I would simply suggest that the more recent emergence of professional coaching as an established field of human service outside the USA might represent two important factors: (1) there is much still to learn among those working in a new field (hence it is not surprising that the non-USA respondents feel they are becoming more skillful), and (2) a newly emerging field is always a potential source of enthusiasm for those practicing in this field as well as for those touting its advantages. On the less positive side, there might also be a “topping off” of new learning and enthusiasm among those from the USA who are working in a field (professional coaching) that is already fairly well established.
We can take this analysis one step further in asking about the sources of professional growth for the non-USA coaches. We find that non-USA coaches are slightly (p<.10) more likely to be influenced by engagement in formal supervision and by conducting coach-related research, whereas the USA coaches are slightly (p,.10) more likely to be influenced by their own experiences as someone receiving personal coaching. Is a pattern detectable here? It does seem that coaches from outside the USA are more likely that those inside the USA to be influenced by the formal structures of the coaching profession: supervision and research. Conversely, the USA coaches are “carrying their own baggage” with them. They are influenced mostly by their own personal coaching experience. They are now on their own. Where are they looking for guidance? What is the professional coaching textbook to which they refer? The guidance and textbook are to be found in their own experiences which they themselves interpret (without the assistance of an outside supervisor).
These potential differences in perspective between USA and non-USA coaches hold some important implications regarding the future development of the professional coaching field. There is no need for research or evidence-based coaching practices if we are going to rely on our own internal guidance and acquired wisdom. We don’t need to read books if we are our own “in-house” expert. In reflecting back on these results, I would suggest that the need for a culture of evidence and collaboration might be even more needed – especially in the United States. It might also be the case that a move to this culture of evidence and collaboration is not very closely aligned with the mentality of autonomy and self-referral found among at least some American coaches. We might anticipate considerable resistance – whether active or passive.