relationship" and focuses on "behavioral changes to hone leadership skills, enhance personal effectiveness, and correct unhelpful behaviors to improve job effectivneness." Short descriptions of what coaches do and who they work with are provided. The authors also claim that coaching has its roots in psychology citing the works of Edgar Schein (process-oriented consultation), Kurt Lewin (Field Theory), and Harry Levinson (organizational dynamics). The authors believe that most US executive coaches come from three areas: business academics, psychologists or counselors, and "self-proclaimed experts." In their concluding section the authors express a number of cautions about coaching, including its attractiveness to charlatans, the potential for being a fad, and the lack of standard training.
Although the front page of this issue of the magazine uses the title: "Do you need a career coach?" the article itself purports to be an FAQ (set of frequently asked questions) about coaching. The author states that there are an "estimated 20,000 coaches around the globe," and that the only thing they have in common is that they all use the term "coach." He believes that while certification is a good thing, most people seek out someone they can trust. The author also believes (in error) that people seek coaching for only one of two reasons: "navigating some transition in their lives or careers, or having some inkling they they're jerks, and that antisocial behavior is holding them back. Fees, the author has found, range from $10,000 per person for several face-to-face sessions with an executive coach to $50 "a pop" to work with a career coach for 45-minutes. The article ends with a repeat of an oft-cited bad experience with a coach and includes a side-bar about how the author only lasted two-days in a five-day coaching seminar. A photo is included with the article depicting a sad-looking basketball coach pointing to a play in a chalkboard. The interesting thing about this article is its cynical tone combined with actual quotes from people involved in coaching.
Leading sources report that peer-to-peer coaching is on the increase as employees become task or team leaders. But coaching does not come naturally to everyone, so managers can better prepare employees for such roles through proactive coaching. Instead of telling the peer leader how to do a job, a manager needs to ask questions such as "How do you intend to handle the task?" or "What problems do you anticipate?" A proactive manager also checks regularly to make sure the employee has the resources to make progress and provides success coaching. Another key to the success of supporting peer-to-peer coaching is to help the peer coach devise their own strategies for dealing with various issues. In addition a manager can help by brainstorming progress indicators rather than constantly looking over the peer coach's shoulder. Coaching for success, the author argues, rather than just criticizing after the fact, will maximize performance, reduce errors, and increase commitment. A five question, true-false survey is included with this article to determine whether the reader takes a coaching or refereeing approach to working with employees. (A copy of this article is available to members of the Peer Resources Network by email.
A press release featuring a summary of several studies included those conducted by Scott Blanchard, the CEO of Coaching.com. In one study a $2 million profitability impact occurred for a group receiving coaching yielding a 10 to 1 return on investment. The Manchester Consulting study on coaching is also quoted which documented dramatic improvements in relationships, teamwork, job satisfaction, productivity and overall work quality. A 1997 study that appeared in Public Personnel Management is also quoted. This study found that when training is combined with coaching, individuals increased their productivity by an average of 88 percent, as compared to 22 percent with training alone (see full summary of this study).
The authors decry the lack of reliable information about executive coaching and the dearth of research supporting this approach, but then go on to add only sketchy anecdotal information based on their own cases about the value of executive coaching. They point out the reasons for an increased attention to executive coaching and define executive coaching as "producing business results for employers." The success of executive coaching is based on what they call "working the triangle," which is a model of bringing together the coach, the "coachee," and the client (typically the organization as represented by a senior executive). A unique element of this article is their description of how each member of the triad needs to "qualify" for coaching: the client must recognize and believe in the purpose of coaching; coaches must have skills, focus on goals, foster independence, value truth-telling, and ask penetrating questions; and the person to be coached must have developmental needs, be motivated, and be a volunteer.
Citing a report to be released by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), this article claims that 83 percent of the British population is prepared to seek professional help. Membership in the BACP has tripled (to 20,000) and other help providing services have noticed similar increases. "Life coaching is the most popular of Britain's new therapies," claim the authors and its popularity has clearly surpassed the most trusted forms of talk therapy such as counselling, psychotherapy, psychology, and psychoanalysis. Such growth has prompted the National Counselling and Psychotherapy Accrediting Bodies to establish a national register of approved practitioners of the coaching approach. One critic claims that such coaches are in the business of creating clients by promoting a sense of insecurity in people. While some professionals see this new willingness to seek help as a way of getting past previous stigma, others believe it is a way to avoid taking responsibility. The authors provide examples of how help is being provided for stress, exam worries, and bereavement.
