What Can Coaches Do for You?

Diane Coutu and Carol Kaufmann
Harvard Business Review

January 2009, pp. 91-97 (Also available from the Business Source Complete\EBSCOHost data base)

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Harvard Business Review recently conducted a survey of 140 leading coaches. This article presents the findings and includes comments on the findings from 5 leading experts on the subject of management coaching.

Some of the key findings reported are:
  • The top three reasons why coaches are currently engaged are to develop high potentials or facilitate transitions (48%), to act as a sounding board (26%), and to address derailing behavior (12%)
  • The median hourly cost of coaching is $500/hour
  • Though only 3% are frequently hired to address personal issues, over 76% of the coaches report they have assisted executives with personal issues
  • There were mixed views regarding the importance of certification. Twenty-none percent said it was very important while 28.5% said it was not at all important.
  • Thirteen percent said experience as a psychological therapist was important, while 46% said it was not at all important
  • The coaching relationship is initiated by HR 29.5% of the time, by the Coachee 28.8% of the time, by the Coachee’s manager 23% of the time and by “Other” 18.7% of the time
  • The typical duration of coaching is 7-12 months
  • Regarding what companies should look for when hiring a coach, the qualities most mentioned as very important were: experience coaching in a similar setting (mentioned by 65% of respondents), clear methodology (61%), quality of client list (50%), ability to measure ROI (32%), certification in a proven coaching method (29%), experience working in a similar role as the coachee (27%), experience as a psychological therapist (13%), and background in executive search (2%)
Additional sections of the article written by coaching experts address:
  • The coaching industry as a work in progress
  • Assessing if your coach gives you value for the money
  • The dangers of dependence on coaches
  • How to pick a coach.