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Real World Coaching: Real World Research

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In this article I begin with a fundamental premise: there are three primary goals regarding the future of coaching that are interdependent. One cannot happen without the other two: (1) the evolution of coaching as a field of professional practice, (2) the recognition of coaching as a cross-disciplinary field, and (3) the development of a research based common body of coaching knowledge. I wish to explore each of these three goals as they interweave and identify the challenges associated with their interdependence–primarily through presenting a case study of research recently conducted on professional coaching. I close with a set of recommendations regarding the future of coaching research.

Research and the Professions

Recognition as a professional practice requires that there be a common research-based body of knowledge;  recognition as a cross-disciplinary field  is grounded in that body of knowledge; a multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary coaching knowledge (on theory, practice and outcomes) requires a critical mass of academic researchers and coaching practitioners who are knowledgeable and skilled in the fundamentals of real-world research

Practitioners should have a sufficient understanding of critical perspectives and principles to be discerning consumers and users of research and be able to engage in skillful real world research by collecting and analyzing data from their experiences using the principles of post-modern qualitative and quantitative research methods (not necessarily using by-the-book methodological processes unless they intend to publish).

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