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Why leadership coaching works

The evidence of the value of coaching goes beyond just improving work productivity—coaching facilitates psychological capital.

The evidence of the value of coaching goes beyond just improving work productivity—coaching facilitates psychological capital.

Leadership coaching is a common approach to self-development in the workplace, and, as a coach, I'm often asked to demonstrate the value and benefit of the coaching process. For organizations that provide coaching services for their teams or professionals investing in themselves as executives, it's helpful to understand precisely how coaching translates to improved confidence, productivity, and professional fulfillment.

Thankfully, given the increased focus on leadership coaching, research has finally emerged to make a case for coaching. The evidence of the value of coaching goes beyond just improving work productivity. Coaching facilitates psychological capital—a positive psychological resource individuals can apply to their day-to-day work experiences. This psychological capital is the linking mechanism between coaching interventions and a host of beneficial outcomes, including job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and job performance.

Across several recent studies, findings suggest that leadership coaching facilitates what's called PsyCap – "psychological capital." There are four key dimensions of PsyCap:


One dimension of PsyCap is self-efficacy—the belief and confidence in one's capabilities. Self-efficacy increases when individuals set goals as well as when they reflect on past successful experiences. A vital element of the leadership coaching process includes the co-creation of goals, led by the coachee and supported by the coach, who is responsible for holding them accountable for the pursuit of the goal and celebrating the achievement of that goal once has been attained.


The second dimension of PsyCap is a motivational state characterized by a sense of agency toward achieving goals: Hope. This state manifests as two related components: 1. Experiencing a sense of agency and; 2. understanding how to enact change. The coaching process helps with both. Coaches promote solution-focused thinking and ask questions that encourage coaches to arrive at their conclusion or the best course of action.

This process ensures that coachees identify what is practical and feasible, as well as how to implement change sustainably in a way that works for them.


Optimism is the third dimension of PsyCap—defined as having a positive attribution about the future. New research suggests that coaches unlock this mindset while working with their coachees through interventions - always coming back to focus on being one's best possible self. We tend to get discouraged when things get tough, but coaches can put things back in perspective.


Finally, the fourth dimension is resilience, which is the ability to bounce back effectively from adverse circumstances. Resilience is present when an individual seeks out helpful resources proactively, brings a solutions-focused approach, and positively manages their circumstances. Coaches facilitate both behaviors by acting as a consistent and stable sounding board and helping coachees cope through cognitive reappraisal.

Book a complimentary career coaching session and start building your psychological capital

As a certified career coach in Toronto, I can help you build confidence and reach professional fulfillment. I have career coaching packages for diverse needs, with my best-selling package being the 2-hour Discovery Session. Book a free 30-minute consultation today, to discuss what's right for you.

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