The Effectiveness of Executive Coaching: What We Can Learn from the Research Literature

While executive coaching has increased markedly during recent years, the professional application of coaching, our understanding of when to use coaching, and the evaluation of its effectiveness has lagged far behind. The purpose of the current study is to review empirical studies on executive coaching in the literature, synthesize their findings, and explore implications for the delivery of executive coaching.

The results show that executive coaching leads to a moderate-to-large amount of change in executives’ skills and/or performance. Instead of asking the question of ROI, organizations should align coaching objectives to strategic and business needs to maximize the impact of executive coaching. Assessing and addressing an executive’s coachability is necessary for effective coaching.