“In general… coaching is an effective tool for improving the functioning of individuals in organizations.”

coaching makes people measurably more effective at their jobs, yielding a quantifiable, positive return on investment for most investments in coaching (pdf.) But there is a great deal of variability between studies in terms of how effective coaching can be. Is this because some coaches are better than others? Because some employees are more amenable to coaching or to different styles of coaching, than others?

By borrowing from fields with deep pools of literature, such as mentoring, training, therapy and education, the authors argue that professional coaches could begin to figure out which aspects of what they’re doing are particularly effective.

non-specific factors such as understanding, encouraging, and listening behaviors of the coach may be better predictors of coaching effectiveness than specific factors such as the coaching methodology.

there is evidence from other areas of psychology that simply believing that a therapeutic intervention is working—whether that’s mentoring, teaching, psychotherapy or coaching—inspires a positive feedback mechanism that is key to the kind of deep, lasting, underlying behavioral change that is the goal of most coaching