Individual Benefits of Coaching & Why They Matter

While there are dozens of benefits in coaching, the research shows that there are four key benefits across all coaching niches: self-awareness, confidence, well-being, and resilience. 

Self-awareness

Self-awareness is the ability to see both strengths and areas of improvement through perceiving how others see us and how we see ourselves. It is a critical element in the coaching process, as it is nearly impossible to pursue meaningful goals without the self-awareness of one’s true desires. The research posits that there are two types of self-awareness: internal and external. Internal self-awareness consists of how well you know who you are and external self-awareness consists of how well you know others’ perceptions of you. These two self-awareness types can overlap with one another, helping to create the four self-awareness archetypes further explained in the Harvard Business Review article linked at the beginning of this paragraph. 

According to the research, coaching increases or partially increases self-awareness, regardless of the type or style of coaching. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Effectiveness

Self-awareness is at the heart of Coach Training EDU’s definition of coaching as it’s an essential piece of helping clients achieve their goals. Below are some of the ways self-awareness becomes an effective tool in coaching: 

  • Help identify goal-related barriers (6)
  • Provide accurate self-evaluation (7, 8)
  • Help mold effective leadership (9, 10

Perception

Self-awareness opens up a consideration of other perspectives and a perception of others' mental states. This can lead to higher levels of self-control and self-esteem (11, 12). 

Confidence 

Confidence, or believing that one can achieve something or is good at something, goes hand in hand with one’s agency. When a client believes in their ability and sees a clear pathway toward achieving their goal, an abundance of benefits are bound to follow. 

Coaching correlates to increased confidence (13):

  • in a work environment (14, 15
  • during coaching for strengths (16
  • in academic decisions (17)

Agency

One of the main benefits of confidence is its ability to create a sense of agency (18). This ability to create agency may be why confident people have a higher sense of persistence in professional (19) and academic settings (20).

Wellness & Well-being

Wellness, in general, can be considered an indicator that things are going well for someone. The Illness to Wellness Continuum shows that wellness lives on a spectrum, from signs and symptoms of disability or death to awareness, education, and growth toward achieving high levels of subjective well-being. According to the continuum, wellness is an ongoing process and something we strive to achieve every day of our lives. 

Research shows that coaching supports wellness and well-being (21) by:

  • managing physical (22) and mental health (23, 24, 25
  • Reducing burnout and enabling cognitive hardiness (26, 27

Longevity

Well-being contributes to our longevity in a variety of ways including: 

  • Well-being is inversely related to high mortality (28)
  • High subjective well-being could add 4 to 10 years of life (29)
  • Subjective wellness could predict mortality of various health conditions such as coronary heart disease, cancer, and mental illness. 

Life Satisfaction & Well-being

Dr. Eric Kim and his team of researchers recently found that those who have a higher sense of life satisfaction have a:

  • 26% reduced mortality risk
  • 46% reduced depression risk
  • 25% reduced physical functioning limitations risk
  • 12% reduced chronic pain risk
  • 14% reduced sleep problem onset risk 
  • 8% higher chance of engaging in frequent physical activity
  • higher physiological wellness on optimism, positive affect, life purpose, and mastery.
  • Lower results in feeling lonely, hopeless, and experiencing perceived constraints and negative affect 

Effectiveness

When people operate from higher levels of well-being, they are more likely to build and expand their social connections and resources. Here are some key benefits on the effectiveness of wellness and well-being: 

  • Well-being allows people to effectively use their time in whatever way they choose (30).
  • Well-being and wellness correlate directly with higher employee retention (31, 32, 33)
  • Wellness correlates with higher levels of effectiveness in the workplace(34

A recent survey of the research on subjective well-being and happiness, De Neve and his team found the following benefits flowed from higher levels of well-being:

  • Reduced Inflammation
  • Improvements in cardiovascular health
  • Decreased stroke and heart disease risk
  • Enhanced recovery time
  • Enhanced longevity
  • Higher rates of productivity
  • Better performance
  • Increased attendance
  • Enhanced creativity 
  • Enhanced collaboration
  • Increases in income
  • Better financial management
  • Increases in giving back
  • Better social connections

Resilience 

Resilience is the ability to adapt and bounce back despite the circumstances. 

Research shows that coaching:

  • Strengthens resilience to stress (35, 36
  • Increases resilience in a work environment or with working professionals (37, 38, 39
  • Supports resilience during organizational change (40, 41
  • Provides resilience in leadership situations (42, 43, 44)

People who demonstrate resilience often display a survivor's mindset and self-compassion, which allows them to problem solve and exhibit healthy emotional regulation.

Stress and Well-Being

Resilience serves as:

  • A protective factor against stress (45, 46
  • A mechanism for fostering hope, happiness, and optimism (47, 48

The COVID 19 Pandemic, which added pressure to global medical systems and the individual's ability to manage new routines, serves as one example of how resilience partially mediated subjective well-being and stress during the initial portion of the pandemic.

Mental Health

Resilience may be a helpful tool for offsetting the risks that could increase poor mental health, as resilience is associated with:

  • Subjective well-being (49)
  • Life satisfaction (49)
  • Hope (49)
  • Strong Mental Health (50

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