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How to Talk to Your Boss About Investing in Business Coaching

How to Talk to Your Boss About Investing in Business Coaching

Feeling nervous about asking your boss or organization to invest in business coaching? If so, this guide will help you gain valuable talking points to help your boss understand the importance of investing in coaching for you, your colleagues and teams.

Although many organizations have experienced the value and ROI that business coaching brings, not everyone is committed to investing in it. Many managers and bosses remain skeptical about the benefits of business coaching. If this applies to you, this article will provide valuable talking points to help your manager understand the importance of  investing in coaching for you, your colleagues and teams.

Why Should Your Boss Pay For Coaching?

Traditionally, companies have chosen to invest their professional development allowance into training, particularly courses. Although courses can be beneficial, in many circumstances information gets forgotten. If information is not used directly after being learned, employees forget quickly.

We learn by doing, making mistakes, getting feedback, processing information and trying it all over again. This is where coaching comes in. Skills can be taught in training, but sustainable growth comes from the implementation of skills in a supportive and coaching environment. Furthermore, the ROI of coaching has been proven time and time again - we’ll discuss this in the next section.

Why Is It So Difficult To Ask for A Business Coach?

Many leaders resist business coaching, for fear of feeling vulnerable, showing their insecurities or ‘’weaknesses’’, or because they simply do not want to seem like they are asking for help. But it shouldn’t be this way! To overcome this difficulty, you can approach the need for coaching in these ways:

1. I’m overwhelmed at the moment and I would like some outside help to get to the next level for me and the organization. I have done research and found a coach who has stellar reviews and recommendations. I would like to talk this through with you, when do you have time?

2. I would like to improve my leadership and feel as though a business coach will help me to level-up. I am sure it is worth the investment, since the ROI has been proven, and one of my friends also told me how much it helped her leadership and her team. When can we talk about this possibility?

The Case for Business Coaching: How to Approach the Conversation

You know the importance of business coaching. Now it’s time to help your boss, or your organization understand the importance too. Come prepared to the conversation with ample information and evidence of the value in coaching, including facts and figures, benefits and costs. The following figures may be helpful to illustrate:

  • A 2001 study by Manchester Inc. showed that businesses that employed a business coach saw an average return on their investment of 5.7 times the amount that they paid for the coaching services.
  • A study conducted by MetrixGlobal LLC showed that businesses who paid for coaching saw a $7.90 return for every $1.00 spent on those services.
  • 80% of coachees report increased self-confidence. (Institute of Coaching)
  • According to the International Coaching Federation (ICF), 86% of organizations saw an ROI on their Coaching engagements, and 96% of those who had an Executive Coach said they would repeat the process again.
  • Manchester, Inc. surveyed 100 executives, most of which were from Fortune 1000 companies. Their research showed that a company’s investment in Executive Coaching realized an average ROI of almost six times the cost of the coaching. (Maximizing the Impact of Executive Coaching)

Statistics such as the above illustrate just how effective business coaching can be for making a positive impact on individuals and organizations.

Be careful, though, not to drown the conversation in numbers. The key message from you to your manager/organization, should be personal. Make it clear that you value being part of the organization, and how receiving coaching as part of the benefits of being part of this organization would make you feel supported, understood, and valued as an employee, as well as help you grow to the benefit of the organization.

Address Fears Up Front

Many organizations and managers might fear that by investing in coaching you might choose to use the opportunity to find a new job, rather than stay to the benefit of the organization. Therefore, we suggest that you address this fear up front: Receiving business coaching is something that will be of value to your team right away. You will become a better leader and colleague, you will learn something valuable which you can also inspire others with. You might even suggest helping others gain some of the same skills as you will get through the coaching, so that the investment goes beyond your personal growth. Receiving coaching will help you be better at what you do, thrive, grow and feel even more happy about your job in the company.

Another fear could be that the business coach will not understand the business context you are in. Therefore, comfort your manager that the coach you have found is a business coach with business acumen and a long track-record of coaching in the same organizational contexts as you find yourself in.


Asking your boss or organization to invest in business coaching doesn’t have to be an intimidating conversation. Come prepared; state why you think business coaching would be beneficial, list some of its benefits, and know a couple of statistics, including ROI numbers. The more you know about business coaching, the better your chances are of making a positive case for its implementation.

At Session, we are committed to help you and your team achieve highly effective business coaching outcomes. Reach out to learn more.

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