Friday, January 23, 2009

2009 Coaching Survey Results

2009 Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey

Survey results from their fourth annual survey based on 1,500 respondents. To download the complete survey go to:

In addition to a wide variation in the US and Canada on the question of certification I would like to hear you thoughts on their definition of executive coaching, and what executive coaches “as a general rule do not” do (bolded below). Quoting from page 4 of the survey:

“Executive coaching means: regular meetings between a business leader and a trained

facilitator, designed to produce positive changes in business behavior in a limited time frame.”

This definition clarifies:

- who coaches are—trained facilitators (not consultants, counselors, trainers or mentors.)

- what coaches do—produce positive changes in business behavior.

- when things happen—on a set schedule with a limited time frame.

In 2007, the European Foundation for Management Development adopted this definition in communication with its members in seventy countries.

Executive coaches, as a general rule,

- do not share their own experience (as do mentors),

- do not give advice (as do consultants),

- do not impart specific knowledge (as trainers do) and

- avoid personal issues. (the role of a counselor or therapist or life coach)

I disagree with most of these “general rules” especially when we are using an assessment like the CDR and feedback.

In the Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey, I disagree with their position that “in person” coaching was better than by telephone. Personally have had great results using the telephone when using CDR —what are your thoughts?

Matt M. Starcevich, Ph.D.

Matt –

Thanks for submitting this link to the survey and for sharing your insights.

I also disagree with most of the 2007 European Foundation for Management Development’s Executive Coaching Guidelines you sited.

Specifically, executive coaches may share experiences – while this needs to be limited – sometimes real world stories can be useful. Next, when using assessments and having clear insights regarding a persons strengths, risks, vulnerabilities, challenges and gathering information about their performance, it is the role of the coach to explore and sometimes offer ideas and potential advice when appropriate. Last, knowledge can be shared though the coach certainly does not want to become a talking head so to speak.

I do agree that executive coaches need to stay away from personal issues and if a client is obviously having significant emotional or personal problems, it is time to suggest they talk to a counselor/therapist or EAP advisor.

Again Matt – thanks for sharing!


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