The authors identify five types of leadership coaching: strategic, organizational change/execution, leadership development, personal/life planning, and behavioral. Their article reports how they went beyond descriptions and definitions and instead set out to determine whether such approaches work, and more specifically what approaches have the greatest impact on assisting leaders to "achieve positive long-term changes." To do so they examined leadership development programs in eight major corporations (approximately 10,000 participants). While all eight organizations shared the same umbrella goal (aligning practices with desired leadership goals), they all used different methods to reach their goals, including offsite training, onsite coaching, external coaches, traditional classroom methods, and on-the-job interactions. Effectiveness was measured by going beyond just participant perceptions of impact to also measuring the impact on co-workers and stakeholders. One key finding was that "Leaders who discussed their own improvement priorities with their co-workers, and then regularly followed up with these co-workers, showed striking improvement. Leaders who did not have ongoing dialogue with colleagues showed improvement that barely exceeded random chance. This was true whether the leader had an external coach, an internal coach, or no coach. It was also true whether the participants went to a training program for five days, went for one day, or did not attend a training program at all." The authors concluded that leadership relies extensively on relationship. Other findings included (1) the follow-up contact factor (thus the title, "leadership is a contact sport") held true for executives in both US and international corporations; (2) both internal and external coaches can make a positive difference; (3) coaches who followed-up with their clients led to clients following-up with their co-workers and employees; (4) feedback or coaching by telephone worked as well as feedback or coaching in person; and (5) continual contact with colleagues regarding development issues is so effective it can succeed even without a large, formal program.
A conflict coaching pioneer describes seven different ways that peer conflict coaches can assist in dispute resolution.
A leading consulting company hires coaches to help managers improve their communication with their direct reports. While they may at first not appreciate the feedback from a coach, the managers realize that their is a conflict between how they perceive their communication style and how their employees perceive their style. The company conducted hired a consulting company to determine the return on investment of its coaching program. "The study found that all the leaders applied what they learned to improve their own development, while 53 percent went beyond that to significantly improve their relationships with teams and peers." The study concluded that the company gained $3.3 million in 2003 by providing $414,310 to coach 45 managers. This resulted in a 689 percent return on investment.
This 82-page document is a must for coaches interested in marketing their services. The author has summarized a number of studies and provides a thorough perspective on the state of the art of the coaching industry. The guide outlines the different professional bodies and the current training and qualification options, explains the different types of coaching, discusses the business case for coaching, considers when coaching is an appropriate intervention, discusses the different interest groups, explains the difference between and makes recommendations about internal versus external coaches, provides a list of criteria about what to look for in a coach during selection, and provides guidance and advice for human resources on recruiting and matching coaches to any organization. (Available as a free PDF download on the CIPD website.)
This case study shows the impact of coaching on an executive in a major corporation. The report uses a holistic system to describe present performance, barriers to success, potential conflicts and other characteristics both before and after coaching. The report also shows how a coaching plan can be based on the evidence from developmental and behavioral assessments. Attention to ROI is included in the results. (This paper is available to Peer Resources Network members in the members only area.
The author begins the article with a story about a "coach" that didn't seem to help and goes on to emphasize the importance of carefully choosing a coach. Coaches could be in the business for the wrong (financial) reasons or may be charismatic, but have little concrete to offer. The author quotes an academic who mistakenly characterizes coaches into three groups (executive coaches, career coaches, and life coaches), and then further characterizes life coaches as people who give advice about personal relationships and emotional issues. The author advises readers to narrow the field by searching for a coach with extensive training and credible certification, but also to rely on your intuition.
This article describes the value of external coaches in providing objective feedback to corporate executives. A coach can help a corporate employee benefit from the feedback rather than just reacting to it. In addition a coach can be more objective than colleagues. Armed with more realistic feedback an executive can plan and develop his/her career more effectively. Coaches can help executives with a variety of issues such as balancing individuality with team play, dealing with family issues that impact on work, and how to leave a legacy of value at work. A sidebar offers ideas on how to hire the right coach.
The authors draw on their extensive consulting based research to provide an accessible introduction to the field of social network analysis. Mapping social networks involves surveying individual employees, intact work groups, or cross functional teams to determine who goes to whom to gather information that enables them to get their work done. Analysis of these "maps" yields information that can identify core experts, bottlenecks, and disconnects, and can yield unexpected insights into other relational and organizational issues. One chapter in the book is devoted to mapping organizational "energy," identifying those who are energizers and those who are energy sinks in the group. Executive coaches may find the concepts useful if a client were looking to analyze his or her own personal network, or to decipher the dynamics of the work being done in their organization, but the book is more of an organizational development tool. The technical expertise to actually perform an analysis would require an outside expert or an in-depth study of the methodology. However, social network analysis does provide a microscope that allows one to see things not visible to the naked eye and thus provide an executive with richer information. (Summary and review by Peer Resources Network member T. Sue Epps.)
