Is Executive Coaching Worth The Investment?

Executive Coaching is an effective way to enhance leadership performance

Executive Coaching is an effective way to enhance leadership performance

There is already a strong body of evidence to suggest that Coaching is a more effective form of development than training alone and can result in:

• Increased productivity
• Enhanced business results
• Improved ratings of effectiveness and impact from both direct reports and peers.
• Sustained learning

Evidence so far is suggesting that the biggest factors impacting on the effectiveness of the coaching intervention include:

• Client’s self belief and expectations of success from the coaching relationship
• The credibility of the Coach to the client
• The use of external coaches
• An understanding of different personality styles and impact as described by the MBTi Temperaments
• Coaches ability to adjust to the needs of the client (objectives and style)
• The client’s feelings about the coach and the coaching relationship
• Coaches ability to build rapport, listen, support, adapt to clients needs, respect, understand and generate confidence in their clients

Does Executive Coaching Work?
Whilst studies into the effectiveness of Executive Coaching are still relatively new and the data is emerging there is a sound enough body of evidence to support the assertion that it is an extremely effective form of development.

Several studies have found that it has a positive impact on business results, sustained learning and a high correlation with positive outcomes. (Levenson 2009, Washylyshyn et al 2006, Kmobarakaran et al 2008, Grant and Cavanagh 2007).

Increases in leadership effectiveness were seen to rise by 60% after just four one hour sessions (Thach in 2002) and clients and coaches report positive improvements on all the objectives of coaching (Peterson 1993).

As well as these generally positive outcomes, some studies have shown productivity to rise, like the study of recruitment managers in the army. Those who were coached raised their productivity more significantly than non coached managers (Bowles et al 2007).

The benefits of a 3 day training programme accounted for 22.4% of the rise in effectiveness, however, when combined with eight weeks of coaching this effectiveness rose to 88% (Olivero et al 1997)

Smither et all in 2003 found that in a study of 1,202 senior managers, those with coaching intervention were significantly more likely to improve their ratings from direct reports and superiors on multi-rater surveys (360 questionnaires).

All in all, the effectiveness of Executive Coaching is well established and in many studies shows to have an even greater impact that the already proven effectiveness of psychotherapy (Peterson 1993; Olivero et al 1997; Thach 2002; Bowles et al 2007; Perkins 2009)

What makes Executive Coaching Successful?
So what exactly is it that makes the Coaching intervention so successful? Scoular and Linley (2006) found that there is no impact on whether goal setting or no goal setting is used, and infact there seems to be little evidence for particular models, theories or strategies having a difference on impact.

People seem to achieve better outcomes when coached by a superior or external rather than by a peer or self coached (Sue-Chan & Latham 2004)

The evidence suggests that the two biggest factors are the clients own self belief in their ability to grow along with their personality and how this combines with the coaches personality and style to form an effective working relationship. When using MBTI as a model to compare the relationships Scoular and Linley (2006) found that a more positive outcome was correlated to a closer match of the coach and coachees MBTI Temperaments styles (SJ, SP, NT, NF)

Perhaps the biggest impact on coaching success is the client’s view of the working relationship with the coach (Boyce et al 2010; Baron & Morin 2009,2012) and similar common factors to those established as important in the success of psychotherapy (De Hann 2011).

Common factors central to the effectiveness of psychotherapy (Cooper 2008; Norcross 2011), which may also relate to coaching include:
1. client’s circumstances;
2. therapists characteristics eg empathy, understanding, respect, warmth, authenticity, attractiveness, inspiring confidence, mental health, ability to tailor to clients needs; and
3. relationship between client and therapist.

To find out more about the Executive Coaching expertise we offer visit our website at http://www.nvsn.co.uk

SOURCE
De Haan & Duckworth (2013) “Signalling A New Trend in Executive Coaching Outcome Research” in the ‘International Coaching Psychology Review’ BPS, vol 8, no 1, March 2013.

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