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Top three reasons executive coaches are engaged

No one knows the frequency with which general counsel, or lawyers who report to them, avail themselves of executive coaches. My impression is that most general counsel in large companies can retain a personal coach with no one thinking twice about it. Indeed, some companies have a coach on call for the executive team (See my post of July 9, 2007: coaching with 8 references; Aug. 10, 2007: personality disorders among general counsel; Jan. 8, 2008: minimize career-progression angst; and March 25, 2008: 360-degree assessments and coach.).

The Harv. Bus. Rev., Vol. 87, Jan. 2009 at 92, tells us that coaches are no longer most often hired to “usher toxic leaders out the door.” No, in this humane age, coaches most often ply their trade to “develop high potentials or facilitate transition” (48% of the 140 leading coaches who responded to a survey selected this reason). The next two most common reasons why a coach is hired is to “act as a sounding board” (26% of the selections), or to “address derailing behavior.” (Love that phrase, training against derailing, all aboard!)

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