A well-known UK coaching school holds an introductory workshop for people interested in becoming coaches. A journalist shows up to sample the event and in a some what humorous (sarcastic) way, points out the weaknesses: coaching is touted as being able to deal with anything; coaching is cliche-ridden; coaching is full of simplistic advice, "requires little training, little intelligence, and no experience;" coaches themselves are often in need of serious coaching; and "a great deal of coaching could be replaced with a bottle of wine, a curry and the company of a semi-sympathetic friend." Retrieved from https://search.ft.com/s03/search/article.html?id=040705001024 (After July 7, 2004 available to paid FT.com subscribers only. For a well-stated "letter to the editor" response to this article, read what coach and ICF member Susan Franzen had to say.)
In conjunction with the University of Central England, the authors examined how coaching contributes value to businesses and organizations across the United Kingdom. The study included more than 100 well-known companies. Some of the findings include: (1) a number of companies do not use coaching because they lack the understanding of how to measure its return and value; (2) larger organizations were more likely to use coaching; (3) coaching is more established in the private rather than the public sector; (4) most of the coaching takes place at the executive level and concerns personal development and performance improvement; (5) referrals and prior awareness are the main sources for identifying coaches; (6) most coaching is provided by established firms and networks; (7) six criteria (personal style, cultural fit, good track record, coaching experience, professional standards) are essential in a decision to employ a coach; (8) three factors appeared to influence outcomes: evidence of professional development, coaching qualifications, and a structured approach; and (9) strong expectation that use will increase and clear evidence that systematic and structured use will provide greater value. The full report is available for a fee from either of the authors.
The authors, who together have coached more than 1,000 executives, have identified a contemporary business paradox: some executives are so good at their jobs, they need coaches to help them keep their jobs. They particularly single out "alpha males," people who are only happy if they are at the top, calling the shots. The authors explain how coaches can assist executives with these traits by building on strengths and reducing weaknesses such as in the case of alpha males, supporting their results orientation, but at the same time helping them respond effectively to feedback. The authors identify a number of traps that can snare coaches when they work with alpha males. An alpha male, for example, doesn't have time for a "nice, touchy-feely" coach, so a coach who likes fluidity, spontaneity in coaching may be unable to gain credibility with this type of client. Another trap is a coach's excessive concern about confidentiality or privacy. Such secrecy plays into an alpha male weakness or not attending to how others perceive them and discussing openly any commitment to change. Most importantly coaches need to avoid the trap of being intimidated by the personality or genuine power of such alpha types. The authors identify several specific coaching techniques, including getting attention, demanding commitment, speaking the same language, challenging where it hurts, and engaging curiosity and competitive instincts. The also outline five steps that contribute to the growth of alphas including admitting vulnerability, accepting accountability, connecting with underlying emotions, balancing positive with critical feedback, and becoming aware of patterns. A tool is included to help alphas chart their progress toward more constructive thinking and balancing their need to be right. A brief description of the alpha female is included.
The author believes that coaching and mentoring are not only important for executive development, but are essential for business success. She briefly traces the development of these two activities in New Zealand and provides anecdotal evidence as to their success at both the individual and organizational level, including how they instill core competencies, build leadership skills, and maintain development. Information is also provided about criteria used to select the "right" provider and how different providers may have strengths needed by companies in different phases of rolling out a coaching and mentoring approach. (Thanks to Jane John of On Point Research for identifying this article.)
While coaching has become a major business strategy and knowledge of coaching has become more widespread, many firms are still left in a quandary about whether to outsource their coaching needs or turn to their own employees to provide such coaching. This article outlines the pros and cons of both external and internal coaching, providing a way for companies to improve the quality of their decision and increase the likelihood of obtaining top level coaches. The positive elements of external coaches include objectivity, lack of bias, wider circle of knowledge, and an exclusive focus on coaching relationship. On the negative side, finding an accredited, skilled external coaches can take considerable time and external coaches may need more time to get up to speed about the clients' company culture and situation. Internal coaches already know the company culture and environment (that could also be a negative feature) and clients may believe they are spending less of their budget by meeting with someone internal to the organization. On the negative side an internal coach often has to add coaching to existing job requirements, their knowledge is limited to their own company, and their training may not be equivalent to current standards, sometimes requiring more funding for keeping up the training focus. The article concludes that a combination of internal and external is most likely the best approach. (Thanks to Jane John of On Point Research for identifying this article.)
