Coaching is NOT for Suckers

In today’s ever diverse workforce, you have more than likely come across someone that just isn’t cutting the mustard.

Ultimately, there are two options we can face with this employee:  ignore or coach.

The easy option is to simply ignore the deficiency in performance because as everyone should know, coaching is for suckers. You and I know that coaching is not for suckers, but unfortunately this is the sentiment that many managers have in today’s workplace. Many feel that coaching is not necessary, it is unimportant, and the only coaching an employee needs to know is:  don’t perform and you will not continue your employment.

Addressing a manager who shares the philosophy of coaching is for suckers can be difficult, but it necessary to challenge this thinking and educate them on what coaching can do for both the employee and the organization. However, keep in mind that the coaching process has to be supported by the organization and built into the culture. Organizations that have a strong coaching culture deliver superior results according to a 2011 study by Bersin & Associates. The study goes on to explain organizations that are highly effective in providing managers with coaching knowledge are 26% more effective at holding costs than their competitors.

To provide some personal relevance to you around the impact of coaching on an organization (26% more effective at holding costs than their competitors), recall a situation in your life where you regularly had someone who provided advice or coaching on how to improve performance or make a better decision; more than likely this coaching resulted in you performing at a higher level. Why?

1. You had someone in your corner supporting you

2. This person was able to provide you with a different viewpoint to your current thinking or performance

3. Together you were able to establish a detailed plan to get back on course

So it should not be surprising to hear that Bersin & Associates’ research found organizations with senior leaders who coached very frequently  demonstrated 21% higher business results and organizations with “excellent” cultural support for coaching showed 13% stronger business results and 39% stronger employee results.


My personal experience has shown coaching is effective, but the research provided by Bersin & Associates further reinforces what I have seen from those personal experiences. But where do you fall – are you a believer or do you think coaching is for suckers?

If you are a believer, share your personal experiences with our readers. If you think coaching is for suckers, explain why.

Image Credit:

Sales Progress


13 thoughts on “Coaching is NOT for Suckers

  1. Definitely agree with you Chris. The importance of coaching at an organization cannot be underestimated as it will influence both the coach and employee, widening their horizons and providing them with more experience in dealing with work, and individuals. And in today’s work environments, Leaders are being sought (you can check out our article here about Leaders vs Managers )
    Thanks again for such a nice post!

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  2. I am a graduate student in Human Performance Improvement at Roosevelt University. I too, believe that coaching can be a very effective tool. According to Sherman & Freas (2004), It is suggested that even with the “progress made in other business disciplines, and all of the preaching by charismatic business gurus’, today’s corporations, remains ill-equipped to resolve categories of employee-related dilemmas” (p.84). Knowing this information, it is still important to have data to convince readers that coaching will help employees to become great leaders and leaders that will lead by example.

  3. I love this! In my previous role I was a “Sales Coach” for a company. As coaches we worked very hard supporting providing and nurturing behaviors of people that did not report to us, only to have their managers not continue the coaching and mentoring in our absence. I was ultimately terminated because the division I worked for didn’t meet their goals! I was simply appalled and hurt, because I had developed a relationship with these employees and they would tell me things that they wouldn’t tell their managers. I couldn’t believe they suspected my performance as obstacles in preventing the teams from meeting goals. Coaching is ongoing, not a one hit wonder!

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