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The Tangible Impact of Executive Coaching


May 13th, 2011

- Updated on

May 20, 2015 - 11:58am

In the last of our series on the top ten trends in coaching and leadership development, we take the opportunity to share what we’re learning from those participating in executive coaching. Click here for Trends 8 & 9: Executive Coaching Cultures & Large Scale Programs

Trend 10 – The tangible impact of executive coaching on learning leaders and their organizations

What AJO Is Seeing:

For this trend, we analyzed feedback from 75 “learning leaders” who recently participated in an executive coaching program with A.J. O’Connor Associates. This group was made up of high potential individual contributors to President/C level executives. Feedback was collected formally using an online survey tool. 

Key Findings: The high impact that coaching has on individuals and their organizations

  • 100% agreed or strongly agreed that coaching was a valuable use of their time
  • 95% agreed or strongly agreed that they achieved the goals outlined in their individual coaching plans
  • 94% agreed or strongly agreed that they had become more effective leaders than they were prior to coaching. Many shared stories or anecdotes to support their responses to this question (see below)
  • 88% agreed or strongly agreed that others would say they have noticed a change in approach/skills
  • 88% agreed or strongly agreed that their learnings and /or changes in approach have positively impacted the business
  • 85% agreed or strongly agreed that they received enough support from their bosses in the coaching process
  • 68% agreed or strongly agreed that they had received enough support from HR

Tangible Business Outcomes and Benefits for Individual and Organization 

In response to questions on the impact of coaching, many Learning Leaders were able to point to tangible outcomes for themselves, their teams and their organizations. These included promotions, significant business wins, sales records being achieved, culture changes, important projects implemented successfully and overall enhanced leadership skills that led to higher personal and team engagement. 

Critical Success Factors:

Key elements that contribute to these results cannot be under-estimated. They include:

  1. Robust coach/Learning Leader match process involving presentation of multiple coach biographies, client conversations and meetings with multiple coaches. This is essential to building trust in the coaching relationship
  2. Careful intake that involves HR and the Learning Leader’s Manager. We advocate a contracting process that results in a formal Statement of Work
  3. Formal Learning Leader assessment and development, followed by preparation and implementation of a detailed Coaching Plan
  4. Stakeholder involvement including multiple formal checkpoints with the Learning Leader’s Manager and HR, as well as feedback of corporate-level development needs and trends

What Others Are Reporting:

How satisfied are those who have been coached? The International Coach Federation reports on findings from The Global Consumer Awareness Study, which surveyed 15,000 individuals (aged 25 and older) from 20 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America.
Among those who have been in a coaching relationship, satisfaction levels are very high (83 percent), while 36 percent were “very satisfied.” The level of satisfaction rises even higher to 92 percent among those with an ICF Credentialed coach, 55 percent of which were “very satisfied.”

Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey 2011
In 2006, almost 90% of HR professionals and coaching clients felt the value of coaching was either somewhat high or very high. ‘High value’ perceptions exceed 94% in 2011.

To view all ten trends in coaching and leadership development click here.