Monday, May 18, 2009

Executive Coaching Advice Based on New Research

We came across a well written article with some good executive coaching advice, titled "New Research: The Impact of Executive Coaching" by David Utts on the Anger Management ALA George Anderson Blog.


David cites a recent Harvard Business Review research paper and refers to an earlier Harvard Management Update article. Referring to the research paper, he notes:


It starts by emphasizing that the use of executive coaching is no longer focused on “fixing” poor performers. Based on the findings 48% of executive coaching engagements are focused on further developing high performers and/or helping them as they make big transitions into new roles. Only 12% of executive coaching initiatives are focused on dealing with “derailing” behaviors.

Yet, because of the young age of the profession – the article still suggests “Buyer Beware” and goes on to highlight the top measures buyers are using to qualify they have found a masterful coach. They are as follows:

Experience in coaching in a similar setting

Clear methodology

Quality of the Client List

Ability to measure ROI

Certification in a proven coaching method was fifth on the list (29%) followed by experience working in similar roles (27%), experience as a psychological therapist (13%), and background in executive search (2%).

Be sure to read the whole article.

Let's hold up our Executive Coaching firm, G.E.Wood and Associates to the suggestions they espouse.

The article suggests “Buyer Beware”. That's our experience as well. Everybody and their brother is getting in on the 'best jobs to do at home' bandwagon. I suspect much of it is a discredit to the profession. Anybody can still hang out a shingle and call themselves a coach ... and they do. Based on our years of experience and observation of the coaching profession, we can only repeat, “Buyer beware.” It may sound self-serving, but call the experienced, bona fide coaching firms like ours first.

48% of executive coaching engagements are focused on further developing high performers. This is certainly our experience. I would estimate upwards of 80% of the leaders we serve are high performers who are intent on increasing their capacity to work and lead with even greater effectiveness. In other words, they're good, they've already accomplished a lot ... and ... they know that with the benefits of coaching they can go even further.

Experience in coaching in a similar setting. The leaders we coach range from Fortune 100 executives to medium sized business and community leaders, from corporate, government and nonprofit settings, owners, entrepreneurs, emerging and seasoned leaders, from Canada, United States and several countries around the world, from faith-based belief systems to purely secular.

Clear methodology. Before any coaching engagement, our clients understand exactly what will happen in terms of process. We have over thirty proprietary tools and models, some major, to fit almost any situation our clients bring for coaching.

Quality of the Client List. Every leader and executive we serve is quality and we respect their right to privacy so we don't publish their names or companies. You can see a very few names on Linkedin. Suffice to say, our client list is good.

Ability to measure ROI. We have complete Return on Investment methodology for companies and organizations to follow. And that is only part of the complete tracking system we have developed for the use of our clients.

Certification in a proven coaching method. I received training at both Coach University and Corporate Coach University. I was not the first in the coaching profession but I was pretty early on. I am a more seasoned, senior coach and credentialled through the International Coach Federation. All coaches we work with in larger corporate or nonprofit engagements are carefully screened for similar skills, credentials and depth of experience.

Experience working in similar roles. I have been a leader, worked with leaders, led leaders, trained leaders and coached leaders for over thirty five years. There are not many situations that I haven't seen or coached around.

Experience as a psychological therapist. None. However, for many years now it has been my mission to study people, how they behave and how to help them be the very best they can be, whether at work, in leadership or at home and in the community.

Background in executive search. None. And it has never hindered coaching executives.

On reflection then ... I think we tick the boxes quite nicely.

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