We asked nearly 11,000 people. Here’s what they told us. 

When you partner with a coach, you’ll find that you already have the answers to many of your most important questions about yourself and your life, your business, your work, and more — your coach will simply help you unlock them. But exactly what insights do professionals like you unlock when they work with a coach? 

We asked 10,841 people who had participated in a coaching relationship to tell us how their coaching experience had impacted their lives. The top three impacts were: 

  1. Improved communication skills (42%).
  2. Increased self-esteem / self-confidence (41%).
  3. Increased productivity and improved work-life balance (tied at 38%).

The findings are based on the 2022 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study, which found the impacts reported by respondents broadly aligned with their reasons for participating in a coaching relationship in the first place. These results generally reflect the fact that a coach will help you discover, clarify, and align with what you want to achieve. 

For example, Lydia Henshaw wore many different hats in the workforce before she took on a new leadership position at Proctor & Gamble. In order to succeed in this new challenge, Lydia knew she would need to challenge herself. Books, podcasts, and similar resources lacked the personal dimension she needed, so she turned to an ICF-credentialed coach, Heather Moster, ACC, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. 

Lydia recalls her first conversation with Heather. “The first thing she said to me was, ‘What can I do to make the next 30 minutes the most valuable 30 minutes of your entire day?’ At first, I was shocked, because I thought, ‘Isn’t it your job to convince me?’ But then I started to question that. [My coach] supported me in a way that turned the question back to me and had me finding the answer.” 

After working together for a year, meeting weekly by video plus several in-person meetings, Lydia reported, “I absolutely achieved my initial goal to become a stronger leader in my current organization.” And she adds, “If you want to get stronger physically, you go to the gym. If you want to get stronger professionally, you need a coach.” 

But how do you find the right coach? 

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) can help. ICF developed the Credentialed Coach Finder, a free searchable directory with listings for thousands of qualified ICF-credentialed coaches worldwide. You can use the tool to identify and select an educated, qualified coach who is best suited for your particular situation. 

Coaching is an investment in yourself and your future. It’s a transformative experience that can empower you in ways you may have never thought possible. And one thing is absolutely central to the process: Coaching is all about you, the client.