At the very least, the results generated from our two coaching surveys indicate that gender is not a major factor regarding professional coaching practices. Do these results (or non-results) suggest that men and women are likely to be influenced by factors other than gender when choosing to become a professional coach or when engaging in coaching with a client? Does the gender of the client make any difference or is everyone “treated equally”? Unfortunately, we don’t have any data regarding the potential variations in coaching practices based on the gender of the client. Hopefully, future studies about coaching strategies and practices will provide some data regarding potential gender differences in coach/client interactions.
We will have to turn to other demographic factors to see if there are significant differences in responses to our two coaching surveys. It seems that the variance in survey responses is not attributed to gender. So, we can cross one suspect off our list.
Does Age Make A Difference?
There do not appear to be any significant differences regarding any of the Development of Coaching questions as a function of age. As in the case of our demographic analysis concerning gender, we must look elsewhere, apparently, when seeking to determine the source of variance in the responses of coaches to the two surveys. And we should be reminded of Rey Carr’s cautionary note regarding Survey Monkey results.
There is another possible conclusion – or at least hypothesis—that we might pose regarding the results obtained. It might be that age differences are to be found at a different time of life. Perhaps we should have differentiated groups at an earlier age. Are there differences between coaches younger than 40 and those older, or between coaches under 30 and those who are now coaching at an older age? Are most of our attitudes about coaching pretty much frozen by the time we are in mid-life or a bit older?
While we might wish to test this hypothesis in our Phase Two analyses of the results obtained, this is not a high priority, given the age of most coaches we surveyed. There simply are not many professional coaches who enter this field prior to entering their mid-life years. Is this because they don’t have much credibility until they have a little gray in the hair and fairly extensive life experiences? Or perhaps it is because most clients are themselves a bit older and are looking for coaches who are at least the same age. As we have noted in other reports about the future of professional coaching (e.g. Skibbins and Bergquist, 2016), the future might produce more coaching of younger men and women – and these younger clients might look to peers or slightly older colleagues to serve as their coaches. We will have to see what occurs in our field.