Welcome to the February 2014 issue of the newsletter

Whether you believe in climate change or not (seriously, are there still people out there who don’t?), the devastating floods in the UK remind us not only how unpredictable our world is, and how vulnerable we are, but also how inter-connected and inter-linked everything is. The days when we coached a client with little regard for the systems in which they operated in are surely over for all of us. This year, the theme for our annual conference on 2 July will reflect this growing attendance to a holistic approach. We’ll be announcing the line-up soon. To whet your appetite […]

Coaching at Work voted top read by executive coaches

Coaching at Work has been named one of the top three global coaching magazines for executive coaches, in Sherpa’s 9th Executive Coaching Survey 2014.

Respondents from 50 countries,
66 per cent of whom are executive coaches, were also asked to name their top five sites for associations, training and research. Their top associations were: the World Business and Executive Coach Summit; the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches; the Association of Corporate Executive Coaches; the Association for Professional Executive Coaching and Supervision, and the Association for Management Education and Development.

The top five coach training programmes were Sherpa’s university-based executive coach training; the Coaching Room; the Center for Executive Coaching, and the College of Executive Coaching. The leading research and resources websites were Sherpa’s own; the Marshall Goldsmith Library; the NeuroLeadership Institute; the Library of Professional Coaching, and the Executive Coaching Forum.

The other two named magazines were Worldwide Coaching and the International Journal of Coaching in Organisations.

Coaching at Work, Volume 9, issue 2

Sherpa study: coaches drop ROI as value measure

Return on Investment (ROI) has been abandoned as a means to measure coaching’s effectiveness, according to research. Other trends revealed include coaching becoming even more exclusive, increasing interest in neuroscience and confidence in coaching at an all-time high, according to US-based Sherpa’s 9th Executive Coaching Survey 2014 (bit.ly/MqaNkm).

In what the researchers call a “startling discovery”, the survey showed the number of consultants who use ROI to measure coaching’s value dropped from 33 to 22 per cent this year. Only 11 per cent of executive coaches try it.

The most popular measurement (28%) among external coaches of the value of executive coaching is 360 feedback, taken before and after coaching, a method pioneered by Marshall Goldsmith. Other methods included wellbeing and engagement (21%) and performance reviews (20%), the most popular among internal coaches. In fourth place is the newest measure on the market, Sherpa’s Impact on Business measure (13%). ROI trailed, and Effectiveness of Learning (Kirkpatrick) came in last (7%), except in Australia, where it came in first.

Coaches and leaders in Europe, Africa, North and South America see the application of neuroscience in coaching as the industry’s most important trend. Some 76 per cent of executive coaches say it should have a role.

Executive coaching is once again becoming the province of senior leaders and top executives. The number of organisations that reserve coaching for top executives only is growing, year by year, with a six-year ‘winning streak’.

The survey also found the number of organisations with coaching skills programmes has fallen for the first time. It attributes this, in part, to problems with coaching definitions – some equate it with training, for example, including the US Office of Personnel Management: “Coaching, in its simplest form, means to train, tutor or give instruction.”

However, confidence in coaching is higher than ever, according to Sherpa’s Coaching Confidence Index. To calculate the index, Sherpa considers rates charged by executive coaches, the number of clients they serve, predictions about demand for coaching and the amount of time executive coaches spend in marketing their services, among other factors. This year’s index has leapt to a record high of 166 (2006 = 100).

Internationally, the credibility of coaching is highest in Brazil. Canada saw a 10 per cent gain in “very high” responses this year. China also saw steady progress, with judgments of “mediocre” virtually disappearing. Japan saw a big move from “somewhat high” valuations into the “very high”. Germany kept last year’s levels of positive opinion, as did the US, UK and South Africa.

Coaching’s credibility is reaching new heights. Those who say it is “somewhat high” or “very high” jumped to 90 per cent in our 2012 report, and again in 2013, improving in 2014, to 93 per cent.

