Disadvantages of Coaching

A number of articles praise both performance appraisals and coaching as ways to bolster employee engagement. Despite all the positives associated with these practices, there are many negatives to consider before implementing or tweaking an organization’s current system. First, observing an employee’s progress is not as easy as it might seem. There are many constraints that managers and leaders might experience that would prevent them from doing a thorough job. These constrains include; time constraints, situational constraints and activity constraints (Aguinis 235-236). In addition, a study on coaching “found that 32% of coaches had less than two years coaching experience” (Gray 60).

Without the proper training, coaching can do more harm than good. The second issue, which centers on formal coaching, is that employees and coaches can be mismatched. In study done by Terry Bacon and Karen Spear for the book Adaptive Coaching, “56 percent of clients report[ed] that the coaching they received [was] often not focused on the right things and does not help them learn exactly what they should do differently to be more effective” (Bacon and Spear).

Inadequately trained supervisors could result in low quality feedback and communication gaps. When managers avoid giving negative feedback a feedback gap results, which creates a communication vacuum of meaningful exchanges (Aguinis 244). The article, “Managing Performance,” stresses that “feedback approaches that are not implemented effectively actually may have a deleterious influence on employee performance” (Schraeder and Jordan 8). To be an effective coach, these employees need to know themselves and be able to value the differences in others.


Aguinis, H. Performance Management, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009. Web.

Bacon, Terry, and Karen Spear. Adaptive Coaching: The Art and Practice of a Client-

centered Approach to Performance Improvement. Palo Alto: Davies-Black, 2003. Web.

Gray, David E. “Towards The Lifelong Skills And Business Development Of Coaches: An Integrated Model Of Supervision And Mentoring.” Coaching: An International Journal Of Theory, Research & Practice 3.1 (2010): 60-72. Academic Search Complete. Web. 09 April 2013.

Hughes, Richard, Robert Ginnett, and Gordon Curphy. Leadership: Enhancing the Lessons of Experiences. New York: McGraw Hill, 2012.

Schraeder, Mike, and Mark Jordan. “Managing Performance.” Journal For Quality & Participation 34.2 (2011): 4-10. Academic Search Complete. Web. 09 April 2013.


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