Understanding Coaching Effectiveness - Brave Conversations Involved In Research

The Institute of Coaching (an affiliate of Harvard Medical School) has provided a grant for research into some aspects affecting coaching effectiveness.  I have been taking part in the research as a coach with one client.  See below for further details and watch this space for results in July 2018.

Research in progress: The Contribution of Common Factors to Coaching Effectiveness: Lessons from Psychotherapy Outcome Research

As the coaching industry grows, it is necessary to develop coaching effectiveness measurements to sustain coaching credibility (Gray, 2011). Coaching needs robust quantitative outcome studies and meaningful coaching effectiveness measures based on findings from more advanced psychotherapy outcome research (De Haan & Duckworth, 2012; McKenna & Davis, 2009).  

The aim of this randomized control trials project is to contribute to the development of a comprehensive coaching outcome effectiveness model by testing the hypothesised contribution of a range of common factors - quality of coaching relationship, self-efficacy, outcome expectancy, hope and external factors such as perceived social support and psychological well-being - in relation to coaching outcomes such as goal attainment, perceived stress and resilience.

This randomised-control group evidence-base study uses an experimental design. Two samples, an experimental group and a control group with 100 students in each group, were randomly selected from the London-based ‘University of Greenwich’ Business Faculty. An experimental group receives a coaching intervention (six coaching sessions conducted via audio Skype over a period of 6 months) whereas a control group receives no intervention.  The coaching intervention is standardised by using experienced coaches who were trained and accredited by Ashridge Business School in the United Kingdom. 

Data is collected monthly, via Qualtrics software, over a period of 6 months with a follow-up collection 3 months after completing the experiment. The statistical analysis will take four parts: first, the psychometric validation of measures in the model; second, the estimation of the shape and extent of change over time in the outcomes, and variation between individuals in this change; third, testing whether variation in the extent and shape of change in goal attainment, resilience and perceived stress is explained by receiving coaching (i.e., experimental vs control group); and fourth, whether any impact of coaching on these outcomes is mediated by the level of, or change in the antecedents. 

The findings generated from the study will contribute to the development of a comprehensive coaching outcome effectiveness model by incorporating psychotherapy outcome research and by statistically testing and validating coaching outcome measures. 

Grant Recipients: Joanna Molyn, Erik de Haan and David Gray


07799 581792