Week-long retreats are a thing of the past for the modern sales force. Telecoaching with its low cost, coach-from-anywhere, just-when-needed focus has become an essential tool allowing managers more time for management tasks. And some people believe that telecoaching can be more effective than in-person coaching (a greater sense of confidentiality, more likelihood of a coach challenging a client when non-verbal cues are less apparent, more opportunity for brief follow-up on action goals, and increased opportunities for recognition of a job well done). One company mentioned in the article showed a 21 percent increase over a one-year period as a result of telecoaching and another group had a 22 percent increase in sales after eight-months.
The author identifies ten myths associated with coaching, describes and dispels each, providing an action point. Amost every myth contains a kernel of truth. The ten he includes are: nobody can really define coaching, coaching is managing with a happy face, coaching is just another name for mentoring, being a coach means being a cheerleader, coaching takes a lot of time, coaching is a kind of psychotherapy, one recipe can handle all coaching situations, some people just can't be coached, if you successfully coach people, they may leave, and finally coaching doesn't add to the bottom line.
The briefing explains, by way of examples, what it means for the ICF to review their core competencies from a research point of view. The briefing also names some of the consequences of that view for training and certification, coaching practice, and coaching research. The author believes that if the ICF doesn't attend to adult development over the life span and its direct relevance to coaching, especially coach training, the ICF will have a troubled future. Download this paper. (PRN members only.)
While coaching is more than just asking questions, certain questions have significant power to generate the type of help that most clients are seeking. In this list of 100 questions, organized around the phases of a coaching relationship, Geoff Abbott has provided coaches with samples of inquiry used by top coaches. Download this Word File.
The author has spent a lifetime studying the character of Jesus, and the better part of her career working with leaders. She believes "there is no better role model for coaching that gets lasting results than Jesus of Nazareth." For a more detailed review, go to Peer Resources Top Books on Coaching This book is available for purchase from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.
This article uses the term "life coach" to describe the work of a coach assisting an entrepreneur to grow a business and then balance work and personal priorities. The author describes a life coach as a "cross between a consultant and a therapist," and says that life coaches are paid between $400 and $1200 per month for three or four 45-minute sessions. The author briefly mentions the requirements for certification as a coach through the International Coach Federation (ICF) and assumes that all coaches have acquired this type of certification. Ironically only one of the two coaches mentioned in the article are members of the ICF.
The content of this book is the result of interviews with 50 thought leaders and well-known coaching practitioners who responded to questions such as "What is your philosophy of coaching?" "What is your approach?" "What capabilities make you successful?" and "What type of a client makes the coaching engagement work?" Analysis of their responses provides a state-of-the-art summary of where coaching is today, including how to select the right coach and maximize the impact of the coaching engagement; five distinct categories of business-oriented coaching currently used by senior leaders and top organizations; case studies of best practice organizations developing internal coaching or leader-as-coach capabilities; research on the ROI of coaching debate; and checklists, assessments, tips, and tools. For those that responded to the initial Linkage survey that preceded the book, the results from the survey are described and analyzed in Chapter 9 of this book. A list of 11 key findings from this book is provided on the book ordering page.
This paper summarizes 128 coaching or coaching related studies from two major abstracting sources. The first peer-reviewed paper on coaching was identified as appearing in 1937. The author concludes that the majority of work on coaching that has appeared in the professional literature are either uncontrolled group or case studies. This complete paper is available for download by Peer Resources Network members.
The power of executive coaching is featured in this article which describes some innovative meditation and focusing techniques used by a Toronto-area coach. Among the opinions expressed in this article is the statement that the top coaches are "not necessarily affiliated with a professional association." However, one of the coaches mentioned as "most sought after" in the Toronto area is Peer Resources Network member Stephen Friedman. The author also states that companies pay out about $10,000 for six months of coaching. Most top coaches only take on a few clients, but client commitment is a must. demonstrate commitment. With executives, according to the coaches interviewed, spiritual techniques, including mindfulness and deep listening are exceptionally helpful in assisting executives who are hanging on by their fingernails move to a deeper examination of their needs.
