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Kristina Gyllensten & Stephen Palmer

Objectives: This paper will present the findings from a qualitative study exploring experiences of workplace coaching.
Design: The study adopted a qualitative design. Semi-structured interviews were used and the method of analysis was Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith, Jaraman & Osborn, 1999).
Methods: Two large organisations participated and nine individuals, who had taken part in coaching, were interviewed. The interviews focused on the participants’ experiences of coaching, and one of the topics investigated was coaching and stress.
Results: ‘Management of Stress’ was identified as a main theme which, in turn, comprised of a number of sub-themes. According to these sub-themes coaching had helped the participants to reduce stress indirectly, to cope with stressful situations, and was a resource that the participants would consider using in the future. Moreover, coaching also had the potential to cause stress.
Conclusions: It was concluded that coaching could help to reduce stress indirectly and help individuals to cope with stressful situations. However, as coaching also had the potential to cause stress it was suggested that it was important that coaches clearly explain what can be expected from coaching. In addition, limitations with the study were discussed.

Keywords: work-related stress, coaching, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, management of stress.

Full article: Volume 1, Issue 1 pages 86 - 98


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