The Value of Behavioral Coaching for Executives

The Conference Board

January 9, 2012

by Marshall Goldsmith

While behavioral coaching is only one branch in the coaching field, it is the most widely used type of coaching. Most requests for coaching involve behavioral change.

While this process can be very meaningful and valuable for top executives, it can be just as useful for high-potential future leaders. These are the people who have great careers in front of them. Increasing effectiveness in leading people can have an even greater impact if it is a 20-year process, instead of a one-year program.

People often ask, “Can executives really change their behavior?” The answer is definitely yes. If they didn’t change, we would never get paid (and we almost always get paid). At the top of major organizations, even a small positive change in behavior can have a big impact.

From an organizational perspective, the fact that the executive is trying to change leadership behavior (and is being a role model for personal development) may be even more important than what the executive is trying to change. One key message that I have given every CEO that I coach is “To help others develop – start with yourself.”