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Case Study: Exploring Coaching Options

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On behalf of Harvard Business Review, Contu and Kauffman conducted a survey about the executive coaching profession. The results show the rationale that companies use to engage coaches. The top three reasons are:

  1. Develop high potentials or facilitate transition – 48%
  2. Act as a sounding board – 26%
  3. Address derailing behavior – 12%

Further, in the report the opinions of experts are cited about how to select a coach, potential dependencies created in a coaching relationship and the intersection between coaching, consulting and therapy.

This survey data spurs further inquiry as to the differentiators between coaching, consulting, therapy and training. Why is this significant given the case described in this article? Because the root of the problem the Manager is facing and its impact on the company, will structure the type of intervention proposed and used by the hired vendor.

With this perspective, it was critical as the representative from the hired vending firm, that I fully comprehend the differences between coaching, consulting, therapy and training and ardently select the best approach for success and ROI to the company for their investment.

So I pondered, “Where does the client need help?”









Focus on company performance

Increased efficiency and productivity


Focus on individual performance

Increased awareness of behaviors and impact


Focus on dysfunction

Increased mental health and well-being


Focus on new knowledge and skills

Increased skill set

Based on the original request from the client, let’s now dig deeper into the reasons for executive coaching to determine if it is the most worthwhile approach given the case study.

When Coaching Benefits

 Whilst there are numerous matters where coaching can help, a handful of the top ten are: self-knowledge, communication, impact, influence, goal setting, and partnering. In brief, coaching can effect behavioral changes to improve performance in an organizational setting. The focus of a coaching program can be on one or a number of elements such as:

1.Enhance Leadership Competence

Build leadership competencies, e.g., leading people, business partnering, driving change, organizational and political savvy.

 2.Broadening Perspective

Expand understanding and competence to deal with complexity especially in a VUCA business environment.

3. Improve Relationships

Gain interpersonal capabilities to improve interactions, collaboration, communication, conflict resolution, valuing diversity.

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