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 You are here: Special Group in Coaching Psychology > Publications > International Coaching Psychology Review > When feedback is not enough: The impact of regulatory [...]

Anne-Marie Jarzebowski, Josephine Palmero & Robert van de Berg

Objectives: Feedback is widely used in coaching practice however empirical findings are inconsistent regarding the motivational effect of feedback. Positive or negative feedback can be framed in a way that aligns with an individual’s preferred manner during goal pursuit, that is, their regulatory fit. This study is the first to examine the effect of regulatory fit within feedback sign on motivation. This study aimed to investigate the impact of positive feedback framed to fit or not-fit individuals’ regulatory focus on level of motivation.

Design: A repeated measures randomly controlled study design was utilised.

Method: Participants comprised 29 coachees undertaking a 5-session coaching program. They were randomly allocated to two treatment groups whereby positive non-authentic feedback, framed to either fit or not-fit an individual’s induced regulatory promotion focus was provided on an online leadership skills activity. In addition, level of motivation was measured pre and post feedback.

Results: A repeated measure anova analysis indicated that motivation was significantly higher after positive feedback in the regulatory fit condition than in the non-fit condition. There was no relationship between level of mood and motivation after feedback.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that feedback framed to fit the regulatory focus of coachees will increase level of motivation. Implications for coaching practice include that when providing feedback in coaching, feedback effectiveness may be increased by framing feedback to the individuals’ regulatory (promotion) focus.

Keywords: Motivation; Feedback; Regulatory fit; Regulatory focus; Coaching; Promotion focus; Induction; Australia.

Full article: Volume 7, Issue 1 pages 14 - 32


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