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A new frontier of research and practice: Observation of coaching behaviour

Siegfried Greif

This paper gives an overview of recent observation studies of coaching behaviour and the coaching relationship. It follows a keynote at the 2nd European Coaching Psychology Conference, December 2009, in London. Models influencing the research are drawn from studies of the behaviour of psychotherapists that help to understand the effects of therapeutic interventions. The background to the article is a process-theory of coaching. It reformulates and integrates general factors derived by Gassman and Grawe (2006) from behaviour observation studies. The process-theory assumes that the effects of coaching in general depend partly on seven hypothetical success factors of coaching behaviour that can be assessed by ratings of the observed behaviour of coaches: (1) Appreciation and emotional support of the client; (2) result-oriented problem reflection; (3) result-oriented self-reflection; (4) reflection and calibration of affects; (5) clarification of goals; (6) resource activation; and (7) support of transfer into practice. In a pilot study, trained observers rated the behaviour of coaches using video recordings of coaching sessions. The results show that outcome criteria can be predicted by specific success factors. To understand better how coaching works and how to improve coaching effectiveness, more research and multidisciplinary methods are recommended.

Keywords: Coaching behaviour; coaching relationship; coaching process; coaching effectiveness; coaching psychology; success factors; empathy; resource activation; self-reflection; goal clarification.

Full article: Volume 6, Issue 2 pages 97 - 105


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