What is executive coaching? A four-part definition to a growing field

Kathy Iverson is an associate professor in Roosevelt University's Training and Development graduate program. She teaches organization development, cultural diversity, research methodology, training foundations, consulting, and evaluation.

Kathy Iverson is an associate professor in Roosevelt University’s Training and Development graduate program. She teaches organization development, cultural diversity, research methodology, training foundations, consulting, and evaluation.

The field of coaching has grown dramatically in the past 20 years. One reason is the high cost of attrition. Research indicates that 35 to 40 percent of new managers fail within the first 18 months (Fisher, 2005). The cost of replacement is estimated at $150,000 for a manager and as much as $750,000 for an executive (McCune, 1999).

WHAT COACHES DO
Companies look to coaches to facilitate performance improvement in struggling workers, aid change and transition, resolve conflict, and address performance gaps. Individuals hire coaches to address all of the above and to also address career change and upward mobility.

DEFINITIONS
Coaches can be either internal, working within larger organizations, or external, hired by organizations or individuals on a consulting basis. Coaching can be defined in many ways, but typically involves a one-on-one or team relationship that involves focused performance improvement. Berman and Brandt (2006) have further extended the definition of coaching to include:

  1. Facilitative Coaching: Short term, very focused on specific core skills needed by leaders and managers such as strategic planning, team building, motivation, etc.
  2. Executive Consulting: Offers senior leaders a resource to bounce ideas off of and to help with difficult and costly decisions. It can be brief or long term and involves the use of directive questioning to facilitate problem solving.
  3. Restorative Coaching:  Short term coaching that helps a valued employee overcome difficulties or performance gaps.  I can involve the development of new skills or performance interventions to address issues with organization or motivation.
  4. Developmental Coaching: Typically a long term coaching relationship that addresses significant gaps in skill or performance.  These clients might have long standing interpersonal issues or core skills gap that are holding them back from achieving their goals.

MORE INFO
For more on this topic, please see Berman and Brandt’s Executive Coaching: Different strokes for different folks. 

WATCH THE MOVIE
Also, watch the following video, 
The Psychology of Coaching. This is a preview to a full length DVD. Note: If you are viewing this blog via Blackboard, you’ll need to right click the link above and select “open link in new tab” so that it will work.

TAKE THE CLASS
We will be offering TRDV 445 Executive Coaching Spring 2014 in a fully online version if you’d like to learn more about this discipline.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
What did you think of the movie? What can you add to the above definition? What area of coaching most interests you?

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About Eric

Eric Hahn is a graduate assistant in the Training & Development program and works as an editor, graphic designer and writer. He lives in Chicago and has a cat with a criminal mind.
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