First-class coaches

In an age where the demands made of company leaders are at their unequivocal peak, it is more vital than ever to give your employees every competitive advantage. Finding the right coach through the International Coaching Federation could be the catalyst to empower your business


As most companies are tightening their belts, they seek better results with fewer resources. Coaching has become a significant trend in leadership development because it delivers results. It increases effectiveness and empowers employees. The economic climate does not have to be a binding reality, so instead of struggling, start thriving.  Here are several ways you could benefit from working with a professional coach.

Increased productivity
Professional coaching explicitly targets maximising potential and in doing this unlocks latent sources of productivity. At the heart of coaching is a creative and thought-provoking process that supports individuals to confidently pursue new ideas and alternative solutions with greater resilience in the face of growing complexity and uncertainty. According to the 2009 International Coach Federation (ICF) Global Coaching Client Study, 70 percent of clients reported a positive improvement in work performance; 61 percent reported a positive improvement in business management; 57 percent reported a positive improvement in time management; and 51 percent reported a positive improvement in team effectiveness.

Restored self-confidence
In the face of uncertainty caused by workforce reductions and other factors, expectations of the remaining workforce in a suffering company are very high. Restoring self-confidence to face the challenges is critical to meet organisational demands. The 2009 ICF study shows 80 percent of those being coached saw an improvement in their self-confidence; 73 percent saw an improvement in their relationships; 72 percent saw an improvement in their communications skills; 67 percent saw an improvement in balancing work and life; and 63 percent saw an improvement in wellness.

Return on investment (ROI)
The relationship between coach and client generates learning and clarity for forward action, with a commitment to clear measurable outcomes. Coaching offers a good return on investment for individual clients and offers a significant return on investment for companies.

According to the 2009 study, 68 percent of individuals indicated they had at least made back their initial investment. The median suggests that a client, who achieved financial benefit from coaching, can typically expect a ROI of more than three times the amount spent. According to the same report, the vast majority of companies (86 percent) say they at least made their investment back. In fact, almost one-fifth (19 percent) saw an ROI of 50 times their investment, while a further 28 percent saw an ROI of 10 to 49 times the investment.

One of the ways the ICF works to collect and share the data on effectiveness of coaching is through the ICF Prism Award. Annually, organisations that have demonstrated a successful use of coaching as a leadership strategy are recognised for their work and commitment to professional coaching. Past recipients of the award include the BBC and Nasa.

Virtually all companies or individuals who hire a coach are satisfied. According to the 2009 study, a stunning 99 percent of people who were polled said they were ‘somewhat’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the overall experience. In fact, 96 percent indicated they would repeat the process given the same circumstances that prompted them seeking a coach in the first place.

If your company is not thriving, coaching is an effective catalyst for change.

Starting the search
The process of selecting a coach among the vast network of professionals operating around the world can seem overwhelming. To aid in the procedure, all ICF Credentialled coaches are searchable through an online directory, the ICF Coach Referral Service (CRS). CRS is an ideal tool to jumpstart your search. It is a free public resource that allows clients to tailor their search for a qualified coach based on specific criteria, be it the coach’s professional experience and direction, or a certain coaching method or language preference.

When in the process of selecting a coach, clients usually interview at least three different coaches to find their perfect match. They will ask a specific set of questions relating to their requirements and look at the coach’s experience. Ultimately, the client has to find confidence in a coach, while at the same time the chemistry also has to be right. The personality between client and coach does not have to match; on the contrary, sometimes opposite personality types will bring the best results.

To avoid hiring coaches who may solely be relying on skills that they have acquired while performing other careers, clients prefer proof that their coach has been trained properly. Research shows a growing desire by clients for mentors to be able to clearly demonstrate their coach specific training and experience.

The right credentials
According to results of the 2012 ICF Global Coaching Study, 76 percent of all respondents agree that, “the people and organisations who receive coaching expect their coaches to be certified/credentialled.” This is consistent with previous findings from the 2007 study, which showed that 52 percent of respondents reported that, “the people we coach increasingly expect us to be credentialled,” and the 2010 Global Consumer Awareness Study that showed that 84 percent of participants agree on the importance of certification/credentials.

An ICF Credentialled coach has completed stringent education and experience requirements and has demonstrated a strong commitment to excellence in coaching. They have fulfilled coach-specific training, achieved a designated number of experience hours, and have been coached by a mentor coach.

The ICF’s rapid expansion indicates worldwide recognition of the value of ICF Credentialled coaches. According to the 2010 ICF Global Coaching Awareness Study, clients were more likely to be satisfied with their coaching experience, as well as recommending coaching to others, when they worked with an ICF Credentialled coach. Hence giving one final stamp of approval to the benefits and results that coaching can produce for any company.