Home Research Coaching Surveys The Development of Coaches Survey: II. Challenge, Autonomy and Support

The Development of Coaches Survey: II. Challenge, Autonomy and Support

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Recurrent Positive Attitude

As in the case of results from the first study, results from our analysis of the first and third survey questions strongly suggest that those coaches who completed this survey are filled with optimism and a positive attitude about their work as coaches. The mean scores for all items on Question One were less than 1.60 (and in most instances were less than 1.00). Variance scores were also uniformaly low. The mean scores for Question Three items tended to be very high (often more than 4.00) indicating that coaches believe that they are thriving and improving. Variance scores were once again uniformly low.

The most surprising result might be the occasional respondent to these two questions who identified anything at all as a recurring coaching problem.  Is this a case of remarkable candor on the part of a few coaches? Or does it repeatedly demonstrate that coaches (or at least those completing this survey) feel quite confident about their own work as coaches?

At the very least, these mean and variance scores are hard to dismiss as nothing more than social desirability or acquiescence. There is something quite “real” about the positive attitudes manifest in these surveys. Would we find a similar positive attitude among those working in other human service professions? We will be able to provide a partial answer to this question when comparing results from these surveys with those reported by David Orlinksi and his colleagues in their study of clinical psychologists.

In the first article I introduced an even broader scope with regard to the profound optimism and positive attitudes expressed in both surveys. Specifically, I described a culture in which many coaches seem to live. I mentioned that a positive attitude and recurrent optimism might be embedded in the social unconscious of the environment that pervades the world of professional coaching.

Taking the absolute scores as “reality,” there seems to be an “up” to almost every self perception of the coach respondents. . . . Change seems to be a good thing for our respondents — even, in this instance, when related to changes occurring among the coaches themselves. In many ways this finding is to be expected, given that coaches are often encouraging their clients to embrace change or at least plan for ways in which to successfully engage the changes they are confronting in their life and/or work.

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One Comment

  1. Rey Carr

    December 17, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    The best part of this report of the results of these two surveys is the discussion of the concepts. Such discussion is valuable regardless of the reliability or validity of the results (or evidence).

    Unfortunately, the methodology section is missing the most important aspect of methodology: how were each of the surveys distributed and what was the rate of return. If, as I suspect, this was an Internet-based survey, then the results have an exceptionally low chance of being either reliable or valid. That is, the likelihood that they reflect the “coaching industry” or “a typical coach” is incredibly small. Thus, conclusions based on the results are suspect.

    But there’s the point. The discussion itself has its own reliability and validity independent of the survey. The points made are worthy of continuing discussion regardless of the surveys.


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