Interest in helping leaders to become better coaches is at an all time high. Surveys show that employees want a great deal more coaching than they receive and there are signs that corporate America is finally trying to respond in two ways: first, they are training managers to be better coaches and second, they are using external coaches. With all this investment, what can be done to insure that it pays off with the highest possible return? There is great inconsistency in the quality and effectiveness of coaches, and the field is attracting more people at a rapid rate.

To expand and improve the art of coaching triggers a series of extremely important questions for which we’ve not had good answers. Yet, the future success of coaching may lie in our ability to find answers to these basic questions. The purpose of this paper is to highlight how many of these questions may be addressed in large part by:

  • Applying research from a variety of allied disciplines
  • Applying lessons learned from other successful initiatives that are closely related to coaching
  • Using research conducted in business and public service organizations
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