Thousands of stories – A few words on the impact of coaching

Rafal Szaniawski, PCC, SP
May 12 2024 | Insights
Man sat on a chair, wearing a pink shirt and glasses, facing and smiling at a colleague.

I often get asked about impact of coaching. As a former L&D leader, I fully understand the question of impact and return on investment of any of the people development activity.

And yet today, I want to answer this question with a slightly unusual response, a response that stems from more than 2,000 hours of coaching sessions I’ve had as a coach.

As the world, including the business world, is rapidly changing, constantly presenting organizations (and its employees) with new or re-emerging challenges and opportunities, companies turn to coaching to help their leaders, teams and employees perform, develop and thrive.

And then they come into our sessions and show up – human, open, curious, sometimes filled with overwhelming thoughts and emotions, always with real desire to evolve and show up and lead, work and simply live the way they want.

We talk, partner, brainstorm, explore and guide them to find confidence, courage, ideas, clarity, space and whatever else they need to leave the session and experiment with their newly gained ideas. They often find the coaching space as their unique opportunity to pause, reflect, identify and overcome whatever is holding them back.

And then they return to their daily work and life, to the challenges and opportunities the world and their organizations present, but they are not the same as they were before their coaching session. Step by step, session by session, you see them evolve, grow and shift. You hear their stories of meetings, presentations, conversations, projects that developed and delivered differently – sometimes slightly and sometimes radically. They share how they communicate, collaborate, lead, manage and work better, and how much that means to them and how much this helps their teams, organizations and themselves. At work, at home, in all dimensions of their lives.

We call it the ‘ripple effect’. They change how they operate, lead, work and live, and it also creates change in their environment, whether this is their work or beyond. And that is a key impact of coaching and mentoring.

You will see these effects of coaching this impact in numbers, reflected in performance reviews, improving timelines, meeting deadlines, fewer conflicts, increased productivity thanks to better communication and better work life balance or people'’s well-being.

You may not have a single number that you can throw in your PowerPoint presentation.

You will have many pieces of data and feedback we collect as a coaching organization and your business collects and monitors to measure the impact of coaching on employee performance.

And yet, at the end of the day, I encourage you to remember that the impact of coaching is about individual stories that happen and are written in each coaching session. The more of these sessions and stories happen, the bigger the impact you will see, the better the benefits you will reap, and the numbers you monitor will ultimately tell you the story of growth and thriving.

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