This company went from a command and control culture to one based on coaching and collaboration. The author believes this move was the prime reason for the company's ascension to the top rung of its industry. The company instituted one-to-one coaching and coaching skills training and placed importance on creating a coaching culture from the top down. Coaching increased manager recognition of staff development as a key role to success.
This article details how to bring emotional intelligence into the workplace in order to amplify the power of coaching. However, to maximize the leverage of coaching, coaches must go beyond single loop (or problem-solving) approaches to learning and move to double loop (governing values or norms), to the triple loop (personal identity issues) through to the fourth learning loop (a higher level of self as witness). The author provides a list of potential questions a coach might ask at each of these learning junctures. Each loop increases the leverage of coaching and an integrated, developmental approach to executive coaching will have the most power.
In order to retain its most talented employees, Hitachi has introduced a series of workshops aimed at individual coaching for managers.
As part of its focus on improving the balance-sheet for the accountancy firm, Sage, a consulting company is providing ongoing coaching support to ensure that learning is transferred to the workplace. Current management reports that the program has had a positive impact.
Managers typically have a favorable impression of executive coaching, but too little attention has been directed towards the impact of such coaching on change and improvement. To correct that gap, these researchers studied 1,361 senior managers who received multisource feedback. Of this group 404 worked with an executive coach to review their feedback and set goals. A year later 1,202 senior managers received multisource feedback from another survey. Managers who worked with an executive coach were more likely than other managers to set specific goals, solicit ideas for improvement from their supervisors, and improved more than other managers in terms of direct report and supervisor ratings.
The author describes two approaches to coaching: the directive and non-directive, and asserts that most clients prefer the non-directive approach. In this approach the coach asks questions, listens, and engages the client as a colleague. He suggests that coaches need to ask questions that help clients become aware of the need for change, assist clients to have a sense of urgency, commit to willingness to make changes, examine what change will mean, and engage in specific actions to bring about the change. The coach must also be available to help reinforce change to increase its permanence.
The author believes that coaching would have prevented many of the top-level executives from committing various crimes that decreased shareholder value and sent thousands of employees to the unemployment lines. Coaching from the head and heart would have helped these corporate wrong-doers do the right thing instead. The author describes coaching as "a transformational instrument, enabling permanent, desired, behavioral, managerial, and organizational change" that takes into account both cognitive (head) and values (heart).
This study found that when executives choose a coach they are likely to be more concerned about a coach's graduate training in psychology and his or her experience in/understanding of business, and least concerned about an established reputation as a coach. Executives in the study believed that the top three personal characteristics of an effective executive coach were the ability to form a strong "connection" with the executive, professionalism, and the use of a clear and sound coaching methodology. The study also examined the pros and cons of both internal and external coaches. Executives were highly supportive of external coaches and cited trust and confidentiality as key factors; but some expressed concern about the likelihood that external coaches might lack industry experience and company knowledge. More than two-thirds of the executives also gave positive ratings to internal coaches, but cited concerns about potential conflicts of interest, trust and ability to maintain confidentiality, and skill level. Executives also differed in what they described as the key focus for their interaction with the coaches. Fifty-six percent of the executive group focused on personal behaviour change, forty-three percent identified enhancing leader effectiveness, forty percent focused on building stronger relationships, seventeen percent used the coach for personal development, and seven percent used their coaching sessions to work on better work-family integration. Executives were also asked about what they believed to be indicators of successful coaching engagements and the coaching tools they favored. Most executives favored the coaching sessions themselves, 360 degree feedback, and the relationship with the coach. About half liked other types of testing or leadership readings provided by the coach. The author believes these additional tools deepened the clients' perceived value of the coaching. The author, who is president of an organization that specializes in applications of psychology in business, also raises a question about which executives are most likely to benefit from this development resource and presents a typology for gauging this issue. She concludes by stating that "psychologists with doctoral degrees, experience in business and/or general management, personal characteristics that abet rapid and authentic connections with executives, and who are guided by a strong set of professional ethical principles are perceived by executives as especially effective coaches."
