Conversely, the USA-based coaches might be considered a bit more “brash” in their self-analysis and they might be somewhat more ambitious or at least optimistic: things will continue to improve. It can always get better. To quote Al Jolson, the famous American performer of the early 20th Century, “you ain’t seen nothing yet!” Is this nothing more than the classic American bravado—contrasting with the more tempered perspective offered by those coaches who are operating outside the United States? And does this slight difference in perspective influence the character of coaching being done, the nature of the problems on which the coaches and clients focus, and the outcomes of the coaching engagement? These are important questions to consider when preparing a follow up to this preliminary study of professional coaching development and performance.
It is interesting to reflect on the results of this analysis when compared to the previous analysis of differences between those doing personal coaching and those doing organizational coaching. We found that those who are most often oriented toward personal coaching are slightly more likely to identify change in their coaching practices (from when they began working as a coach) as a decline, while organizational-oriented coaches are slightly more likely to identify this change as an improvement in performance. These results align with those in the present study, with non-USA population responding to the inventory in a manner similar to the personal coaches, and the USA population responding to the inventory in a manner similar to the organizational coaches.
In the previous study, I asked if the personal coaches have higher standards for themselves than the organizational coaches, or perhaps higher expectations regarding their performance? We could consider the same question regarding the non-USA and USA respondents. Those coaches who do much of their work in organizations and/or come from the Unites States seem to be slightly more positive about their work (over time) as a coach and their improvement (over time) as a coach than are those coming from outside the United States or doing much of their work as personal coaches.
Is it because the USA and organizational coaches are more experienced than the non-USA or personal coaches? Or are those from the United States and/or oriented toward work in organizations more likely to over-estimate their abilities? Alternatively, are the Non-USA and/or personal coaches more likely to underestimate their abilities? In future studies we will be doing more sophisticated analyses that begin to identify potential clustering of perspectives on coaching and the development of coaches, based on multiple coaching demographics.