It is important to define the most typical categories of “outcomes” commonly described in evidence-based coaching studies. 10 percent of those who are now more aware actually try to practice and implement some new skills or behaviors.
5 percent of those who try, actually seem to sustain it for at least a few months—the rest have relapsed or had some great stories about how they were no longer really practicing the new behavior or habit they were trying to change or improve. Different individuals are more or less likely to change, regardless of the intervention prescribed for them.
Surprisingly, only 15 percent of clients’ outcome was due to expectancy effects, 15 percent to specific therapy techniques and 30 percent was predicted by the therapeutic relationship.2. Coaching effectiveness also depends on a variety of coach, client and environmental factors such as the level of motivation of the client, readiness to change, personality factors associated with successful change and the organizational culture that can reward and support new behaviors.
Tim Theeboom and colleagues (University of Amsterdam) have recently published a comprehensive meta-analysis on the effectiveness of coaching ((Theeboom, T. Coaching seems to be optimized for those who are most likely to improve in a self-directed fashion and least likely to work when performance is poor and readiness to change is non-existent. We have seen too many times with Performance Improvement coaching that organizations really want to “vote the person off the island” but are exploring “one last attempt” at helping the employee. OK, maybe you can be a savior to some small number of poor performers and get them to improve to a small extent but often times it is still “too little and too late” to really make a difference. Of course we love high performers who are interpersonally competent–these coaching assignments are what we call Performance Acceleration engagements. When specific skills are missing or in need of sharpening, executive coaching can be quite effective (we call these Performance Management coaching engagements). Finally, a very challenging type of coaching engagements is what we refer to in our model as Performance Enhancement.  If you have been coaching long enough you tend to get our share of “competent jerks” that organizations pray and hope will spontaneously become more interpersonally competent and social skilled. So, we aren’t arguing that executive coaching isn’t successful but we are saying it doesn’t work for all clients even if you are skilled and experienced as an executive coach. You'll love getting updates when we post new articles on leadership development, 360 degree feedback and behavior change. Envisia Learning has been helping leaders, consultants and coaches deliver real and lasting behavior change in organizations for over 25 years.


Enter your email below & receive a complimentary copy of our book, Clueless: Coaching People Who Just Don't Get it. Si estas interesado,  rellena el formulario sin ningun tipo de compromiso y seras de los primeros en optar a mis coachs. Managing Change Storyboard-based Coaching GuideStoryboard-based Coaching Guides (CG’s) are simple 4-page resources which a coach can use to talk with an individual on a guided basis.
Storyboard-based Coaching GuidesThe One Page Coach® storyboard has been a popular learning template for almost 20 years now, both as a checklist and as a handout in a group training situation. Not all “outcomes” are the same or easy to compare when evaluating the coaching literature1. Rather, we should be asking: “For whom is coaching most beneficial and under what circumstances will coaching be optimized”? Lambert & Barley (2001) summarized over 100 studies concerning the therapeutic relationship and therapy outcomes.
Overall these are moderate size effects which provide strong support that executive coaching, under the right circumstances, with clients that are motivated and using sound techniques produce significant change in client’s skills, engagement, and ability to cope with work (and life) situations). For developing and enhancing specific skills and abilities, shorter coaching engagements seem to be even more effective than longer ones. Coaches can only really slow their growth down if they are bad but most of these individuals will naturally get better on their own anyway.
These high performers are hard to get rid of as they make money for the organization and consistently produce positive results. Refer assignments to colleagues you don’t like when coaching is being sought out for performance improvement related issues (poor performance and poor interpersonal skills where termination is highly likely or working with competent jerks).
Contract around outcomes and not just process (and put it in writing in the form of a coaching agreement with your client and those hiring you). Explore what information, data and insight would be most beneficial for your client to learn more about. Measure perceived change by those who are important stakeholders of your client at least 3-6 months after you are done with your formal coaching engagement. Solicit feedback from your coaching client about what you could have done more, less or differently in the coaching engagement and what was seen as helpful.


The company’s 360-degree feedback assessments and online goal-setting tools merge their expertise in psychology, technology and coaching to offer a complete behavior change system. They found that 40 percent of clients’ outcomes are attributable to factors that are outside of therapy. In my doctoral program in psychology we used to describe these clients as the “YAVIS” patients that were ideal for therapy (young, attractive, verbal, intelligence and successful). However, it is not realistic to expect that even the most magical executive coach will be able to convert a competent jerk into a lovable star. Coaching outcomes are magnified when you have internal champions and your client’s manager reinforcing and supporting new behavior change.
Research supports the use of friendly reminders and follow up so consider the best ways to “get in your client’s face” in a constructive and positive manner to help them initiate new behaviors (adopters) and encourage them to stick with them over time (sustainers).
Ken also serves as the Associate Editor of Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research. The storyboard-based Coaching Guides (CG’s) are a simple 4-page resource which a coach can use to talk with an individual on a guided basis. A meta-analysis on the effects of coaching on individual level outcomes in an organizational context. Coaching will work almost despite what you do in the course of the executive coaching engagement. We all have our “set points” and enhancing personality based interpersonal skills is rather challenging.
So, if the organization is looking for a large magnitude of change, coaching is likely to be seen as largely ineffective for these clients.



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