The “Soft Side” of Coaching
Results from this first study are quite striking in terms of the respondents rating of specific items that relate to the quality of their interactions and relationships with their clients. The respondents conveyed very positive self-images with regard to interpersonal connections with clients. The following items on Question Two were all rated consistently high by respondents to both surveys:
How effective are you at co-creating the working partnership with clients?
How authentically personal do you feel while working with clients?
How empathetic are you in relating to clients with whom you have relatively little in common?
How effective are you in communicating your understanding and concern to your clients?
How effective are you at stimulating client insight?
Given these positive responses to many of the question two items, it is not surprising that the respondents were also inclined to rate their overall performance at the high end of the response continuum when considering the final question two item:
How confident do you feel in your role as a coach?
These findings produce a fundamental concern regarding the accuracy of self-perceptions. We must take seriously the respondents’ sense of self-confidence, but is this self-confidence justified? Can these coaches objectively assess their own competence—and would their clients arrive at similar conclusions regarding the quality and success of their interpersonal relationship? While these two surveys can’t provide answers to this challenging concern, the results we report in this study and will report in future studies regarding results from the Development of Coaches surveys certainly bring this concern to the fore and open the door for other studies that directly address the matter of coach/client congruence.