Over the years, coaching has shifted away from problem-solving towards pro-active leadership development. The latest report highlights a deepening of this. It also found male coaches are more likely than women to work with people in need of leadership development, while female coaches are more likely than men to work with individuals in transition.


Coaching at Work, Volume 9, issue 2

conference roundup

British Psychological society, Division of Psychology annual conference, 8-10 January, Brighton  Study offers leaders a bridge between cultures There are similarities and differences between managers of separate cultures, confirms a study by John Hackston of OPP, with implications for how professionals work across cultures. The study investigates how culture (measured by cultural orientations) and personality (measured by psychological type) interact in different ways with job level across four countries – Australia, India, the UK and the US. The researcher suggested the findings will be extremely useful in helping practitioners working internationally. For example, a UK manager working in India may […]

Conference roundup

British Psychological society, Division of Psychology, annual conference, 8-10 January, Brighton Age influences how comfortable people are with certain characteristics of the workplace, finds research by psychometric test distributor, OPP. Older workers differ from their younger counterparts, preferring jobs with role clarity; emphasis on loyalty and independence; responsibility for many areas; everyone knowing one another; people from different backgrounds, and where staff are viewed as individuals with unique skills, noted Tatiana Gulko and Paul Deakin of OPP, who presented the report, Age and Work Characteristics: The Role of Personality, at the conference. Older workers are less comfortable in insecure jobs with […]

ILM: employers face exodus in 2014 as staff seek better work/life balance

This year, work/life balance will be a priority for employees, with a fifth planning to quit their job, according to a survey of 1,001 workers by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM). Of those preparing to change role, 16 per cent want to leave because they do not feel valued. Forty per cent would like a similar job, 39 per cent a different post at a new company and 10 per cent would like to start their own business. Employers are set to face a high staff turnover in the coming months. In addition to those staff planning to leave, […]

UEL awards UK first MA in Career Coaching

A former student at the University of East London (UEL) School of Psychology has gained an MA in Career Coaching – the first of its kind in the UK. Meanwhile, one of the modules within UEL’s MSc in Coaching Psychology, Coaching for Career and Professional Development, has just been validated as a CPD module, which means practising coaches can sign up without committing to the full MSc. The module covers aspects such as how people make career decisions, what factors make people successful at work and what leads to job satisfaction. The former student, Hiba Davis, has now started career […]

Research: Putting out the feelers

Paul Stokes, director, Coaching and Mentoring Research Unit, Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University, argues for a formal link between emotional intelligence and leadership development Since the work of Daniel Goleman (1996; 1999) popularised the notion of emotional intelligence (often referred to as EQ), it has become an accepted part of the language used to define modern leadership. Indeed, writers such as Martyn Newman (2009) have taken the concept forward in terms of defining the competencies that are necessary for effective modern leadership. Based on research he and colleagues have done, a tool he calls the Emotional Capital Report (ECR) […]

Mentoring: Let’s get ready for work

In the latest in a series of columns dedicated to mentoring, we look at how to use mentoring to support graduate programmes in your organisation. This issue: moving up the career ladder Lis Merrick Is your graduate scheme preparing mentees for the world or leaving them in a void? This issue, I am getting on my soapbox about graduate mentoring programmes. Many organisations think their mentoring schemes for graduates are working fine, when in reality they are complacent, badly designed examples of poor practice that can forever put young people off more formally organised mentoring. I find this quite sad. […]

Profile: James Hutton

Good news. News International’s name change was no mere rebranding exercise. It followed a raft of other initiatives, including an internal coaching scheme that’s impacting both the culture and the bottom line. Liz Hall talks to its developer, James Hutton, head of talent and development. What’s the story at News UK? It’s much more than a name change. In fact, a string of initiatives, including an internal coaching scheme, is shifting the culture at The Sun’s publisher towards one that is more transparent, and more supportive of learning and reflection. Since July 2011, many column inches have been dedicated to […]