What Evidence Supports Coaching to Increase Goal Achievement, Performance?

Anthony Grant

Anthony Grant

Coaching is a collaborative, solution-focused process that facilitates coachees’ self-directed learning, personal growth, and goal attainment, according to University of Sydney’s Anthony Grant.

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.

Participants reported increased:

John Franklin

on the Self-Reflection and Insight Scaledeveloped with Macquarie University colleagues John Franklin and Peter Langford.

Two types of empirical studies provide evidence about coaching’s efficacy:

  • Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT), in which participants receive one of several interventions or no intervention.
    This is considered the more credible research approach.
  • Peter Langford

    Peter Langford

    Quasi-Experimental Field Studies (QEFS), which use “time series analysis” but not random participants to measure outcomes.

Linley Curtayne

Linley Curtayne

Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) found several effects among executives who received 360-degree feedback and four coaching sessions over ten weeks:

Lower stress, according to Grant with University of Sydney colleagues Linley Curtayne and Geraldine Burton,

Geraldine Burton

Geraldine Burton

  • Greater goal attainment compared with an eight week educational mindfulness-based health coaching program, reported by University of Sydney’s Gordon B. Spence, Michael J. Cavanagh and Grant,
  • Lindsay Oades

    Lindsay Oades

    • Increased goal striving, well-being, hope, with gains maintained up to 30 weeks, reported by Grant and Green with University of Wollongong colleague Lindsay G. Oades.
C. RIck Snyder

C. RIck Snyder

Increased hope is crucial to pursue any goal, according to University of Kansas’s C.R. Snyder, Scott T. Michael of University of Washington, and Ohio State’s Jennifer Cheavens.

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 essential to goal 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:

  • 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 and low quality control across providers, empirical studies appear to validate coaching’s contribution to participants’ increased goal attainment and increased 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?


©Kathryn Welds



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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