Have you ever explored coaching as a performance enhancement tool for directors or boards? Here are 3 insights from our recent research.

Traditionally director and board professional development and performance enhancement has been limited to more technical aspects such as governance training or insights that are born out of annual board reviews conducted via a survey process which signal to recommended improvements to strengthen boardroom dynamics and performance. Yet there is another way that not only can support individual director performance but contribute to enhancing performance of the board as a collective post technical training in governance. This other way is coaching.

When you hear the term coaching, you immediately think about a sports coach or an executive coach or even a life coach and immediately understand what the purpose of a coach is meant to be in those environments. When it comes to coaching in the context of the boardroom, this concept is lesser known and even lesser applied, yet this can be a powerful tool to support individual directors and whole of boards alike.

In the last year IECL – The institute of Executive Coaching Leadership undertook a piece of research to understand what the understanding and appetite might be regarding coaching for the boardroom. Here are 3 insights from this research. 

  1. Emerging Directors, practicing directors and board chairs could all benefit from coaching in the same way an athlete does. It is a resource to help them hone their craft whilst in practice.
  2. Team coaching would be an excellent tool to improve board dynamics as well as board performance and could transport a board from average performance into a high performance.
  3. Board Chairs specifically would benefit from receiving coaching skills training since they are the ones tasked with being at the helm and responsible for culture and performance of the board. They would also benefit from receiving individual coaching to become more comfortable as a new chair or be challenged in exploring their blind spots if they are more established.


It is important to note that often mentors are the go-to resource for directors, and it is the experience of the mentor that that is the attraction. Coaching can be complementary to this and focuses on unlocking potential or open up unexplored options to encourage individuals and team performance improvement.

In pushing the conversation forward, IECL engaged with a sample of experienced and practicing directors & chairs as part of a panel discussion to further understand their perspectives on the subject. (You can view this panel event here / You can listen to the panel event as a podcast- select the one that applies)

If you are an aspiring or practicing director/board member or a board chair and curious about the insights from or research or keen to explore coaching for yourself or your board, then please contact kay.solanki@iecl.com.au.(Kay Solanki is Director Client Development at IECL, a board practitioner & and a coach)