A leading organizational career management consultant and regular career columnist for Canada's national newspaper examines the promises and problems associated with the delivery of coaching in both the business and personal realms. The article tracks the reasons for the growth of coaching, but also challenges the validity of claims made by coaches about what they can provide. Coaches may be exploiting people looking for a quick-fix or people who are insecure about their current status. In addition many practitioners might be using the term coach to get onboard the coaching ship and worst of all, lack of regulation allows virtually anyone to take on the role title. Another problem examined by the author is the potential that coaches do not have the background and training to identify problems that are over their heads. This could lead to a misunderstanding of the origin of the situation or circumstances faced by a client and instead only attend to the presenting issue. Some coaches may substitute "cheerleading" and "evangelical zeal" or use cliches such as "find your passion" or "search your core values" in place of in-depth understanding of the complicated life faced by the business executive in today's global society. The author also recognizes the positive contribution made by experienced and skilled coaches and quotes several of them in the article. A sidebar identifies key resources people can use to learn more about coaching.(RAC)
The results of a one-year study of coaching where 24 executive directors of non-profit organizations received 40 hours of one-on-one coaching. Each executive director was matched with one of twelve coaches prescreened by CompassPoint. Each executive director chose their coach after interviewing at least two coaches. Project coaches had all completed one or several training programs offered by five well-known coach training organizations. The executive directors also participated in three peer learning roundtables to enrich their coaching experience. Coaching was distinguished from consulting or training by three criteria: coach enquiry is directed towards clients creating their own solutions rather than coaches providing expertise, solutions and recommendations; a coach provides encouragement and accountability for an executive to act rather than the coach taking action for the executive or organization; coaching emphasizes leader self-awareness of strengths and talents to reshape the job to fit the leader rather than reshaping the leader to fit the job. The results of this study showed that coaching had a positive impact on participating executive directors and their organizations in the areas of leadership and management, organization, attitudes and beliefs, personal life, job satisfaction, and tenure and turnover. Executive directors reported improved relationship with staff, better alignment of vision, mission between board and themselves, improved effectiveness at balancing demands of personal/professional, increased confidence, reduced stress and burnout, and increased commitment to the non-profit sector.
This comprehensive paper details the extensive and historical foundations for "adult developmental coaching" as practiced by Laske and Associates and based on the adult development research of the Kohlberg School at Harvard University. The author believes that performance oriented coaching is based on a limited understanding of human potential which ignores the fields of developmental psychology and education. In addition, the author argues, the outcomes of coaching strongly depend of a coach's own developmental level. The author reports on a research study conducted with executives and applies the results to coaching practice and coach training. Peer Resources Network members may download the full paper and Powerpoint slides.
This study describes the nature and impact of coaching from the perspective of personal coaching clients. In-depth interviews were conducted with eight adults who were currently engaged in long-term coaching relationships with experienced coaches certified by the Coaches Training Institute. Thirteen major themes were identified that address the nature and impact of personal coaching. Eight themes described the process of coaching: (a) identifies what clients want; (b) shifts clients' perspectives; (c) connects the client and coach in a powerful; relationship;(d) promotes self-discovery; (e) focuses on the present and future rather than the past; (f) promotes client accountability; (g) identifies and challenges clients' internal barriers to success; and (h) follows the client's agenda. Three themes addressed the skills a coach used during coaching: (a) listening; (b) asking thought-provoking questions, and; (c) providing validation or acknowledgment. Four themes described the impact of coaching on clients: (a) becoming more aware of what they want; (b) self-discovery; (c) moving forward in their lives, and; (d) feeling more positively about themselves.
A Master Certified Coach presents her CLUES (Characteristics, Language, Underlying motives, Energy and Stories) model for observing and understanding clients' behaviours. This practical handbook includes case studies and a dozen skills and corresponding tools for using the five CLUES to improve performance as a coach. This book can be purchased through Amazon.ca (for Canadian orders) or Amazon.com (for US or international orders).
Executive clients and their coaches were interviewed on their perspectives of the rationale for having a coach and the impact of a coach on executive development. Interviewees were divided on the value of previous management experience as necessary for coach effectiveness; most believed that external coaches are more effective than internal; all agreed on the importance of setting an agenda, and engaging in assessment. The study also asked about how coaches learn about clients, measures of coaching effectiveness, how coaches see their work as aiding clients, and how coaching influences others.
In part 1 of this book the authors, both experienced as training managers, detail a six-stage coaching model which they believe can be used by peers to coach each other. Part 2 of the book provides many short case studies along with activities and practical exercises that can be used in coaching.
Citing unattributed sources this article states that coaches typically make between $1500 and $15,000 per day and that the 10,000 coaches currently practicing today will swell to 50,000 by 2007. The author cites a Hays Group study (also unattributed) of 170 HR professionals that revealed at least 50 percent had created a coaching program in the past year and a half and more than 70 percent thought coaching was more effective than training in both changing behavior and improving performance. The author lists a number of downsides about coaching including ambiguous qualifications and the influx of sports coaches into the business coaching world. While sports coaching might work in the world of sports, it has yet to show any results of value, according to the author, in the business world. The author includes four additional pitfalls: (1) too much focus on behaviorism; (2) balancing coaching with psychotherapy effectively; (3) confusion over who the client is; and (4) beware of dependency relationships. The author concludes with a warning to stay away from executive coaching as a quick fix.
