Is coaching SMART?

Guest blogger: Jerry Murphy

Since the economic crisis shook the earth a few years ago, organizations and the people in them have had to shift gears in confronting almost daily challenges and uncertainty. Managers and executives have found themselves not only dealing with transitions, new assignments, and fewer supports…but also increasing performance expectations.

Faced with these changes and pressures, many managers and execs have hit a plateau. Or, they are so up against it, they have lost the energy and perspective to lead, engage, and change. They need the space, time, and support to think and rethink.

In response to this need, many managers and organizations are turning to coaching. Managers are engaging coaches individually, and more and more organizations are investing in coaching as a tool for professional development and as a complement to training to ensure its successful implementation. They see that the coaching process delivers results, and that positive changes in managers’ behavior can contribute to the long-term success of the organization.

Coaching can help a manager’s career as well as the organization’s bottom line. Research shows that newly-arrived and transitioning executives have a relatively poor level of success—50% can expect to quit or be fired within 3 years. This is a huge expense, yet too many organizations cling to the old “sink or swim” method of career advancement and succession.

As a tool in developing effective skill for a new role, coaching has proved to be a high-return investment. It can help a new or transitioning manager navigate the cultural realities and expectations of a new environment. And managers can also learn to use coaching skills themselves, helping them develop the relationships and communication skills they need to lead effectively.

So is coaching SMART (specific, measurable, aligned, rewarding, time-bound)?Again, the research demonstrates it is. both in financial and qualitative measures, coaching delivers a reliable return on investment. These include solid increases in productivity—including cost savings, quality and retention—as well as strong alignment of professional growth with business objectives, and a high level of promotion and advancement.

Coaching is a key element in any overall professional development strategy…and an essential skill set for managers themselves.

How about you?

  • Does your organization actively use coaching as 1:1 development strategy for managers?
  • Does your organization help managers develop their own coaching skills as a management and leadership capability?

If you found this post helpful, check out “About the Book” on this blog, and order yourself a copy of “What could happen if you do nothing?” A manager’s handbook for coaching conversations.

Jerry Murphy is president of Giraffe, LLC, a New york-based consulting practice, and Giraffe Business Publishing, a multimedia publishing venture. Jerry has helped many organizations design and implement successful learning and development programs. Previously, he directed an educational publishing alliance and supervised an award-winning international product development consortium in the energy industry. Jerry has written and spoken on many topics in learning, organizational development and marketing.

One Response to “Is coaching SMART?”

  1. Jory
    June 17, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    Touhcodwn! That’s a really cool way of putting it!