Client’s Perception of Change As a Result of a Coaching Relationship Paul E. Dunn, M.S. www.DunnCoaching.com The Business of Personal Development and Achievement
Coaching • Coaching is a rapidly emerging field. • A coach is a professional who specializes in helping people to develop and work toward meaningful goals. The central function of a coaching relationship is to facilitate positive change and stimulate personal growth (Hudson, 1999).
Background • Since 1985, there have been numerous articles published on the subject of coaching, coaching models, and the effects that coaching has on clients. • However, there appears to be a lack of published research demonstrating these effects.
Outcomes • There are a few published outcome studies, most were done using mid-level managers as coaches (Deeprose, 1995; Maxell 1995; Shula & Blanchard, 1995; Graham, Wedman, and Garvin-Kester 1993).
Outcomes • Peterson (1996) cited two empirical studies that his company did that demonstrated support for sustained, long-term changes made by executives who received coaching by his firm. However, both studies were not published.
Outcomes • Hall, Otazo, & Hollenbeck (1999) described the results of a qualitative research study in which they interviewed seventy-five executives, who were receiving coaching, and demonstrated that the executives claimed to have gained new skills and knowledge from their coaching experience.
Rationale for This Study • To date, there are a few published outcome studies available, demonstrating the effectiveness of the coaching process. • With the growing popularity of coaching and the numerous models being used today, as well as the dearth of empirical data supporting the efficacy of coaching, this study was designed to fill the gap in our knowledge of the field.
Hypothesis • Clients who have been coached for at least six months will perceive a meaningful change in the way that they view their problem solving abilities, sense of self-efficacy, and satisfaction with life.
Study Design • This mixed quantitative/qualitative field study examined the effectiveness of the coaching process at causing clients to perceive a meaningful change in the way that they viewed their problem solving abilities, sense of self-efficacy, and satisfaction with life as a result of being coached for at least six months.
Methodology Questionnaire & Survey Instrument • 14-item questionnaire • Demographic information • Specific coaching experiences • Three modified Likert scale surveys were developed from… • Problem solving instrument - Heppner, 1982 • Self-efficacy survey - Sherer, 1982 • Satisfaction with life scale - Diener, 1985
Problem Solving • Twelve survey items were used to investigate perceived changes in the subject’s ability to perform the tasks involved in the problem solving process as a result of their coaching experience. • Over-all problem solving abilities. • Collecting important information. • Objectively examining feelings for additional insight. • Turning vague ideas into specific terms. • Generating creative solutions. • Uncovering mistakes in a particular strategy. • Remaining persistent and focused until goal attainment.
Self-efficacy • Thirteen survey items were used to investigate perceived changes in the subjects’ sense of self-efficacy as a result of their coaching experience. • Level of self-confidence with over-all abilities to accomplish tasks. • Level of confidence in one’s ability to turn plans and ideas into reality. • Sense of self-reliance. • Belief in one’s ability to handling unexpected problems. • Comfort level with self when one’s first efforts fail. • Courage to learn new things that look difficult. • Anxiety level when meeting new people. • Willingness to pursue others rather than to wait.
Satisfaction With Life • Five survey items were used to investigate perceived changes in the subjects’ satisfaction with life as a result of their coaching experience. • Overall satisfaction with life. • Sense of happiness in general. • Whether or not other people in their life had reported to them that they seem happier. • Sense of whether their life had moved closer to their ideal life. • Belief as to whether the conditions in their life had improved.
Inclusion Criteria • Subjects needed to be working with a master certified coach recognized by the international coach federation for at least the last six months. • At least 18 years of age.
Recruitment • The international coach federation endorsed this research project and helped with the recruitment process by sending out an e-mail invitation to all master certified coaches. • 38 master certified coaches. • 247 surveys sent out. • 86 surveys returned. • 80 surveys included.
Three Common Reasons for Hiring a Coach. • 1. Become more effective at setting and reaching career goals. • 2. Create and experience a more fulfilling life. • 3. Personal growth.
Four Common Experiences Gained From Being Coached* • 1. An increased ability to handle problems that occur both in and out of work. • 2. A deeper sense of self-awareness and an increased sense of self-efficacy. • 3. A positive relationship that encouraged personal growth. • 4. Greater satisfaction with life.
1. An Increased Ability to Handle Problems That Occur Both in and Out of Work.
2. A Deeper Sense of Self-awareness and an Increased Sense of Self-efficacy.
Problem Solving Survey • Mean = 25.5, SD = 6.5 (range 12-84) • Surveyed sample reported that their problem solving abilities improved as a result of their coaching experience.
Self-efficacy • Mean = 27.1, SD = 8.3 (range 13-91) • Surveyed sample reported that their sense of self-efficacy increased as a result of their coaching experience.
Satisfaction With Life • Mean = 10.4, SD = 4.1 (range 5-35) • Surveyed sample reported that their satisfaction with life increased as a result of their coaching experience.
Subgroup Analysis • 19 participants (24%) were either studying to become or have already transitioned to working as coaches. • A t-test compared the results of the non-coach-subjects’ responses with the coach-subjects’ responses to see if there were any differences in the way each group reported the effects of being coached.
Subgroup AnalysisDid Coach-subjects Report a Different Experience Than Non-coach-subjects? • Problem solving ability • P(T <= t) two tail = 0.34 (non-significant) • Self-efficacy • P(T <= t) two tail = 0.78 (non-significant) • Satisfaction with life • P(T <= t) two tail = 0.66 (non-significant)
Discussion • Evidence that the hypothesis was true. • Open ended responses to question about the greatest take away experience from being coached. • Mean score of “agree” on all three factors.
Four Main Study Limitations • 1. Small population. • 2. Possible sampling bias. • 3. Lack of a single, consistent, rigidly adhered to coaching model. • 4. Lack of parametric statistics demonstrating statistical significance.
Despite Limitations • Results can serve three important purposes: • 1. To assess the likely usefulness of more rigorous evaluations of the effects of coaching. • 2. To search for more promising variables related to the success of a professional coaching experience. • 3. To prepare both coaching-clients as well as coaches for more evaluations in the future.
Future Direction of Research • Larger field efficacy studies where pre and post assessments are measured and compared to determine significant changes. • Study that distinguished which elements of each factor changed the most.
Future Direction of Research • Studies examining length of time to gain greatest return. • Compare and contrast training and credentialing that coaches undergo and its effects on the quality of service offered.
Thank You. • Any questions? • Paul E. Dunn, M.S. • www.DunnCoaching.com • The Business of Personal Development and Achievement
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