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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Facing Difficulties and Identifying Influences

We turn to two final areas of analysis. In what ways if any do personal coaches and organizational coaches differ with regard to how they face difficulties in their coaching and the factors that have influenced their career. We have grouped these themes together because, frankly, there are not many differences at a level of significance worth noting. The items associated with difficulty yield no significant differences. It would seem that personal and organizational coaches face challenges in a similar manner. Similarly, influences are comparable for personal and organizational coaching, though it is interesting to note that those who teach coaching (included in the organizational coaching category) might be less influenced by the coaching courses they themselves have taken than are personal coaches. Our future analyses will provide more differentiated analysis concerning those who teach coaching. A near significant difference between our two groups with reference to the discussion of cases should also be noted. Personal coaches are more likely to be influenced by their discussion of cases with colleagues than are organizational coaches.

In general, are the organizational coaches simply more confident about their abilities than are the personal coaches? Can they more readily work in isolation from other coaches – or is it more the case that personal coaches are open to receiving support and insights from their colleagues? The differences are not great, so we must be cautious about offering even tentative conclusions or speculating on the causes of any differences that do exist. Clearly, the major finding in this study concerns the issue of control and, to a lesser extent, the differences occurring overall in the development of coaches (as compared to the recent experience of coaches). The world does not look profoundly different for those who primarily engage in personal coaching and those who do coaching primarily inside organizations – but the differences that do appear to exist are quite intriguing and provide the grist for future dialogues about the similarities and differences between these two orientations to coaching.



Bergquist, William (2016) “Development of Coaches: VI. Does ICF Certification Make a Difference?” The Library of Professional Coaching.  December 30.

Campone, Francine and Awai, Deepa, “Life’s thumbprint: the impact of significant life events on coaches and their coaching”, Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, DOI: 10.1080/17521882.2011.648334.

Kahneman, Daniel (2011) Thinking Fast and Slow. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Orlinsky, D.E. and Rønnestad, M. H. (2005), How Psychotherapists Develop; A study of therapeutic Work and professional growth. Washington, D. C.: American Psychological Association.

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