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Executive coaching: Five ways it can sour

Coaching can be highly successful in aiding an executive’s development, but it might not always be the best solution. Konstantin Korotov talks through the pitfalls.

Executive coaching is often heralded as a highly successful way to support and develop executives and managers. Relationship management, decision-making and personal effectiveness are just a few of the key competences that must be developed over time, and which can be nurtured by this kind of professional support.

Much can be said for the benefits of coaching, but when done badly executive coaching can actually be detrimental to the progress of an employee’s development. In my experience, some managers may have become disillusioned by unsuccessful coaching situations in their past. Here are the five main situations to watch out for before the coach-executive relationship becomes toxic:

  1. The coach is just a messenger for the company

In this circumstance, coaching can be used by the company – or an individual within it – as a means to spread a core message or ethos without direct involvement. Despite outwardly appearing as a practice in development, the true purpose of the exercise can often be to excuse bosses from giving out their own feedback or being at the forefront of core training – undeniably, a coward’s way out.

This is an extract from the Finance & Management Magazine, Issue 243, May 2016

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