The Ripple Effect of Coaching

Jordan Rodger
Jun 05 2023 | Einblicke

A superpower that spreads

We know that coaching works. At EZRA, we call coaching a superpower because we’ve seen the transformational effect it has on individuals.   

One of the reasons coaching is so impactful is because it’s 1:1 development – dedicated time for a coach and coachee to work on real and meaningful goals.  

But the positive effects of coaching go far beyond what happens in those conversations.  

EZRA’s experience coaching tens of thousands of individuals, and a growing body of research, tells us that this positive impact spreads way further, in ways many might not expect. 

We call this the ripple effect of coaching. 

What's a ripple effect?

A stone is dropped in water. Picture the ripples it creates.  

Now imagine that every coaching interaction is a stone being dropped, and ripples spread outwards as individuals take insights forward from their sessions and into action at work.  

Finding the courage to try something new, helping a colleague solve a problem, or working more efficiently so you get out of work on time.  

As those ripples spread, others feel the benefit too. This causes more ripples and more impact. Benefits for individuals, their organization, and others they interact with in their daily lives. 

How it works

EZRA’s data analyzing thousands of coaching engagements helps explain the ripple effect by telling us two key things.  

1. People feel better when they get coached

77% feel more loyal to their company after coaching.

72% of managers see increased engagement go up after coaching.

When people feel better that positivity spreads to others. We’re hard-wired to read others’ emotions and take them on as our own. It’s what researchers call ‘emotional contagion’[1]  - ripples of positivity that can’t help but catch.   

2. People perform better when they get coached

99% of people see their performance improve after coaching (and their managers agree).

Just like positivity, improved performance spreads too. It happens through ‘social learning’[2].  – colleagues see new skills role-modelled, they receive better support, are encouraged to try new things. And they pay these benefits forward to others too.   

Put simply, coaching spreads positive emotional and behavioral ripples far and wide across a person’s network.  

Maybe they feel more confident pressing send on a sensitive email, or maybe their team member does. Perhaps it helps a colleague speak up about challenges they’re facing, or changes their first words as they walk through the door after work. 

Benefits to believe in

Ripple effects are all around us – so much so that it can be hard to measure their effects. But at EZRA we’re driven by the data, and a few studies help us observe these impacts in action. 

Researchers at the University of Sydney[3] found that people who worked closely with coached leaders benefited from boosted wellbeing, almost as much as the leaders themselves.  

EZRA’s own data shows that the teams of coached leaders saw an 18% increase in productivity compared to a similar group of individuals whose managers didn’t receive coaching.[4] 

And while these studies help us quantify the positive impact of the ripple effect, they only start to paint the full picture of positivity.  

Reasons to feel good

It’s easy to think of coaching as something that only benefits the individual, but the ripple effect helps us see otherwise.  

Great coaching can improve an individual’s life. And the lives of people around them. And the people around them… and them… 

And it’s more than just performance at work. Coaching brings so many opportunities for happiness. Why not spread a little positivity for yourself?   

Learn more about the ripple effect at


[1] Barsade, S. G. (2002). The Ripple Effect: Emotional Contagion and Its Influence on Group Behavior. Administrative Science Quarterly, 47 (4), 644-675 

[2] Bandura, A., & Walters, R. H. (1977). Social learning theory (Vol. 1). Prentice Hall: Englewood cliffs. 

[3] O’Connor, S., & Cavanagh, M. (2013). The coaching ripple effect: The effects of developmental coaching on wellbeing across organizational networks. Psych Well-being, 3, (2) 

 [4] Based on EZRA internal data on 160 leaders accountable for the performance of around 2000 employees 

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