9.16.20 Boda Insights: Research on the Impact of Executive Coaching

Appreciative Inquiry

We hope you have had a good summer and were able to get some time away to rest and rejuvenate. Certainly we all need that, after the challenging year it’s been so far.

In the past few months, we have seen a significant increase in requests for executive coaching. This surprised us, given the economic downturn, but also makes sense if you consider what research tells us about the impact of coaching, particularly in times of high stress:

  • Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, which makes leaders less creative, less competent with complex tasks, less able to see options and different perspectives, and less empathetic. In contrast, coaching activates both the empathetic network of the brain, which enables leaders to be more perceptive of others and to think about moral considerations, and also the lateral visual cortex, the part of the brain that controls imagination and creativity.
  • Research by John Paul Stephens, Kathy Kram, and Wendy Murphy shows that working with an experienced coach results in leaders feeling uplifted, energetic, resilient, cared for, and open to learning and change.
  • Research published in the Consulting Psychology Journal studied 85 senior banking leaders and found that, after working with coaches, the leaders’ emotional and social intelligence competencies, vision, work engagement, and career satisfaction all increased significantly.
  • And finally, Richard Boyatzis at Case Western Reserve University and colleagues studied the impact of coaching over time and found that working with a coach led to a 54-61% increase in emotional and social intelligence competencies that lasted 3-7 years after the coaching was completed. In comparison, corporate training led to just an 11% improvement that lasted only 0.25-1.5 years.

We would love to talk with you about the research on the impact of coaching, how we can help with executive coaching for your leaders, our broader leadership development and team development work, and how we can teach coaching skills to your leaders so they can have a positive impact on their teams and work more collaboratively with colleagues.

Please contact us if you’d like to learn more.

The Boda team