What Do Leaders Gain From Coaching?

Today more highly successful leaders than ever are working with a coach on a regular basis, and the trend is predicted to increase over the next five years, according to a recent study by the International Coach Federation.  So what are the benefits?

Anecdotal Evidence

As a coach of over 30 years, I am grateful to have had a front row seat to many a leader’s growth process. To begin, demands change as a leader moves up in an organization, requiring a more sophisticated set of competencies. For a leader who would like to accelerate their career, a coach can help gather confidential feedback from those they work with.  This process reveals how they come across to others, and helps give them insight into what adjustments are needed to improve their effectiveness.  

CEO, Steve, and his executive team all had highly successful sales and sales management backgrounds.  However, they struggled to achieve a new strategic vision.  When we met, Steve laughingly shared that their team meetings turned into screaming matches.  I thought he was kidding, but when he hired me to facilitate an off-site, he wasn’t far off.  His team was feisty, fun and unbridled.  Steve was frustrated with their efforts to get to the next level.  

Doing the Work

In his coaching, Steve got feedback from all he worked with and also some family members.  The input was consistent.  Steve was well respected for his business acumen, and liked by all.  What he missed was connecting with his people on a deeper level, and in turn, holding them to account for their growth and performance.  In other words, he needed some next level skills to harness the collective genius of his team.  

Steve did not take the coaching assignments seriously at first.  I was used to clients nervously joking about “touchy feely” assignments such as tracking strong emotions and role playing tough conversations. But as he progressed, he developed insights about his relational patterns and what it cost him to avoid taking more risks.  He began to enjoy asking provocative questions and used his charm and sense of humor to call out disruptive behaviors in meetings.  The team responded with spars of their own. The conflict they needed to have helped them get to more real conversations about their strategy and what was needed to succeed.

The Payoff

The best part for me, was when I attended their national conference with hundreds of people celebrating a very successful year.  Steve’s wife came up to me and my husband, Rod and introduced us to their daughter.  A young woman stepped forward and held out her hand and quietly said, “Yes, I’d like to just thank you for your work with my father.  It’s made a big difference in our relationship and I’m grateful.”

I will never forget that moment.  Even better than corporate profits, is seeing people grow in their relationships.  It happens often in coaching.  You start out to improve a business outcome, and a human being grows into more of who they really are!

More Examples

Here are additional examples of skill development commonly achieved in coaching:

  • How to balance truth and grace in giving feedback
  • How to influence more by focusing on asking rather than telling
  • Learn to listen more deeply to build trust and mutual understanding
  • Discover ways to manage emotional reactions that interfere with decision making and the ability to resolve conflict
  • Build confidence, presence and positivity
  • Engage people at a higher level and lead more productive meetings
  • Reduce stress and find ways to manage work/life balance
  • Reignite vision for life and career


The International Coach Federation reports 80% of people who receive coaching report increased self-confidence, and over 70% benefit from improved work performance, relationships, and more effective communication skills. 86% of companies report that they recouped their investment on coaching and more. (source: ICF 2009).

Manchester, Inc. surveyed 100 executives, most of which were from Fortune 1000 companies. Their research showed that a company’s investment in Executive Coaching realized an average ROI of almost six times the cost of the coaching. (source: The Manchester Review, 2001, Volume 6, Number 1, Joy McGovern,

Is Coaching For You?

Consider your goals this year and if coaching could benefit you. If you are ready, let’s connect for a chemistry session to explore your goals and what you are looking for in a coach.

If we discover we are a good fit, we can get started, and if not, I will recommend a few other trusted professionals.  

In closing, here is one of my favorite quotes,

 “To learn is to change.  Our destiny is to learn and keep learning for as long as we live.”  

- George Leonard, The Life We Are Given

Elaine Morris
Executive coach and positive intelligence expert

Meet Elaine and get started.

Elaine Morris is a master-level emotional intelligence and executive coach who brings more than 30 years of experience to upper level executives and their teams.

Elaine Morris