This article will discuss why executive coaching is a better alternative to traditional training for executive and organizational development. It may be challenging for senior leadership to support executive coaching because organizations focus on the cost of the professional development instead of the return on investment (ROI).

As organizations look for ways to cut costs, they turn to online or large traditional classroom training which can be effective in specific situations. Typically, traditional training methodologies are effective when imparting hard skill development.

Why does traditional training not work well? Professionals and executives develop personal skills, abilities and competencies through active development vs. passive training methodologies. Active professional and executive development is a core ingredient in executive coaching.

By design, executive coaching provides action learning through discussion, interactive exercises and role-playing. Targeted homework encourages discovery, new approaches and reinforces learning objectives. Through regular meetings, the professional or executive is able to formulate their unique approach and modify their decision-making, problem-solving and interpersonal communication styles.

Many of the challenges that professionals or executives face are personally embarrassing to reveal to their organization, peers or boss. They may fear reprisal so working with an external executive coach is a smart alternative. By working together, the professional or executive is able examine their behaviors, skills and competencies without judgment. Through expert questioning the executive coaching process encourages deeper introspection, self-evaluation and commitment to change.

Think about traditional training methodologies, how effective would this approach be? Would professionals or executives be forthcoming about their shortcomings to a large group? Does the group process encourage action plans? What would be the incentive to follow through? Generally, once the course is over employees revert back to their comfort zone and operate the way they were doing it before the training session.

Here’s my experience – organizations see positive ROI when executives change their behavior. An executive’s success is not dependent on acquiring skills or knowledge that helped them get to their position but on their ability to manage people, people, systems, communities, and customers. When executives make changes on how they execute, ROI permeates throughout the organization.