Home Research Coaching Surveys Development of Coaches: VII. Are There Any Differences between Personal and Organizational Coaches?

Development of Coaches: VII. Are There Any Differences between Personal and Organizational Coaches?

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Bogged down with a client in a relationship that seems to be going nowhere. Mean=0.90



Variance =0.50

t = -0.23

df =200



Frustrated with a client for wasting your time Mean=0.67



Variance =0.54

t = -0.54

df =200




The statistical analysis of differences between personal and organizational coaches on this specific question yielded the most significant results yet obtained in our seven studies. At the .001 level of significant (a t-score of 5.70) the personal coaches are more likely than organizational coaches to perceive a danger of losing control of a coaching conversation with their client. While neither the personal nor organizational coaches admit to frequent occurrence of this fear, the level of concern among personal coaches is quite a bit higher than it is among organizational coaches.

These results are even more striking, given the lack of difference between personal and organizational coaches on many of the other items associated with this question about current feelings regarding coaching. Is it possible that control is related to the finesse perceived by organizational coaches regarding their work with clients? In relying on coaching techniques and strategies that they have learned to apply quickly and effectively (“fast thinking”), are personal coaches more vulnerable to perceived loss of control brought about by unanticipated responses from their clients?  Perhaps, instead, it is just the organizational coaches being less candid about their fears and concerns.

There are two other items that yield less dramatic findings, but are still of value in fostering a dialogue about personal and organizational coaching. These two items concern the role to be played by the coach’s personal values and ethics, when working with clients. The organizational coaches are slightly more likely to be unease or troubled about these matters when working with their clients than are personal coaches. Is this because values and ethics issues are more prevalent or challenging in an organizational setting than they are in a personal setting? Or do these concerns on the part of organizational coaches relate to their use of subtle (and perhaps sometime elusive) practices, rather than the “tried and true” techniques and strategies that might be more frequently (and effectively) used by personal coaches?  Is part of the “Mastery” that personal coaches report more frequently than do organizational coaching related in some way to their clearer sense of personal values and ethical practices as related to their coaching work? Does the mastery of coaching techniques and strategies provide more structure for the personal coaches, allowing them to feel more comfortable than organizational coaches in negotiating the relationship between their work with clients and their own personal values and ethics? These are important questions that should be addressed in future coaching dialogues.

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