The author argues that coaches are ill-prepared to deal with deep-seated psychological problems. She quotes two psychologists and perpetuates the myth held by psychologists about coaches that they will confuse symptoms with problems, lack knowledge of interpersonal relations, know little about developmental psychology, and are deficient in business skills. Psychologists, the author asserts, are more prepared because they can administer complicated personality tests and diagnose deeper problems. The International Coach Federation is either completely misquoted in the article with regards to the qualifications of most coaches or is misinformed when they say that the largest number of coaches are "sports psychologists, athletic trainers, academics, lawyers and self-help gurus." In addition the ICF is quoted as saying that 40 percent of the 10,000 coaches in America have training in clinical psychology.
The editors of this e-book have put together an array of expertise that can assist anyone, not just coaches, in getting their business on the right track. Each of 39 experts succinctly describe the challenges awaiting the solo professional, share their experiences or wrong turns and provide specific ideas, leads and useful resources. Every topic is included from developing your vision, to pricing your services, to marketing, to accounting, to deciding on legal structures, to planning for retirement, to building a support system, to establishing an office practice and more. The editors (who are also authors of some of the articles) have assembled a prestigious team of contributors and have even created a chapter that focuses on "if I knew then what I know now" where the experts list both their best business decision as well as the decision that caused them the most grief. This book is available for purchase as an e-book for $24.95 from The Solo Professional.
This introduction to the special issue of this journal builds on the work of a 1996 special issue also devoted to executive coaching. The author mentions that the previous issue was the biggest selling issue ever of this professional periodical and speculates that it illustrates the considerable interest in coaching as many counseling, psychotherapy and psychological practitioners turn towards coaching. The authors contend that when businesses hire a consulting psychologist, he or she is automatically involved in executive coaching because of the setting, the task, the interpersonal requirements, and such that surround the executive. The authors also believe that coaching executives requires a special skill set founded on knowledge about organizations, management, leadership, economics and other disciplines. They describe executive coaching as a subset of consulting psychology.
The author details the increasing use of the internal coach, defines the role and identifies key issues.
The authors provide a perspective on the perceptions among 30 professionals regarding the distinctions between and overlaps in therapy and coaching, based on seven questions they used to gather interview data and narrative summaries. The questions they used included: (1) From your experience, what do you think Is the critical difference between coaching and therapy? (2) How do you relate to coaching clients versus therapy clients? (3) What would you do or not do with a coaching client versus a therapy client? (4) What do you consider "Red Flags" for coaches who are not trained therapists? (5) What do you think is unique about coaching that a trained therapist-turned-coach needs to be aware of while coaching? (6) who would you say is in control in coaching and in therapy? and (7) How are contracting and confidentiality handled in coaching versus therapy? The authors conclude that there are several distinct differences (focus of attention, time orientation, and types of conversations) and also several areas of overlap (methods of inquiry, boundary issues, tendency to give advice). Coaching was described as more goal directed and action oriented. Coaches without professional training may fail to recognize warning signs of deeper problems. But clinicians without business experience may have less knowledge of what it takes to achieve results. The authors also identify issues fo future consideration including: concerns about legality and accountability, the importance of adequate training, and the need for supervision (a coach should have a coach).
A comprehensive and critical review of the evolving literature of executive coaching. The authors provide (1) a brief history of executive coaching; (2) a summary of the main themes discussed in the practice-based literature (definitions and standards, purpose, techniques and methodologies used, comparison with counseling and therapy, credentials of coaches, finding coaches, and recipients of services); (3) a review of the existing empirical research; and (4) address the questions of whether executive coaching increases individual and organizational performance or whether it is a fad. This article provides the best and most up-to-date summary of the status of executive coaching and issues associated with the practice or delivery of services and offers a number of suggestions for future directions.
The author, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, focuses on the absence of a literature regarding the impact of executive coaching. He presents an eight-element model that attends to potential outcomes and suggests a method for assessing the degree to which practitioners have achieved the outcome elements.
