Should companies invest in executive coaching? If a recent survey on executive coaching by AMA Enterprise, a division of the American Management Association, is any indication, the answer is no. Dig a little deeper, however, and coaching might just be worth reconsidering.
According to the AMA’s recent survey of senior managers and executives at 230 organizations nationwide, only 26 percent of respondents believe executive coaching at their organizations to be effective. And only 35 percent say coaching delivers a measurable impact more often than other business tools (e.g., on-the-job training, workshops, formal courses, etc.).
Yet these findings do not necessarily tell the whole story, according to Sandi Edwards, Senior Vice President for AMA Enterprise. She believes the results indicate not necessarily the need for better coaching within organizations, but the need for a better definition of effective coaching. “If you aren’t transparent in your organization about what you’re doing and what’s expected of it, people really can’t give a fair and honest opinion of effectiveness,” Edwards says.
For these reasons, Edwards maintains that organizations shouldn’t give up on coaching as a development tool just yet. In fact, coaching offers benefits that other types of training and development techniques simply don’t. “Training is great, but it doesn’t focus just on you, whereas with coaching, you’re doing it one-on-one. It’s very specific and targeted toward the individual.”