Management Coaching / Leadership Training is Coming of Age

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Canadian Management Centre commissions global study on effective workplace coaching.

The days of viewing coaching as a cottage industry of questionable value are over

If half of our Olympic athletes set off for Beijing without a coach, Canada's chances for a place on the podium would be dashed before the plane left the departure gate. Coaching's impact on performance has never been doubted in sports, but in business, the subject is often met with either skepticism or unrealistic expectations.

A global study on effective coaching from business training and organizational development experts Canadian Management Centre and their international affiliates revealed a pronounced and positive shift in managers' attitudes towards coaching. Once a "nice-to-have" tool in the human resource manager's toolbox, coaching is increasingly being seen as a strategic instrument to improve individual performance and develop leadership potential.

Coaching: A Study of Successful Practices revealed that an overwhelming number of the 1,030 executives surveyed worldwide believe coaching is associated with improving individual performance and developing high-potential employees/leaders. The study also revealed that coaching is only used by half of today's companies - 52 per cent of North American businesses and 55 per cent of international companies have programs in place. Moreover, of those organizations that do not currently have coaching programs in place, 37 per cent of North American and 56 per cent of the international respondents claim to have plans to initiate coaching.

Nearly one-third of respondents in the study were Canadian.

"The days of viewing coaching as a cottage industry of questionable value are over," says John Eckmire, who leads Canadian Management Centre's coaching practice. "For human resource managers looking to optimize the performance and potential of their existing labour pool, coaching can no longer be ignored."

The study also concludes that coaching will be a competitive advantage for companies who are quick to recognize its merits and implement a focused program.

"As workforce demographics shift and boomers retire, ensuring high retention levels and attracting a steady stream of talent with leadership potential will become essential to the continued success of Canadian businesses. Coaching can play a vital role in developing high-potential employees - one-on-one contact reveals strengths and helps managers plot a path for career growth through consensus-building," explains Eckmire.

Respondents also stated that using coaching as an integrated part of a training or development program is the method most highly correlated with coaching success. "The combination of training followed by several coaching sessions can significantly boost training effectiveness, resulting in better and sustainable behavioural change by managers. When you think about it, it's just common sense to combine them."

The study also revealed several guidelines for implementing a successful coaching program:

1. Clarity of purpose counts: Companies that have a clear reason for using a coach are more likely to rate coaching programs as successful.

2. Evaluating coaching's performance may help boost success rates: Respondents who reported that they frequently use a measurement method for coaching were more likely to report success in their programs.

3. It pays to match the right coach with the right client: Matching people according to expertise and personality seems to be the best strategy for coaching success.

4. External coaches, while more expensive, are strongly preferred by a margin of 5:1 versus internal coaches.

Coaching: A Global Study of Successful Practices was commissioned by Canadian Management Centre, American Management Association and the Institute for Corporate Productivity. The full report is available online at http://www.cmctraining.org/whitepapers.

About Canadian Management Centre
For more than 40 years, Canadian Management Centre has provided the Canadian business community with thought leadership on the professional development and management training needed to improve individual and organizational performance - and achieve bottom-line results. Headquartered in Toronto, Canadian Management Centre offers more than 100 programs to individuals and organizations in Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa that span a variety of vital business disciplines, including: leadership and management training, sales and project management and customer service. Each year, more than 12,000 business professionals acquire the latest in training and development through Canadian Management Centre's open-enrollment programs, blended-learning and corporate learning solutions. With a faculty of skilled instructors, the Centre offers courses in the areas of: business training, career training, customer service training, leadership training, marketing training, project management training, sales training and IT professional development.

Canadian Management Centre also works with a wide array of high-profile corporate clients. Canadian Management Centre won the 2007 Gold Canadian Award for Training Excellence from the Canadian Society for Training and Development for Making It Happen: Leadership Fundamentals, a leadership training program developed for AIR MILES.

Canadian Management Centre is affiliated with the American Management Association International network, a global not-for-profit organization that provides a full range of management development and educational services to individuals, companies and government agencies worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.cmctraining.org.

For more information, contact:
Maximilian Nchama / Anthony Westenberg
Palette Public Relations
416.703.9859 ext. 17 / 25
mnchama @ palettepr.com / awestenberg @ palettepr.com

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