The authors reviewed seventy-two articles on executive coaching that appeared in management publications between 1991 and 1998 to determine the general opinions of the practice of executive coaching and the extent to which training in psychology was described as relevant and useful to coaching practice. Results suggest that favorable views of executive coaching far exceed unfavorable views. However, psychologists were seldom recognized as uniquely competent practitioners and the use of psychological methods such as 360-degree assessment was sometimes viewed as merely an attempt to generate revenue. Implications of these findings for psychologists in coaching roles are discussed.
The authors argue that coaching executives should be an on-going process and not just an intervention when an executive's resiliency flags or is deficient. The primary task for an executive coach is to gather data from the executive and those that surround the executive in order to create a better understanding of reality. Coaching is a critical part of the organizational development process and executive resiliency is an an outcome of effective coaching. The authors identify a three-phase, seven step process.and provide details regarding each step and describe the goals, approaches and problems associated with each.
The authors, executive coaches with Fortune 100 experience, argue that psychologists working in executive coaching must promote a more complete understanding of what constitutes effectiveness in this arena. Experienced psychologists must accept accountability for the need to inform and educate corporate decision makers about the core skills, competencies, experience, and related professional issues critical for successful outcomes. The authors describe the core skills as approachability, comfort around top management, compassion, creativity, customer focus, integrity and trust, intellectual horsepower, interpersonal savvy, dealing with paradox, political savvy, and self-knowledge.
The authors studied the impact of executive coaching on 31 managers in a US city health agency. In phase one of this project all managers participated in a three-day, classroom style training workshop that included a variety of interactive activities and focused on their work roles. The participants rated the training workshop very highly on all quantitative and qualitative measures. In phase two, the managers participated in an eight-week one-on-one coaching that detailed coaching processes tailored to the agency context. The post-training coaching included goal setting, collaborative problem solving, practice, feedback, supervisory involvement, evaluation of end-results, and a public presentation. The managers met with their coaches for one-hour each week over a two-month period. The authors found that while their training intervention with managers increased manager productivity by 22 percent, adding a one-to-one (8-week) coaching intervention after the training pushed productivity to 88 percent.
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Schwarz, D., and Davidson, A. (2009). Facilitative coaching: A toolkit for expanding your repertoire and achieving lasting results. San Francisco: Pfeiffer/John Wiley & Sons.
One of the primary reasons that coaching has shown such rapid growth in the business world is because it does not have negative associations. Instead, as the qualified executive coaches quoted in the article point out, coaching is associated with positive growth and more effective executive decision-making.
In addition, the same person also mistakenly says that an executive coach's role is to help a leader mesh or fit-in with the organizational culture and avoid conflicts with other executives or managers. Unless this is a specific goal outcome desired by a particular executive, it is typically neither a common practice nor a focus of executive coaching.
It is a bit ironic that the person providing the mistaken view works for an organization that describes itself as providing executive coaches, but neither the representative nor any of the CEO coaches noted on the company website belong to either of the two leading professional coaching associations: the International Coach Federation or the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches.
Many companies have rushed to join the rapidly-growing coaching movement by re-branding their management consultant role as "executive coaching." In many cases, however, they do not have the specific coach training from an accredited organization; they have not earned appropriate coaching credentials, and they are applying outdated deficit psychology models to effective business leadership. Their disguise as executive coaches may lead to confusion for other executives who want to gain similar benefits described in this article.
The authors are skeptical about the need for a coach to have a specific body of knowledge or have specific credentials or memberships and instead emphasize the role that certain personal characteristics (acute perception, diplomacy, integrity, sound judgment) and rapport with the person being coached play in the effectiveness of coaching. While advanced degrees or clinical experience can be helpful, the authors believe such accomplishments can also interfere with developing trust with a business person. In addition to the cementing of a triangle of partners for coaching to be successful, the authors recommend having a contract in place early that identifies goals, expectations, and explicit procedures. (Editorial Note: This article adds very little to the coaching literature. The writing is adequate, but it's surprising that it appears in a business magazine with the editorial standards of the HBR — The authors do not mention the ICF or WABC, although there is a byline for the Executive Coaching Network. The authors really fail to live up to what seemed like their goal: to add reliable information and evidence about the effectiveness of executive coaching. At most they've duplicated what has been said already in many books and articles rather than added anything new. At worst their piece is really a commercial for their company disguised as an academic analysis. Their descriptions or generalities about the clients they mention do not produce any revelations and it's not even clear that the information would be of value to executive coaches wanting to improve their practice by learning how others manage cases. Even the title, of the article ("wild west"), which might have been chosen by the magazine editors and not the authors, is slightly demeaning to the coaching industry and contradicts the reality of the practice of executive coaching.)