Home Research Coaching Surveys The Development of Coaches Survey: III. Influence and Learning

The Development of Coaches Survey: III. Influence and Learning

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It is also worth noting that there is yet another set of items regarding coaching specialization that produced relatively low mean scores and relatively high variance scores. These were items concerned with the supervision of coaching. The giving of formal supervision was rated low on both questions and produced high variance scores. Are the differences in these ratings a result of some respondents not doing much supervision or are they a result of some respondents not considering their own provision of supervision to be very influential (or even very positive) for them? Many respondents were also not very positive (responding to question two) about receiving supervision. They might think that supervision is of some positive influence in their overall development as a coach, but not in their current development.

These findings are certainly challenging, given the emphasis on supervision among some leaders in the coaching profession. One recent issue of the Future of Coaching (housed in this Library of Professional Coaching) was devoted to controverses surrounding the provision of supervision to coaches. Results that I have just reported suggest that differences of opinion regarding coaching supervision are real and manifest in the reactions of working professional coaches to questions regarding the positive or negative influence that giving or getting supervision has on the overall and current development of coaches.

The Working Environment

Some of the most startling findings generated by results from these two surveys come from the two questions on which we focus in this report. These findings concern the often negative responses and wide divergence in responses to items in both questions regarding the workplace conditions in which coaches work. While many of the survey respondents are quite positive about their work environment, other respondents to both questions are not very positive in their rating of the influence which workplace conditions have on their ongoing and current development as coaches. In some cases, the respondents actually rate the influence as quite negative.

The results are a bit difficult to interpret, since we don’t know if the respondents are focusing on their own personal workplace or on the workplace in which their client’s work. In other words, is their own coaching agency or organization inclined to be toxic? If they are in private practice as a professional coach, is this working environment unpleasant and counter to their development as a coach? Conversely, are they focusing on the challenging environment in which their clients work. Do they find the place toxic in which their clients tend to operate? Is that one of the reasons why they were called in to do some coaching? We don’t know which is the case, but this certainly is an important distinction to be made between one’s home environment and the environment of one’s clients.

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