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.
He 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:
- Goal attainment,
- Quality of life,
- Mental health
on the Self-Reflection and Insight Scale, developed 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.
Quasi-Experimental Field Studies (QEFS), which use “time series analysis” but not random participants assignment to measure outcomes.
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,
- 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,
- Increased goal commitment, goal attainment, environmental mastery, compared with peer coaching among adults in a Solution Focused/Cognitive Behavioral (SF/CB) life coaching program, according to research by Spence and Grant,
Increased cognitive hardiness, mental health, and hope among female high school students in a 10 session solution-focused cognitive-behavioral (SF-CB) life coaching program, found University of Wollongong’s L.S. Green, Grant, and Josephine Rynsaardt,
- 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.
This last effect, increased hope is considered 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, 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”).
Three additional elements are essential to goal achievement, suggested University of Rochester’s Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan:
According to their Self-Determination Theory (SDT), these characteristics are associated with increased:
- Goal motivation,
- Enhanced performance,
- Mental health.
The other category of research, Quasi-Experimental Field Studies (QEFS), reported that coaching for managers of a federal government
- Increased expectations of self-efficacy and goal achievement, in research by Will J.G. Evers, Andre Brouwers and Welko Tomic of The Open University.
- 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?
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