The commitment

Partnering with may be right for you (individually or corporately) if you are ready to declare the following:

  • I am ready to make a commitment of time, money, and energy in my own development.
  • I am interested because I want to improve and NOT because someone else (my boss, my spouse, my colleague, competitors, etc.) wants me to change.
  • I am capable of participating in rigorous and honest self-appraisal.
  • I am humble enough to realize I am not perfect and that another person can assist me to become more effective (i.e. teachability).
  • I am willing and able to devote the necessary time and effort to work with a partner over a period of several months.
  • I am capable of trusting others enough to talk candidly about weaknesses and mistakes.
  • I am confident that I have the ability to proactively change my behavior ( requires completion of pre-assessments that measure coping skills and proactivity).

Length of Commitment

In the American Management Association’s (AMA) Coaching: A Global Study of Successful Practices 2008, a significant correlation (p<.01) existed between the duration of the coaching partnership and the success in acheiving the stated outcomes.

In other words, the longer it lasted, the more successful it was reported to be.

Perceived Success

Correlations do not necessarily imply causation, but an analysis of the AMA and Institute for Corporate Productivity's Coaching Survey 2008 does indicate that respondents from organizations that use coaching are also more likely to report two kinds of advantages:
  1. Their organizations have higher levels of success in the area of coaching, and
  2. Their organizations are performing well in the market (as determined by self-reporting) in the combined areas of revenue growth, market share, profitability, and customer satisfaction.
Additionally, there is a possible relationship between the extent to which individuals received coaching and their abilities in terms of leadership. That is, the survey found that those who had received coaching were more likely than other respondents to say that their subordinates trusted their leadership abilities, and they were more likely to say that they set specific goals for performance at work.

In short, their awareness had increased.

Why Coaching fails

The study also highlighted why a coaching partnership fails.

About a third of respondents said they had terminated their coaching contract. Termination was defined as either ending the coaching relationship earlier than specified by the contract or failing to rehire for future coaching opportunities. The most frequently cited reason for termination involved a mismatch between the coach and employee. In fact, about 81% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that a mismatch was the reason behind the failed coaching experience.

Given the frequency of termination based on mismatches, it appears that spending time upfront aligning the coach’s skills with the client’s problem is a worthwhile investment of time.