The Benefits of Professional Coaching
Professional coaching has been shown to lead to many relevant benefits for coachees including:
- Improved resilience among coachees (Grant et al., 2009, RCS).
- Increased workplace wellbeing (Grant et al., 2009, RCS)
- Decreased levels of stress (Grant et al., 2009, RCS)
- Improved work performance and planning (Hall et al., 1999, interviews; Bowles, Cunningham, De La Rosa & Picano, 2007; repeated measures design; Fischer & Beimers, 2009, mixed methods; Moen & Skaalvik, 2009, Moen & Federici, 2012a and Bozer et al., 2013, experimental design)
- Coaching signals employer's support to coachee; whether support is real or perceived, it improves coaching impact
- Increases the occurrence of critical moments - Issue-related or self-related “new realizations” (e.g. self-doubt, new learning) evoke positive emotions
- Reduced stress/anxiety
- Increased work and life satisfaction
- Improved resilience
- Better time-management skills
- Increased Adaptability, flexibility, and in trait levels of openness to experience
- Improved ability and quality of goal-setting
- Better leadership skills including: Better management and development of others and in the way that the coachee tends to be perceived by others (seniors and subordinates) as a more effective leader post-coaching
- Improved team player & team-building skills
- Better communication skills
Professional coaching has been shown to lead to many relevant benefits for businesses and organizations themselves including:
- Improved organizational performance (Gorringe, 2011; Luthans and Peterson, 2003; Levenson, 2009)
- Improved capacity to successfully manage organizational change (Grant et al., 2009; RCS)
- Enhances perceived supervisor support and sense of personal capacity for development
- Coaching is often seen as source of support and encouragement by the organization broadly speaking signifying that the organization values the coachee
- Indirect positive organizational effects from increased employee satisfaction, productivity, leadership effectiveness and coaching culture
What research has been done investigating executive coaching specifically during periods of large organizational change are:
- Increased goal attainment
- Enhanced solution-focused thinking
- A greater ability to deal with change
- An increased leadership self-efficacy
- Increased resilience
- Decreases in rates of depression
- Indirect improvements in family life.
- Grant, A. M. (2013). The Efficacy of Executive Coaching in Times of Organisational Change. Journal of Change Management, 14(2), 258–280. doi:10.1080/14697017.2013.805159
In one randomized controlled trial they found coaching was found to lead to quantitative improvement in terms of:
- Enhanced goal attainment
- Increased resilience
- Increased workplace wellbeing
- Reduced depression and stress
Qualitative responses indicated participants found coaching helped:
- Increases in self-confidence
- Increases in personal insight
- Improved management skills
- Better dealing with organisational change
- Grant, A. M., Curtayne, L., & Burton, G. (2009). Executive coaching enhances goal attainment, resilience and workplace well-being: a randomised controlled study. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 4(5), 396–407. doi:10.1080/17439760902992456
The UK Ministry of Defence reported that "The results indicate that within the context of the Development Scheme coaching provides a potential financial ROI. The findings also show that coaching impacts positively on members such that they are highly committed to demonstrating and exhibiting leadership behaviours and that there is some evidence of a broader impact on the Department as a whole with generalised skills transfer"
A preliminary evaluation of executive coaching: Does executive coaching work for candidates on a high potential development scheme? Amanda J.W. Feggetter - International Coaching Psychology Review ● Vol. 2 No. 2 July 2007 Pg.129 © The British Psychological Society – ISSN: 1750-2764
In another study, participants in the coaching group received multirater feedback on their leadership style and undertook 10 coaching sessions conducted by professional coaches over a 20-week period. When compared with randomly allocated controls, participation in coaching was associated with:
- Increased goal attainment
- Reduced stress
- Enhanced workplace well-being
- Bolstered resilience
- Improved self-reported achievement
- Elevated humanistic–encouraging components of constructive leadership styles
Grant, A. M., Green, L. S., & Rynsaardt, J. (2010). Developmental coaching for high school teachers: Executive coaching goes to school. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 62(3), 151–168. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0019212
Coaching has generally been found to also (1) increase continuous one-on-one attention (2) expanded thinking through dialogue with a curious outsider, (3) improve self-awareness (including ability to see blind spots more clearly, (4) hold people more personall accountabile for their own development, and (5) be effective for providing highly targeted just-in-time learning and devlopment.
Some research has also specifically found that coachig is particularly effective for promoting leadership skills and development of transformational leadership characteristics, specifically.
The Benefits of Life Coaching
Research not only shows that life coaching is effective, but that it's effects may be quite long-lasting. One study examined the effects of a 10-week cognitive-behavioral, solution-focused life coaching group programme. Participants were randomly allocated to a life coaching group programme or a waitlisted control group. Those that completed the program were showed significant increases in goal striving, well-being and hope, with gains maintained up to 30 weeks after the program had ended on many of the measured variables.
Similar research by Green, Oades and Grant (2003) indicates that the positive effects of coaching ( increases in self-reported positive affect, psychological wellbeing and hope, and significant decreases in negative affect) were maintained for over half a year.
- Green, L.S., Oades, L.G., & Grant, A.M. (2003, October). An evaluation of a life coaching group program. Paper presented at the International Positive Psychology Summit, Washington, DC.
Reserach indicates that the life coaching can be a successful intervention to building individual courage and decrease fear and anxiety.
Further research shows that life-coaching may have a positive impact on health outcomes as well.
Research investigating life coaching in a group setting has shown it to be effective in:
- improving levels of goal attainment
- decreasing levels of depression
- decreasing levels of stress
- decreasing levels of anxiety
- increasing insight
- decreasing unproductive rumination
Other research (Grant, 2003; Green et al., 2003) has similarly shown life coaching to be effective in terms of:
- increasing goal attainment
- increasing satisfaction with life
- increasing perceived sense of control over their environment and context
- improving positive orientation to new experiences
- increasing cognitive-behavioural flexibility
Individual and Group Life Coaching: Initial Findings From a Randomised, Controlled Trial Gordon B. Spence and Anthony M. Grant - Ch12
The Benefits of Health & Wellness Coaching
Several studies have concluded that traditional health coaching leads to improved behavioral and health outcomes (e.g., Cinar, Freeman, & Schou, 2017; McGonagle, Beatty, & Joffe, 2014; Rehman, Karpman, Vickers Douglas, & Benzo, 2017; Willard-Grace et al., 2015)
Other research shows that wellness coaching is associated with improvements in a variety of outcomes including mental well-being, physical activity, physical health, self-efficacy, medication adherence, and goal attainment, and more! (e.g., Ammentorp, Thomsen, & Kofoed, 2013; Galantino et al., 2009; Izumi et al., 2007; Mettler et al., 2014; Schneider et al., 2011; Wolever et al., 2010).
Moreover, Lawson and colleagues (2013) conducted a study of high-risk health plan enrollees who had participated in a telephonic wellness coaching program. Their research found that:
- 89% of participants met at least one of their wellness goals
- There were significant improvements to participants’ stress levels
- Improvements in healthy eating behaviour
- Increased exercise levels
- Increased physical and emotional health
- They found that coachees increased their level of engagement with the healthcare system following the wellness coaching intervention.
Fedesco, H. N., Collins, W. B., & Morgan, M. (2018). Investigating the effects of an employee wellness coaching intervention on patient engagement and healthcare costs. Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health, 1–21. doi:10.1080/15555240.2018.1486201