Towards better Leadership Development: Addressing Common Coaching Misconceptions

Confused about coaching

In this article we are going to tackle five popular misconceptions about leadership coaching so that you can make a more informed decision when you come to purchase coaching for yourself or leaders in your business.

1. Coaching is only for underperformers.

Coaching has evolved since its introduction in the 1980s. Initially used for corrective measures, it now empowers a wider range of leaders. Today, coaching helps high-potential individuals, transitioning teams, and high performers seeking advancement.

2. Coaching takes too long.

Coaching programs can vary significantly. Traditional sessions lasted 1.5-2 hours, spread over months. Modern coaching offers shorter, more frequent sessions (e.g., 20 minutes) that cater to busy leaders.

3. Coaching is expensive.

Executive coaching can be expensive, ranging from £6,000 to £100,000. However, the cost should be weighed against the value it brings. Coaching can significantly improve leadership effectiveness, leading to a positive return on investment (ROI).

4. You can’t measure the ROI of coaching.

ROI in coaching can be calculated using established methodologies. Studies suggest a return of 200% to 700% on the investment, considering all costs associated with the program.

5. Coaching is just someone asking questions.

Leadership coaching is a two-way conversation. While coaches ask questions to facilitate self-discovery, they also offer insights based on their expertise and understanding of human behavior. This can include guidance on thinking,attitudes, beliefs, and values.


By addressing these misconceptions, you are now in a better position to decide on whether you engage in coaching leaders in your business. Whilst coaching isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, for the right situations, it can significantly benefit individuals and organisations.