Coaching Corner: The Power of Coaching

Coaching is a powerful tool that accelerates performance and breaks through self-limitations to propel individuals to realize their full potential. For this reason, coaching has exploded as a profession, and as a desired management practice in the past several years. Art Shirk describes the power of coaching in his white paper, The Organizational Impact of Co-Active Coaching (read Art’s white paper in this month’s edition of Exposed); “Coaching enables managers to translate personal learning and insight into improved effectiveness, improves retention, and increases the effectiveness of the links between self-development, management development and organizational effectiveness (Wales 2003).” Coaching that supports this level of personal learning and insight, and develops accountability structures that move insight into action, fosters individual and organizational transformation, and research supports that this transformation translates, quite literally, to bottom-line results. Why then, is implementing consistent coaching discussions between managers and their team members so challenging?

In Daniel Goleman’s book, Primal Leadership, he describes leader coaches as able to help team members link their personal and career aspirations with long-term development goals that play on strengths, and close the gaps on weaknesses. And yet, “despite the commonly held belief that every leader needs to be a good coach, leaders tend to exhibit this (leadership) style least often. In these high-pressure, tense times, leaders say they ‘don’t have the time’ for coaching. By ignoring this style, however, they pass up a powerful tool.” Too often, coaching doesn’t happen as often as organizations would like, and potential goes unrecognized and unrealized. It may be time for new and creative coaching approaches, not to dismiss the leader’s critical role in coaching, but rather in finding new ways to support the individual in receiving coaching more often.

Powerful coaching that creates these opportunities for transformation can happen in coaching relationships between managers and their direct reports, through peer coaching relationships, or through the use of external coaches, in individual and group settings. In my opinion, regardless, the coach should help clarify choices, create action plans, assign accountabilities, and monitor results that support individuals as they become more effective, resourceful, satisfied, and productive in their careers and personal lives. To learn more about coaching, contact us for a 30-minute demonstration at