Coaching hits the corporate mainstream

2007

From being something rarely spoken about only a few years ago, coaching has hit the corporate mainstream as a new survey finds that fully half of managers in the U.S. have received some sort of coaching in the workplace in recent years.

Minneapolis-based consultants CO2 Partners surveyed almost 3,500 middle to senior-level executives via the Internet and found that half had been provided with coaching on more than one occasion. Less than four out of 10 (38 per cent) said that they had never been offered coaching by their employer

"We knew coaching was growing, but are surprised by how quickly it seems to become the norm among executives in positions that require them to manage others," said CO2 Partners President Gary Cohen.

"We suspect the coaching in question encompasses various kinds of support, from formal guidance provided by outside professionals, to mentoring as well as advice from one's immediate supervisor. Nonetheless, the finding indicates a startling trend."

The survey also implies that people are being more open about the coaching they receive, Cohen said

"Coaching is now seen as a development initiative, not as problem solving, with more people both receiving it and being willing to say so. A stigma once associated with coaching seems to have gone away." The study also found that six out of 10 of those surveyed believe that coaching that focuses on leadership development would be of the greatest benefit. Of those that got coaching, a similar p[proportion also said that they found the experience beneficial. According to Cohen, more individuals are seeking coaching. Some one in three coaching assignments at mid-size companies is being initiated by the manager rather than by HR or the employer, he said.

A recent Harvard Business Review article suggested that although American companies are spending more than $1 billion annually on coaching, this isn't always money well-spent.

It has also been argued that many companies lack a disciplined approach to managing the coaching process and measuring outcomes, often lacking a precise understanding of the benefits of coaching or even what to expect from a coaching assignment.

Cohen advised individuals that to get the most out of their coaching, they need to be clear on the results they are looking for.

"There are different types of coaching available and deliverables, styles and outcomes can vary significantly. Clarify these issues in your first meeting with a coach so you know what you can expect and if it's a good fit for you and your situation." .

A new study suggests as many as half of managers have received some sort of

Minneapolis-based consultants CO2 Partners surveyed almost 3,500 middle to senior-level executives via the Internet and found that half had been provided with coaching on more than one occasion. Less than four out of 10 (38 per cent) said that they had never been offered coaching by their employer

"We knew coaching was growing, but are surprised by how quickly it seems to become the norm among executives in positions that require them to manage others," said CO2 Partners President Gary Cohen.

"We suspect the coaching in question encompasses various kinds of support, from formal guidance provided by outside professionals, to mentoring as well as advice from one's immediate supervisor. Nonetheless, the finding indicates a startling trend."

The survey also implies that people are being more open about the coaching they receive, Cohen said

"Coaching is now seen as a development initiative, not as problem solving, with more people both receiving it and being willing to say so. A stigma once associated with coaching seems to have gone away." The study also found that six out of 10 of those surveyed believe that coaching that focuses on leadership development would be of the greatest benefit. Of those that got coaching, a similar p[proportion also said that they found the experience beneficial. According to Cohen, more individuals are seeking coaching. Some one in three coaching assignments at mid-size companies is being initiated by the manager rather than by HR or the employer, he said.

A recent Harvard Business Review article suggested that although American companies are spending more than $1 billion annually on coaching, this isn't always money well-spent.

It has also been argued that many companies lack a disciplined approach to managing the coaching process and measuring outcomes, often lacking a precise understanding of the benefits of coaching or even what to expect from a coaching assignment.

Cohen advised individuals that to get the most out of their coaching, they need to be clear on the results they are looking for.

"There are different types of coaching available and deliverables, styles and outcomes can vary significantly. Clarify these issues in your first meeting with a coach so you know what you can expect and if it's a good fit for you and your situation."

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