2009 Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey Results Released

I’m putting my coaching hat on today and sharing with you results from the 2009 Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey – which is the fourth annual survey conducted by Cincinnati-based Sherpa Executive Coaching – an Executive Coach training and certification institute. (The survey is also sponsored by the Executive Education Programs at Texas Christian University and the University of Georgia.)

I always find the results of this annual survey interesting due to its primary focus being on the field of Executive Coaching, and the fact that those who participate are practicing coaches and those who hire them. This year, the survey included responses from 1,500 participants. Also, I’m a fan of the Sherpa team and their coaching process, since I completed the training through the University of Cincinnati Executive Education Program in 2006.

Sherpa Survey

Definition of Executive Coaching

For the purpose of the survey, the sponsors define Executive Coaching as follows:

“Executive Coaching means: regular meetings between a business leader and a trained facilitator, designed to produce positive changes in business behavior in a limited time-frame.”

Survey Highlights and Personal Take-aways

  • In the early days of coaching, an executive who wasn’t living up to expectations was the one most likely to receive executive coaching – but that has shifted to more coaching being devoted to developing leaders and leadership skills.
  • “Coaching is widely used as a leadership development tool.”
  • The Coaching industry is maturing, and seems to be stabilizing.
  • In the past, general business and consulting experience was the best way to gain respect as an executive coach, and this year, training and certification as a coach was perceived as more important by HR professionals in larger firms.
  • “92% of HR professionals and coaching clients believe in-person delivery is the most effective.”
  • “61% of executive coaches say a coaching engagement should run six months or less.”
  • Coaches with more experience make more money – with executive coaches having 5+ years of experience earning over $130,000 per year (down from 2008).

I can easily say that my coaching training has been one of the highlights of my professional career thus far, and what I learned in the program has proven helpful to me not only when I coach – but also in interviewing, meeting with clients and in providing consulting services. Through the training I learned to try to understand situations by asking great questions (a primary focus for a coach) and how to facilitate personal discovery versus providing the answers.

For more information, you can download the complete 2009 survey results (which includes a suggested ROI calculation for Executive Coaching) here.

Bonus Tip

Here’s a few of my favorite “official” coaching questions:

  1. So?
  2. And?
  3. Why’d you do that?
  4. How’s that working for you?

Now don’t go pulling those out on just anybody! Questions like these should be wielded only by skilled and trained professionals…

President & Chief Talent Strategist

Jennifer McClure is a Keynote Speaker, Talent Strategies Expert and Executive Coach who works with clients and companies in the areas of leadership development, communication and talent strategy. Jennifer McClure offers keynotes, workshops and training that inspire and empower business leaders to be more effective in their careers and as leaders of their organization’s most valuable resource – people.