Coaching Leadership

New report on coaching released by the American Management Association

A new study on coaching prepared by the American Management Association has some valuable information for law firms planning to launch coaching programs and for individual lawyers who are thinking of hiring a coach.

The study is very well researched and provides an up to date report on what’s working for coaching in organizations.  You can download the report from the Canadian Management Centre website here:

One highlight from the study looked into the most important factors in determining the success of a coaching engagement:

“The strongest correlations were found between coaching expertise and coaching success and between personality and coaching success. In general, this suggests that companies that match based on the coach’s expertise or based on complementary personalities are more likely to report successful coaching programs.”

In other words, retain coaches with experience that matches your needs and interview the candidates to ensure you find a coach who fits your personality. This just seems like common sense.  If you are a lawyer looking for practice development coaching then you are best retaining a coach with experience in the legal field and practice development and interviewing them to find out if they are a good “fit” for your personality.

Don’t feel like downloading the report?  Here is an excerpt of the some of the other key findings from the study:

Finding One: Coaching is used by only about half of today’s companies. In the
North American sample, 52% report having such programs in place, and, in the
international sample, the proportion is 55%.

Finding Two: Coaching continues to gain in popularity. Among respondents
who say their organizations don’t yet have coaching programs, a sizable proportion
(37% in the North American sample and 56% in the international sample) say such
programs will be implemented in the future.

Finding Three: Coaching is associated with higher performance. Correlations do
not necessarily imply causation, but respondents from organizations that use coaching
more than in the past are also more likely to report two kinds of advantages:
1. They’re more likely to report that their organizations have higher levels of
success in the area of coaching.
2. They’re more likely to say that their organizations are performing well in the
market, as determined by self-reports in the combined areas of revenue
growth, market share, profitability, and customer satisfaction.

Finding Four: Coaching is primarily aimed at boosting individual performance.
The desire to improve individual performance/productivity is the most widely cited
purpose of coaching.

Finding Five: Clarity of purpose counts. The more a company has a clear reason
for using a coach, the more likely that its coaching process will be viewed as successful.

Finding Six: Evaluating coaching’s performance may help boost success rates. The
more frequently respondents reported using a measurement method, the more likely
they were to report success in their coaching programs.

Finding Seven: It pays to interview. Having an interview with the prospective
coach has the strongest relationship with reporting a successful coaching program.

Finding Eight: It pays to match the right coach with the right client.Matching
people according to expertise and personality seems to be the best strategies.

Finding Nine: External training seems to work best. Externally based methods of
providing training on coaching are most strongly correlated with overall coaching
success, though they are less often used.

Finding Ten: Coaching’s international future looks bright. Compared with the
North American sample, organizations in the international group have not had
coaching programs in place for as long, but more in this group plan to implement
coaching programs in the future.

Finding Eleven: Peer coaching needs to become more effective. Although a little
over half of responding organizations use peer coaching, only about a third of
respondents who use it consider it to be very effective or extremely effective.

About the author

Allison Wolf

I am the founder of AWAL and one of the most senior coaches for lawyers in North America. I have helped countless clients over the past fifteen years, develop thriving legal practices and before that served as director of marketing for award-winning law firms. My specialty is uncovering the thinking traps and gaps holding clients back and helping them acquire the mindsets, skills, and habits for growing successful and rewarding legal careers. After a career in legal marketing and business development with law firms in Beijing, New York, and Vancouver, I was trained as a coach in 2004 at Royal Roads University and now coach clients from across North America. You can reach me at or learn more about my coaching practice from the coaching section of the Attorney With A Life Website.