This report is the fifth in a series that convey and interpret results from two versions of a questionnaire that was initially prepared by the Development of Coaches Research Collaborative in cooperation with the Collaborative Research Network of the Society for Psychotherapy Research. [Note: for those readers who are familiar with the first four reports, I recommend that you move immediately to the “focus of study” and results sections of this fifth report, given that the initial sections of this report provide background material regarding the two surveys that was already covered in the first reports.]
Critique and Comment
Before moving directly into this fifth report, I wish to honor a criticism regarding this series of Development of Coaches reports, offered by my colleague, Rey Carr. He made this comment after reviewing the fourth report (on gender):
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When it comes to surveys, particularly those conducted via the Internet, it makes little difference if the survey was completed “by a widely ranging group of coaches,” or by organizations with “no stake in the outcomes,” or distributed by “practitioners.” What counts is the reliability and validity of the survey.
The results of the survey are great for talking points or a place to start a dialogue about the issues raised, but they cannot and should not be understood as representative of coaches. These surveys are typically suspect when it comes to generalizing the results to the coaching industry or population. It doesn’t mean you can draw conclusions, but the data should always be accompanied by a set of “limitations” or “cautions” in using the data.