By |Published On: November 21st, 2019|Categories: Evidence Based Coaching|

EBC Blog:  Race Matters in Coaching: An Examination of Coaches’ Willingness to Have Difficult Conversations with Leaders of Color

Guest Blogger: Ariel Finch Bernstein, PhD, https://www.linkedin.com/in/ariel-finch-bernstein-phd-b4695b3/

Do executive coaches have the skill sets necessary for effective partnership with an increasingly diverse contingent of managers and leaders? Recent research has begun to shed light on this question and unfortunately the answer is not encouraging. In this discussion-based webinar, Ariel Finch Bernstein, PhD, will share his dissertation work that found a sample of 129 executive coaches struggled to have “difficult conversations” with leaders of color. The study investigated two questions in particular:

(1) Do coaches provide less critical feedback to Black clients than they do White clients?

(2) Do coaches engage in fewer diversity-based conversations with Black clients than with White clients?

The study found that as hypothesized, Black clients received more support, yet less challenge, less constructive feedback, and less time devoted to areas of development than did otherwise identical White clients. Coaches were also twice as likely to provide diversity-related feedback to White executives than they were to Black executives. There is reason to believe that coaches’ reluctance to provide challenging cross-racial feedback may stem from a concern about appearing prejudiced. Regardless of the intention, the impact is clear: coaches assigned to Black clients opted to sidestep conversations about both diversity and development.

In particular, the webinar will speak to three crucial implications of the research:

  • Coaches interestingly struggled to partner across race not because of unconscious bias, but because of racial anxiety.
  • Clients of color may be at risk of a challenge deficit with their coach—and also potentially with their manager as well.
  • The larger coaching community needs to pay greater attention to the impact of diversity dynamics when outlining its list of core competencies.

Join us for a live conversation with Dr. Bernstein at the following webinar.

Evidence Based Coaching (EBC) Thought Leaders Webinar:  Race Matters in Coaching: An Examination of Coaches’ Willingness to Have Difficult Conversations with Leaders of Color

Was held on Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Watch the On-Demand video now at https://youtu.be/8h29Kwbm5R8

Speaker:  Ariel Finch Bernstein, PhD, https://www.linkedin.com/in/ariel-finch-bernstein-phd-b4695b3/

Host:  Terry H. Hildebrandt, PhD, MCC, MCECDirector of Evidence Based Coaching, Fielding Graduate University

This webinar will address an important, yet under-discussed question: Do executive coaches have the skill sets necessary for effective partnership with an increasingly diverse workforce? In response, I sampled 129 coaches and examined their willingness to have “difficult conversations” with Black clients. The study investigated two questions in particular: (1) Do coaches provide less critical feedback to Black clients than they do White clients? and (2) Do coaches engage in fewer diversity-based conversations with Black clients than with White clients? The study found that as hypothesized, Black clients received more support, yet less challenge, less constructive feedback, and less time devoted to areas of development than did otherwise identical White clients. Coaches were also twice as likely to provide diversity-related feedback to White executives than they were to Black executives. We will close by discussing the implications of the work—for coaches, clients, and the greater coaching community..

Bio of Ariel Finch Bernstein, PhD, Leadership Development & People Analytics, National Basketball Association (NBA)

Ariel Finch Bernstein is a coaching scholar and practitioner based in New York City. He was recently named an Institute of Coaching at Harvard Research Scholar for his dissertation that examined coaches’ ability to navigate difficult conversations across race. Ariel also sits on the Leadership Development & People Analytics teams at the NBA, where much of his work focuses on improving the league’s capacity to retain and develop diverse talent. Ariel holds a PhD in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University, a master’s in Counseling Psychology from New York University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

For more on Fielding’s EBC Coach Training Program, see http://coach.fielding.edu

#coach #ebc #fielding #coachtraining #coaching #evidencebasedcoaching

About the Author: Terry Hildebrandt

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