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Some Executives Refuse Coaching Assistance



As many as one-in-three individuals sometimes refuse the executive coaching their employer offers, according to a survey of senior managers and executives at 230 organizations conducted by AMA Enterprise. Nevertheless, a good two-thirds of employees seldom or never decline the coaching offered reinforcing the popularity of coaching used in the mix of initiatives deployed for leadership development.

How often do individuals at your organization refuse to accept coaching?
Seldom/never 62%
Sometimes  35%
Often  3%

The findings certainly suggest that a coaching engagement needs to be handled with tact,” said Sandi Edwards, Senior Vice President at AMA Enterprise, a specialized division of American Management Association that offers advisory services and tailored learning programs to organizations. “Coaching is increasingly recognized as a perquisite earned by high-potential managers. Today it is more about development than remedying problems, and smart self-starters at the middle level may have come to see coaching as key to their advancement. So long as the objectives for the initiative are transparent for all involved, our experience has been that most coaching assignments are well–received.”

The survey also found that individuals often ask for coaching support, said Edwards. “It seems people request coaching more often than refuse it. Indeed, I think we can infer from our data that people are twice as likely to request coaching as refuse it.”

How often do individuals at your organization initiate a request for coaching?
Seldom/never 38%
Sometimes  45%
Often  17%

The survey also explored the issue of confidentiality and coaching, Edwards said. “It seems coaching is usually kept secret at two-thirds of organizations and sometimes secret at one-quarter. Only about 11% of employers seldom or never keep coaching confidential. The prevalence of privacy implies there’s continuing ambivalence about coaching, despite its gaining ground as a sign of status.”

AMA Enterprise conducted the online survey in July and August 2011 in order to explore policies and practices with respect to executive coaching. The survey population consisted primarily of senior-level business, human resources and management professional contacts drawn from the AMA database of contacts.

With more than 85 years’ experience and headquartered in New York, American Management Association (www.amanet.org) is a global leader of comprehensive talent development. AMA Enterprise, a specialized division of AMA dedicated to building corporate and government solutions, transforms enterprise-wide talent to fuel a culture of innovation, high performance and optimal business results.