Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved. Thanks to the Board of Research of Babson College who funded this study and to the fifteen coaches and fifteen executives who participated in the study. To be published in the 2004 edition of Research in Management Consulting, Vol.4, available fro
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1. Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved SUCCESSFUL EXECUTIVE COACHING FROM THE CONSUMER’S PERSPECTIVE: Adaptive and Developmental Learning James M. Hunt, DBA
Associate Professor of Management
Faculty Co-Director, Coaching for Leadership and Teamwork Program
2. Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved Thanks to the Board of Research of Babson College who funded this study and to the fifteen coaches and fifteen executives who participated in the study.
To be published in the 2004 edition of Research in Management Consulting, Vol.4, available from Information Age Press, Greenwich, CT.
3. Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved Inside the “black box” of executive coaching Helping leaders
One billion dollar / year + industry
Roots in the both organizational development and organizational psychology as well as human resource management and sales management
Unregulated, standards unclear
Practitioners drawn from human resources, general management, sales and psychology
Tools for the evaluation of coaching lacking
Research has not kept pace with practice
4. Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved Mental Models: The “person” or the “system?” Coaching the person
Roots in the tradition of psychotherapy
Emphasizing confidentiality and service to the agenda of the executive client
A remedial model of coaching
Fixing the broken leader
Increasingly in disfavor
5. Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved A Systems Perspective Executive coaching is defined as a helping relationship between a executive who has managerial authority and responsibility in an organization, and a consultant who uses a wide variety of behavioral techniques and methods to help the executive achieve a mutually identified set of goals to improve his or her professional performance and personal satisfaction, and consequently to improve the effectiveness of the executive’s organization. (Kilburg, 1996, p. 142):
… a collaborative partnership between a middle- to upper-level executive, her organization and an executive coach. The purpose of this partnership is twofold: to facilitate both the executive’s and the organization’s learning and to achieve identified business results. Ennis, Otto, Stern, Vitti-Lawton and Yahanda (2000: p. 2),
6. Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved Evolution of the Field Relatively short term and goal oriented
Challenge, assessment, feedback (CCL)
Systems orientation, not life coaching
Using 360 degree assessments and various systems assessments
Behavioral and adult development theoretical framework
Individual coaching meetings remain confidential, coaching itself somewhat public
A high level of satisfaction expressed by executives who experienced strategic, not remedial coaching
7. Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved Strategic Coaching Targeted at good performers who are
Going through a significant career transition
Or, are leading a high risk, high reward project
Often managed by an HR or OD function
But, what happens????
8. Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved Basic, Unanswered Questions 1.What constitutes success in executive coaching? Does successful executive coaching result in behavioral change, adult development or both?
2. What actions or attitudes on the part of the executive coach and executive contribute to successful outcomes?
3. What role does the organizational system or context play in successful executive coaching outcomes?
9. Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved Study Design Qualitative, grounded theory
In-depth case studies
Interviews with coaches and executives
“Successful” coaching experiences
Recruiting of coach/coachee pairs
10. Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved
11. Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved Reasons for entering coaching Managing a major strategic initiative 6
Leadership style behavioral issues 5
Participation in a high potential leadership development program 2
Managing significant team related problems in his/her organization 2
Participation in a senior management team facing significant challenges 2
Needing to decide whether the current job was a good fit 1
Coaching presented as an opportunity through an industry group 1
Managing role as the only female member of a management team 1
Managing a difficult relationship with the boss 1
Addressing culture fit issues on entering a new organization 1
12. Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved Coaching Outcomes
Developmental learning 13
Development of more effective leadership behaviors/style 10
Became a better coach to others 7
Improved teamwork/team development 6
Development of a more effective career plan/career change 5
13. Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved Coaching Success H1: Successful coaching outcomes are likely to include evidence of both adaptive learning (behavioral change) and developmental learning (a more complex view of self, others and role).
H2: The combination of outcomes, adaptive behavior change and a sense of personal development results in a very high level of satisfaction with executive coaching on the part of the executive.
14. Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved Effective coaching practice - Climate H3: A climate of psychological safety in the coaching relationship promotes successful coaching outcomes.
H3a: Setting expectations and rigorously re-enforcing those expectations (through coach behavior) of an appropriate confidentiality boundary supports successful coaching outcomes.
15. Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved Effective coaching practice – The coach/executive match
H4: The coach must relatively quickly establish credibility with the executive for the coaching to move ahead to a successful outcome. Credibility involves, at least to a degree, all of the following:
H4a: A referral or endorsement from someone else in the organization who is trusted.
H4b: An appropriate match in personal styles between the coach and executive.
H4c: The coach being seen has having an appropriate background or skill set to bring to bear on the executive’s presenting issues.
16. Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved Effective coaching practice – access to feedback H5: The coach must assist the executive in getting and interpreting sufficient credible feedback from within the organization to help the executive clarify the key issues.
17. Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved Effective coaching practice – Setting and managing goals H6: Setting appropriate coaching goals, maintaining a consistent focus on those goals and the changes necessary to reach them supports successful coaching outcomes.
H6a: Successful outcomes are more likely to occur when the executive client voluntarily sets and commits to coaching goals.
18. Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved Effective coaching practice – Emergent learning opportunities H7: Flexibility in the service of capturing and learning from surprises, crises, or emergent learning opportunities supports successful coaching outcomes.
H8: Pursuit of goals derived from feedback and flexibility that allows for work with emergent learning opportunities are not mutually exclusive, but rather appear to support coaching outcomes that demonstrate both behavioral and developmental improvements.
19. Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved The organization’s role – A coaching friendly context H9: A coaching friendly context supports successful executive coaching outcomes.
H9a: A culture that encourages learning and discourages blaming supports successful executive coaching outcomes.
H9b: The known use of coaching to enhance the performance or development of good and superior performer supports successful executive coaching outcomes.
H9c: Voluntary rather than mandatory referrals for coaching supports successful executive coaching outcomes.
H9d: In a coaching friendly context, executive clients are more likely to actively involve others by sharing the results of their 360- degree assessment, their goals for the coaching, and seeking out feedback from their direct reports, peers and bosses. These practices are associated with successful outcomes.
H9e: Active coaching by the executive client’s own manager supports successful executive coaching outcomes.
20. Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved Implications For organizations: the need for appropriate involvement
For executives: the need for commitment
For the credentialing of coaches: the need for awareness of style, business knowledge, industry knowledge and psychological assessment and intervention knowledge
21. Copyright 2004 (c) James M. Hunt, Rights Reserved For Additional Information James M. Hunt, DBA
Associate Professor of Management
129 Tomasso Hall
Babson Park, MA 02457