executive coaching

Mar 26, 2021 | Executive Coaching

Why Coaching for Executives is Essential in 2021: A Guide For Leaders

Written by Dan Grisoni

The ICF reports that 96% of those who invested in professional coaching for executives would repeat the process.  Let’s slow down and read that sentence again – 96% would repeat the process.

The internet is full of statistics that describe how coaching for corporate executives is essential, but the real value of coaching is represented very simply in the 96% satisfaction rate noted above.  

Those who invest in themselves with coaching want to repeat the process.  It had immense value for them.

We know that coaching for executives is of undeniable importance, so let’s break down all the things you’ll need to know when it comes to investing in professional coaching for executives – whether that’s for yourself, or for a member of your organization.

How does coaching for executives work?

Coaching is a relationship based on trust and confidentiality. It’s a process where you create a partnership. A coach’s role is to be your thinking partner who helps you gain greater clarity and awareness, locking arms to solve problems together and ensuring that you grow personally and professionally. 

The ICF (International Coaching Federation) defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

Coaching directly helps a leader’s career (and the company they work for) by exploring with  them how to work more easily and productively with their peers, bosses and direct reports, and how to communicate more effectively at all levels. 

Coaching for corporate executives generally takes place during 1-to-1 private coaching sessions over a certain period of time (often 6 months to a year).  The frequency of the conversations will vary depending on the needs of the executive and the mandate for the coach.

Why is coaching for executives essential in 2021?

Coaching is a proven way to help with stress and conflict management, as well as learning how to manage your emotions so that they don’t negatively impact your performance and the results of your team. 

People are exhausted, sad, feeling alone and isolated due to the pandemic and employees need their leaders to demonstrate empathy and optimism.  Leaders need to be in tune with how employees are feeling and contributing.  

This will become especially important once we have passed through the pandemic as employees will remember how their managers and executives responded and use this experience as a tool to make decisions about whether they stay with their employers or leave.

There is also a growing body of empirical research that shows that coaching is not only essential for employee engagement, but that corporations who invest in professional coaching for executives often enjoy extraordinary performance and impact on the bottom line. 

In 2021 we need to be aware of the importance of having a growth mindset, and coaching plays a key role in developing these important leadership characteristics.

Coaching for executives

How to prepare for professional executive coaching?

When you begin executive coaching, it’s important to understand the time commitment and how to prepare for this large investment of time and money.

Tips to prepare include:

  • Identify your goals and your area of focus, and work through these with your coach
  • Be open and honest – you are developing connection and trust with your coach, and meaningful results will only occur if you are transparent
  • Be prepared to be challenged and to think critically about your goals and how to achieve them
  • Expect change and transformation – a coaching mandate is one that helps you to gain new perspectives and encourages reaching new levels, all of which may require change

What does executive coaching cost?

Coaching for executives ranges in cost.  A report from the Conference Board stated that professional executive coaching rates can range from $200 to over $600 per hour, and these costs vary according to the level of the person being coached, as well as the organization.  

Pricing also varies depending on whether the coach is an internal coach or an external one.  Executive coaching is often performed by external coaches because most HR departments don’t have the internal expertise for that kind of development program.  An external coach can also provide a level of privacy and fresh perspective that is necessary for an executive to feel comfortable in sharing personal information and to receive constructive feedback.

Is coaching for executives worth it?

Coaching focuses on your specific needs vs. broad organizational development aspirations and training, which may be provided by your organization. This means that you can reach new levels not only in your career, but in your personal development as well.

A leader needs to display confidence and to know who they are – to understand their strengths and weaknesses in order to make the best decisions that they can.  Coaching helps you make these decisions. 

Coaching also allows executives to examine their own personal behaviours and blind spots that may be hindering their ability to build solid, high performing and engaged teams that deliver the results needed by companies.  Executives who are coached become able to identify solutions to their own barriers and implement them. 

Coaching for executives is therefore not only worthwhile, but essential. 


The world changed dramatically in 2020 and will continue to do so in the future. Leaders need to, now more than ever, know who they are, how they show up and how they support their people and organizations. 

In order to be able to facilitate change with team members and companies, and in individual career paths, executives must understand their employees pain points and how to engage with others to turn obstacles into opportunities. 

Professional coaching for executives is powerful.  It’s the greatest strategic learning tool in existence that pays dividends – both for the individual and the company they work for.  

Executives who take advantage of coaching are able to level up their careers and their performance in ways that other leaders without coaches take longer to achieve, if at all.

To learn more about coaching for executives, get in touch here.

About Dan Grisoni

Dan Grisoni is a sought-after high performance coach and trainer. For over 20 years Dan has been helping managers and leaders become influential and inspiring so that they can live, matter, and thrive, 365.

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