In the first report I introduced an even broader scope regarding the profound optimism and positive attitudes expressed in both surveys. Specifically, I described a culture in which many coaches seem to live. I mentioned that a positive attitude and recurrent optimism might be embedded in the social unconscious of the environment that pervades the world of professional coaching. Results from this second study seem to further support the positive and optimistic attitude of those inhabiting the coaching town and embracing the coaching culture.
The Autonomous Professional
I propose that the coaching culture and frontier town contain yet another element and that all might not be perfect in this culture and town. The element I wish to introduce concerns professional autonomy and isolation. The theme of autonomy and isolation shows up in responses to the second question (“When in difficulty, how often do you”). Just as there is very little indication in responses to the first and third questions that coaches view themselves as in trouble with their clients, responses to the second question suggest that they tend to look to their own internal resources when they do experience difficulties with clients. The highest rated responses to Question Two were:
Try to see the problem from a different perspective
Review privately with yourself how the problem has arisen
See whether you and your client can deal together with the difficulty
It is only when we turn to the fourth highest rated response (“Discuss the problem with a more experienced colleague”) that we find the isolation broken—and even this item was quite controversial (high variance score).
To be totally fair in our analysis, we should note that many of the Question Two responses are oriented toward private and personal resolution of the difficulty. Nevertheless, those few responses associated with Question Two that do suggest breaking out of the isolation are consistently rated low:
Sign up for a conference or workshop that might bear on the problem.
Explore the possibility of referring the client to another coach.
Refer the client to some other noncoaching professional.