Coaching: The Fad that Won’t Go Away

July 5, 2009

By: Jim Bolt Tue Jul 8, 2008 at 5:47 PM

Five suggestions for getting the most out of a coach.


I ended my last column noting that we would examine three very popular leadership development methods (Action Learning, Coaching, and Leader-Led Learning) in more depth. So let’s start with executive coaching, which is now a billion-dollar industry experiencing explosive growth. Frankly, it wasn’t very long ago that having coach was sort of a dirty little secret — you kept it to yourself. It meant you were in trouble and probably on the way out. Now it seems everybody has a coach. It means we’ve arrived, that were a rising star, someone in our organization is investing for the future. Wow, what a turnaround!

Our findings in my firm’s executive development surveys (mentioned in the last column) indicated a dramatic increase in the use of coaching: In 2004, 56% of the companies said that executive coaching would be a major learning method they would emphasize. Then in a 2006 follow-up survey, 51% said the use of coaching had actually increased. Given this nearly miraculous change in the status of coaching we recently decided, along with our research partner, Dr. Brian Underhill of CoachSource, to conduct a major research project to explore the murky world of executive coaching in depth.

Our study, High-Impact Executive Coaching, was unique in that it examined the topic in a 3-D manner, i.e., through the eyes of coaches, organizations that retain them, and leaders being coached. The study included 48 organizations and 86 leaders being coached. In this column I want to focus mostly on what we learned from the leaders being coached since it’s highly relevant for anyone interested in either providing coaches to leaders or in being coached. (Read Full Article at Fastcompany)

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