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Why Hire an Executive Coach?

by Sandra Stewart


What's really driving the boom in coaching, is this: as we move from 30 miles an hour to 70 to 120 to we go from driving straight down the road to making right turns and left turns to abandoning cars and getting on motorcycles...the whole game changes, and a lot of people are trying to keep up, learn how not fall off.

John Kotter, Professor of Leadership, Harvard Business School.


Professional organizations are experiencing new challenges at ever-increasing speed.  Technology is changing the work place, work style and client expectations.  An increasingly competitive marketplace requires better thinking about organizational and practice strategy.  Coaching supports executives to think strategically about their business and business relationships as well as to create balance and energy for optimal performance.


From the Coach Training Institute,


Simply focusing on developing employees' technical or functional expertise is entirely inadequate to create truly sustainable breakthrough performance. The most effective organizations will shift their focus to fundamentally rewiring how people hold themselves and engage with others in the workplace, giving executives the skills to recognize and coax the best performance out of themselves and each other.


Individuals who engage in coaching experience gain fresh perspectives on challenges and opportunities, build better thinking and decision making skills, enhanced interpersonal effectiveness, and increased confidence in carrying out their chosen work and life roles. They can also expect to see appreciable results in the areas of productivity, personal satisfaction with life and work, and the achievement of personal and professional goals.


According to the 2009 International Coach Federation (ICF) Global Coaching Client Study, companies that use or have used professional coaching for business have seen a median return on investment of seven times their initial investment.


From a survey published in Harvard Business Review, (What Can Coaches Do For You? January 2009) the primary purposes for business coaching were to:

48% Develop High Potential Executives

26% Act as a Sounding Board

12% Address Derailing Behavior


Findings from the 2010 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study, showed that 43% of respondents who had experienced coaching chose "optimize individual and/or team performance" as their motivation for being coached. This reason ranked highest followed by "expand professional career opportunities" at 39% and "improve business management strategies" at 36% percent. Other more personal motivations, "increase self-esteem/self-confidence" and "manage work/life balance" rated fourth and fifth.  

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