ICF Survey Results

I would like to share with you the results of the first-ever comprehensive survey of clients of coaches.  What the survey uncovered underscored the value, impact and endurance of this emerging profession.  Coaches, the new breed of consultant/advisor that clients are hiring to help them succeed at their goals, have established fiercely loyal clientele and are making an impact on organizations of all sizes and across all industries.

During the first quarter of 1998, the International Coach Federation (ICF) polled 210 coaching clients for demographic data and opinions as part of its research effort into the legal, regulatory, and credentialing issues that is has confronted during its rapid growth.  All respondents had a formal relationship with an ICF coach, regularly meeting for strategy sessions for an average of nine months.

The highlights of the survey findings include:

  • 70% of respondents said their investment in a coach was "very valuable"; 28.5% said their investment was "valuable".  (98.5% of coaching clients find coaching to be valuable or very valuable!)
  • 94% of respondents believe coaching is here to stay and become a recognized profession.
  • Half of the respondents confide in their coach as much as their best friend, spouse or therapist.
  • 84.8% of respondents said the main role of their coach is to listen to them and give honest feedback.  
    • 78.1% called the coach a motivator
    • 56.7% a friend
    • 50.5% a mentor
    • 46.7% a business consultant
    • 41% a teacher
  • 80.5% of respondents say they turn to their coach for help on time management
    • 74.3% for career guidance
    • 73.8% for business advice
    • 58.6% on relationships/family issues
    • 45.2% on personal issues
    • 39.5% on goal setting
    • 11% on creativity
  • The outcomes that clients most often attribute to their coaching are 
    • a higher level of self-awareness (67.6%)
    • smarter goal setting (62.4%) 
    • a more balanced life (60.5%)
    • lower stress levels (57.1%)
    • self-discovery (52.9%)
    • more self-confidence (52.4%)
    • improvement in quality of life (43.3%)
    • enhanced communication skills (39.5%)
    • project completion (35.7%)
    • better relationship with boss or co-workers (33.3%)
  • 82% of coaching clients have undergraduate degrees; over a third hold Master's degrees or higher.

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