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Sharing ATD's Coaching Research with a Local Chapter
Monday, February 23, 2015
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Welcome to Research Week! This blog post not only introduces ATD’s recent research on the hot topic of coaching in organizations, but also how one of our ATD Chapters involved ATD Research and integrated our coaching research into a local speaker event. 

The Importance of Coaching 

Building managers’ coaching skills has been a topic that has attracted considerable attention as managers play a key role in ensuring productivity and performance, yet they often struggle to communicate clearly and effectively with their teams. Coaching skills include: listening proactively, asking non-directive questions, and providing timely and actionable feedback. 

“Coaching in the Real World” Event Hosted by Chattanooga Chapter 

On January 8, 2015, I had the opportunity to share ATD’s research on managers as coaches at an event hosted by the ATD local chapter in Chattanooga.  ATD Chattanooga hosted a dynamic panel discussion on “Coaching in the Real World,” featuring learning leaders from organizations including Walgreen’s and Randstad, who provided valuable insights based on their experiences with coaching training in organizations. 

The event was designed with several objectives in mind, including ensuring that attendees could better identify workplace situations where coaching could lead to increased productivity, as well as focus on specific coaching skills that could improve their own personal interactions in the workplace.  

I was extremely honored to be asked to discuss our recent research report, The Coaching Approach: A Key Tool for Successful Managers. An infographic, which highlights some of the report’s key findings and statistics, was shown to attendees. (Anyone can download a copy of that infographic for free here.) 

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Sharing Key Findings from Our Coaching Research 

ATD’s Research found that the top benefits of coaching were improved communication between managers and employees, enhanced employee engagement, and increased transfer of skills to on-the-job performance. Organizations that emphasized coaching were more likely to see these benefits of effective coaching. 

However, only 27 percent of organizations heavily incorporated coaching in their talent development portfolios. One commonly-mentioned challenge learning leaders face in launching and promoting coaching training programs is a lack of support from senior business leaders. Another hurdle for managers is dealing with the perception that coaching is only for low performers. 

These research findings helped set the stage for the lively panel discussion, particularly as panelists discussed their own successes and challenges with coaching training programs. Attendees also were provided with information on how they can access other resources provided by ATD Research, including research webcasts, social media feeds, and whitepapers.  

Research Resources for Chapters 

In addition to providing networking and professional development opportunities, many ATD chapters organize speaker events on topics of interest to the talent development community. For instance, many ATD chapters present data from our State of the Industry Report at their local events; a free infographic highlighting key statistics from that report is also available. 

If you’re a leader of a local chapter that is interested in ATD Research’s participation in an event, please contact us at research@td.org.  

About the Author
Maria Ho is the research manager for the Association for Talent Development. She authors research reports and other research products, analyzes data, and develops research plans and quantitative models. She also promotes and presents ATD’s research by blogging, posting on social media, and giving presentations. Maria is especially interested in performance measurement and evaluation and the impact of new technologies on training.

Prior to joining ATD, Maria was a public policy researcher, data analyst, and writer at the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C.  

Maria holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University and a master’s degree in economics from Johns Hopkins University.
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