What do coaches actually do?
  • leadership
  • Blog post

What do coaches actually do?

You’ve heard a lot about employee coaching. But in the real world, what exactly do coaches do?

A recent study by The Conference Board reveals the ways employers use coaches. The study of 156 mainly large companies looked at coaching managers, but it has relevance for coaching in general:

  • Development: 72% of outsourced coaches helped managers develop personally; 44% of internal coaches did so. (External coaches usually work with top managers; internal coaches at mid-levels.)
  • Reality checks: 64% of external coaches discussed 360-degree evaluations, helping coachees ameliorate associates’ perceptions of them. For internal coaches, the figure was 40%.
  • Assessment: 58% of external coaches helped coachees understand their performance on assessment measures like Myers-Briggs, and improve weak areas; 27% of internal coaches did so.
  • Performance: 51% of external and 30% of internal coaches worked on job performance.


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