Wednesday, July 16, 2008

AMA Study Finds More Use of High-Level Coaching

I came across this article through American Management Association on coaching and thought it would be great to share.


Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:41 pm (PDT)
AMA Study Finds More Use of High-Level Coaching

by Agatha Gilmore

Today, many organizations aim to grow by accelerating talent development as much as possible. According to a new study by the American ManagementAssociation (AMA), coaching has become one increasingly popular way to do it.

The study, "Coaching: A Global Study of Successful Practices," surveyed more than 1,000 business leaders around the world and found use of coaching as a means of increasing individual productivity was up. Nearly 60 percent of North American companies use coaching for high potentials frequently or a great deal, and about 42 percent use coaching of executives to the same extent. These percentages were higher in the international sample.

Contrarily, only 37 percent of North American respondents and less than 30 percent of international respondents said they used coaching to help problem employees.

"We're all expecting more out of individual performers," said Edward Reilly,president and CEO of AMA. "I think coaching has been found to be another effective tool in terms of talent development, and it makes sense to investin that type of development. It's also pretty clear that the reduction [incoaching for low performers] comes from trend to learner, more competitive companies with probably less tolerance for long-term carrying of people whoare not performing. Extensive amounts of intervention are probably not as common as they might have been a decade or two ago.

"The study's findings also tie into issues surrounding Generation Yemployees' entry into the workforce. These young workers are known for their social networking and their need for mentoring and guidance. Coaching is notonly desired but expected by Gen Yers, but many recognize it's something they must earn in today's marketplace.

"I think younger people see [coaching] as an important part of their long-term deal with the company," Reilly said. "Part of their compensationis the company's efforts to develop them as individuals and as managers."The AMA study also found the type of coaching offered has an impact on theeffect. For example, it appears external coaches can be more individually effective, while internal coaches tend to be more cost-efficient in the longterm.

"[I]nternal coaches often provide lower cost of services, exhibit more consistency in methods and understand the organizational culture," said theAMA study. "However, they may also be perceived as less credible. Leaders may consider internal coaches to be less confidential.

"The study's authors cite a 2007 report titled "Executive Coaching for Results," in which 59 percent of leaders indicated a preference for external coaches, while only 12 percent preferred internal coaches.

"External coaches can bring greater objectivity, fresher perspectives, higher levels of confidentiality and experience in many different organizations, industries and business environments, " they wrote.

Regardless of what kind of coaches an organization chooses, the AMA study showed, in these troubled economic times, organizations likely will find more value than ever in leveraging coaching.

"Generally speaking, our team believes that coaching will continue to expand and mature as an important leadership development practice," said the authors. "We expect that coaching will become one of the keys to developing and retaining scarce talent in the future, and we think companies that learn to leverage it well will have a significant competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

"To see a full copy of the free AMA study, visit and register to view the materials.

Reggie Waller is president of RWJ Consulting Group, LLC, which provides business and personal coaching, consulting and training services to individuals and businesses. For additional information call 267-254-6800 or visit

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