The survey was conducted internationally via social media with coaches representing various professional bodies. The headline findings were as follows:-
- Only 2% of coaches adopt a pure non-directive stance in all of their coaching interventions
- Only 15% of coaches ranked the needs and goals of the sponsoring organisation as the coach's most important responsibility in a coaching relationship
- Over 40% of coaches believe that 'big picture' issues such as the 'credit crunch' crisis, leadership ethics and sustainability are irrelevant to the coaching assignment unless specifically raised by the coachee
- 20% of coaches would never confront a coachee with their opinion if they felt that an under performing coachee was in denial
Survey participants added the following comments to explain their responses:-
"I believe the needs and goals of the individual coachee have to be number one at all times"
"Blind adherence to a pure non directive approach can seem frustrating and niaive"
"Coaches who do not 'get' big picture issues make it difficult for coaching to gain credibility"
"Ideally, all stakeholder goals will have been aligned in the contracting discussion to reduce conflict as the coaching takes place"
John Blakey, co-founder of 121partners, commented "These findings demonstrate that when the chips are down the majority of coaches prioritise individual wants over organisational needs and some are reluctant to challenge the coachee or hold them accountable to wider organisational issues. Ironically, these are the same behaviours that characterised the 'me, me, me' business culture of the boom years where, for example, unaccountable market traders pursued individual rewards without regard to the viability of the global banking system."
Colleague Ian Day added "In the post recession economy there is a risk that executive coaching abandons its non directive heritage and slips into a mentoring style. We believe this would be akin to 'throwing the baby out with the bath water'. Instead, we favour the evolution of direct communication skills such as feedback, accountability and challenge, we favour the confrontation of difficult truths and we put the interests of the organisation on a level with the interests of the individual. In summary, we think it is time for coaching to mature and face the FACTS."
The 121partners 'tough love' FACTS coaching approach releases the full power of non-directive coaching and holds the coachee accountable for organisational as well as individual outcomes. It is further explored with case studies, exercises and relevant psychological models in the recently published book 'Where were all the coaches when the banks went down?' The book, available via Amazon, features a foreword by Sir John Whitmore who comments "A coach's task and responsibility is not only to benefit the coachee but also the client company and all of society too".
For more details on the survey findings and further quotes contact John Blakey at email@example.com or via +44 7810851968.
# # #
About 121partners - 121partners specialises in improving business performance in FTSE 250 organisations through individual and team ‘peak performance’