10 Reasons Why Coaching Works

Thumbnail image for what is coaching.jpgWhen McKinsey & Company’s Joanna Barsh talked to the Wall Street Journal about the new report she co-authored on women in the US economy, she recommended coaching as a strategy to help women move up out of middle management.

Barsh, a director in McKinsey’s New York office, rightly turns our attention from top-down corporate initiatives to the kind of on-the-ground professional development that individual women can achieve when they work with a personal coach.

Coaching works for corporate women who want to turn their ambitions into promotions. As a coach, I’ve seen it work. Here are 10 reasons why:

  1. It’s private, safe, and low-risk.
  2. A coach makes sure that the tough questions get asked, and answered.
  3. It’s one thing to take a workshop (on business development or leadership, for example); it’s another thing to actually apply and master those principles.
  4. Learning is more effective with a learning partner.
  5. Coaching acknowledges anxiety and fear and then neutralizes them.
  6. The coaching process provides an ongoing structure that makes it easier to sustain learning and growth.
  7. Coaching provides a neutral perspective, independent of workplace drama.
  8. All assumptions get tested.
  9. Coaching is a place where the cultural complexity (read: double-bind) of a woman’s position in the workplace can be acknowledged and managed.
  10. The deep engagement of coaching produces deeply internalized, long-term professional development.

Next time: What’s different about coaching women.

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