I am a "little" biased here but if you are wondering "Does coaching really work?" let me give you the definitive answer.
OK I will do better than that but I do want to make some important points because the success of coaching does depend on:
- The coaching client - the great executive coach Marshall Goldsmith makes it very clear that you can't change people who don't want to change... who don't care. The whole purpose of coaching is to help you to change what you want to change.
- The coach - not all coaches are created equal. To make things more complicated a coach that suits one person to a tee can clash badly with someone else. It depends on the relationship between the two parties and whether the coaching style the client wants fits with the style of the coach.
There is a big debate in coaching - should a coach give advice... and some of the certified coaches see this as a black and white NO... it is up to the client to find the answer. Some of us are more pragmatic and say it depends on what the client wants and needs.
- The situation - some situations are much more stressful and demanding than others and will impact on expectations, urgency of results and the type of coaching help needed.
Yes it is a wishy-washy answer to an important question when I can understand people being put off coaching because it seems vague and woolly.
Does coaching work... it depends on the client, the coach and the situation.
I have two heavyweight reports for you that really tackle the issue of "does coaching work?"
Does Coaching Work? CIPD
The first is from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development called Does Coaching Work?
This is a 24 page pdf and I pulled out this highlight.
Coaching by external coaches was rated as very effective by 39% and effective by 52 percent.
That's 91% of the survey saying coaching by external coaches works.
Interestingly if you look at the statistics for coaching by internal coaches - but not line managers and HR professionals, the success rate is 100% but the very effective is 16% (down from 39% for the external coach) and effective at 84%.
You can download the full pdf at CIPD Coaching Survey
Coaching Effectiveness - NHS
The second independent report is from the NHS and is a literature review of the research.
This is a comprehensive summary of coaching and includes a comparison between coaching and mentoring.NHS coaching survey
Both these reports look at the general coaching as a way of developing executives and employees rather than life coaching (to help people lead more successful and better balanced lives) or my own area of interest small business coaching but the concepts are very similar.
Does coaching work?
The answer... Yes but it depends...
What Do You Think? Does Coaching Work?
Have you worked with a coach and if so has your experience been good or bad?
What do you think made the difference in your coaching?