There is a third possible reason. While all of the results obtained in these Development of Coaches Surveys must be cautiously received, there is a pattern related to the USA coaches being a bit more action and results oriented and more flexible in seeking to assist clients in finding solutions to their presenting problem(s). It might just be the case that the USA coaches are saying to their clients (in their words, actions or even nonverbal communication) that we (coach and client): “. . . should push forward and see what happens. If it isn’t working, then I can help you find another resource that could be of greater use in helping you solve your problem(s). We can always pass on the baton if it isn’t working! “ This third possible reason might be closely related to the second that I offered. American pragmatism might be aided by a shared sense that professional coaching is established and here to stay: “there is no longer any reason to prove its worth. So, let’s not be afraid to refer!”
A fourth possible reason can be offered that relates to the near significant difference (p<,10) found regarding the turning to other resources for assistance with a difficult client. Non-USA coaches report that they are more likely to “consult relevant articles or books” than is the case when USA coaches respond to this question. Could this be a greater tendency for non-USA coaches to turn to external authorities for assistance than is the case with USA coaches? Perhaps USA coaches are more “self-reliant” – looking to their own experiences rather than turning to another source. If it doesn’t work out for the USA coaches, then they can simply refer out to another professional: a quick, action-oriented, pragmatic solution. As an aside, I wonder if there is a cost associated with this quick referral (and self-reliance). There might be less personal learning on the part of the USA coach.
Here is another way to frame this potential reason. It might not be a matter of turning elsewhere for assistance. It might instead be a matter of the resource to which a coach is likely to turn. While USA coaches might be more inclined to turn to another professional (via referral), the non-USA coach might look not to another person, but instead to a nonhuman resource. If this is the case, then we might ask if the turning to an article or book is somehow related to the more “bookish” orientation of non-USA coaches. The USA coaches might be less bookish. Perhaps, these coaches are more likely to choose action rather than reflection when dealing with client difficulties. Conversely, among the non-USA coaches, action is stopped as the coach sits down to read an article or book. In the term used by Daniel Kahneman (2011), the bookism coach is engaging in slow thinking (rather than fast thinking) – and their clients might begin modeling this more reflective approach to their problem(s).