What Evidence Supports Coaching to Increase Goal Achievement, Performance?

Life coaching services are increasingly offered by people with various credentials and experience.
-*How effective are life coaching services in helping participants achieve goals and improve performance?

Anthony Grant

Anthony Grant

Coaching is a collaborative, solution-focused, result-oriented systematic process during which coaches facilitate coachees’ self-directed learning, personal growth, and goal attainment, according to University of Sydney’s Anthony Grant, who has conducted empirical research on coaching’s impact on goal achievement.

Anthony Grant modelHe integrated practices from solution-focused and cognitive-behavioral interventions into Solution-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral (SF-CB) Coaching and a “Coach Yourself” program with Jane Greene, then evaluated these programs using his Self-Reflection and Insight Scale.

Developed with Macquarie University colleagues John Franklin and Peter Langford, they found that participants in the Solution-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral (SF-CB) coaching reported increased:

John Franklin

John Franklin

Other research-based evidence of coaching’s impact on goal attainment comes from two types of studies:

  • Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT), in which participants are assigned at random to receive one of several interventions compared with no intervention, a comparison intervention, or an unrelated intervention
  • Peter Langford

    Peter Langford

    Quasi-Experimental Field Studies (QEFS), which uses “time series analysis” but not random participants assignment when measuring outcomes.

Evidence from Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) are considered most credible, particularly when findings are replicated by other researchers.

Linley Curtayne

Linley Curtayne

Evidence of coaching’s impact among executives who received 360-degree feedback and four coaching sessions for over ten weeks, from Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) includes:

C. RIck Snyder

C. RIck Snyder

Hope is considered crucial to pursue goals, according to University of Kansas’s C.R. Snyder, Scott T. Michael of University of Washington, and Ohio State’s Jennifer Cheavens, because individuals seeking change must be able to:

  • Develop one or more ways to achieve a goals (“pathways”)
  • Use these routes to reach the goal (“agency”)
Edward Deci - Richard Ryan

Edward Deci – Richard Ryan

Three additional elements are also crucial to goal pursuit and achievement, suggested University of Rochester’s Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan:

  • Competence
  • Autonomy
  • Relatedness.

According to their Self-Determination Theory (SDT), these characteristics are associated with increased:

  • Goal motivation
  • Enhanced performance
  • Persistence
  • Mental health
Kristina Gyllensten

Kristina Gyllensten

The other category of research, Quasi-Experimental Field Studies (QEFS), reported that coaching for managers of a federal government increased:

  • Stephen Palmer

    Stephen Palmer

    • Decreased anxiety and stress among UK finance organization participants, in findings by Kristina Gyllensten and Stephen Palmer of City University London.

Despite the low “barriers to entry” for offering life coaching services, empirical evidence appears to validate coaching’s contribution to participants’ increased goal attainment along with additional subjective measures of satisfaction, well-being, and hope.

-*How do you “coach yourself” and others toward increased goal attainment and performance?

-*What are the “active ingredients” of effective coaching practices?

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5 thoughts on “What Evidence Supports Coaching to Increase Goal Achievement, Performance?

  1. Kate Wheeler

    Hello, I am looking for Dr. John Franklin who developed the Self-Reflection and Insight Scale to ask his permission to use this tool for research. Does anyone know his email address? Thank you!

      1. Kate Wheeler

        Dear Kathryn, Thank you so much! I did email him at the leads you provided. Do you know if the SRIS is in the public domain?
        Kate Wheeler

      2. kathrynwelds Post author

        You should be able to use the Self Reflection and Insight Scale.
        Here’s the publication by Anthony Grant, John Franklin and Peter Langford – http://www.stemcareer.com/richfeller/pages/studenthelp/Documents/Self%20Reflection%20and%20Insight%20Scale.pdf

        Another validation and discussion was presented by Chris Roberts and Patsy Stark, including SRIS items:

  2. kathrynwelds Post author

    Zac Reichert wrote:
    Great article on Coaching and Goal Attainment by one of my favorite authors in the field of organizational behavior, Kathryn Welds: “What Evidence Supports Coaching to Increase Goal Achievement, Performance?”

    Kathryn Welds replied:
    Thanks for the mention, Zac. For more on Evidence-Based Coaching, you might want to explore Christina Turner and Grace McCarthy’s recent article about capitalizing on “Coachable Moments” toward managerial learning – http://ijebcm.brookes.ac.uk/view.asp?issue=vol13issue1


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