Coaching Report

2014 March Coaching Report

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2014 March Coaching Report

This month we feature a new “meta analysis” research study that explores the impact of coaching on behavior change. “Meta” here refers to the review of a group of research studies on coaching outcomes that provides statistical analysis from a 10,000-foot perspective (article summary below). As evidencebased practitioners, we know this is the kind of research that supports high-end marketing. When an important client asks if coaching works, we can describe this study; it’s part of the body of evidence that provides a clear and resounding— yes! You may search using "ROI" in the topic section.

For coaching to expand as a respected profession, we all need to increase our impact by building thriving practices. The Institute of Coaching wants to help our ICPA members with their efforts, so we are offering a live teleclass and a special Masterclass this month with Senior Advisor, Dr. Lew Stern, entitled, “Leadership and Organizational Coaching: Building and Managing your Practice.” The tele-class will be recorded and available in our members-only podcast library. The self-study Masterclass will provide members an opportunity to deepen their planning and reflections around their business – and consequently their impact. For our non-member community, please enjoy the article below and take advantage of the many resources on our public website.


Executive Director

From Science to Practice

Does coaching work? A meta-analysis on the effects of coaching on individual level outcomes in an organizational context By Tim Theebom, Bianca Beersma, and Annelies E.M. van Vianen The Journal of Positive Psychology, 2014, Vol 9 Issue 1

Special Thanks to Brodie Gregory, PhD for reviewing this research and translating the key points to use in your coaching practice.

Does coaching actually work? Sure, we all have great anecdotal evidence of the positive effects of coaching for our clients and the organizations in which they work. But one problem in the coaching literature in recent years has been a notable lack of data-based evidence that coaching really works.

In their recent research, Theebom, Beersma, and van Vianen conducted a meta-analysis on studies that have examined coaching outcomes. This research is a meaningful milestone for the coaching literature. In order to conduct a meta-analysis, you need to have a sufficient number of existing studies to draw from. In this case, the authors began by identifying 107 studies with potential, but after applying a series of criteria, based their findings off 18 studies.

The authors focused on five critical outcomes for coaching from these 18 studies: performance and skills, well-being, coping, work attitudes, and goaldirected self-regulation. They found that coaching interventions had a positive effect on each and every one of these five outcomes. In other words, this meta-analysis shows that coaching consistently helps to improve work performance and skills, a client’s well-being and coping skills, their work attitudes, and their ability to effectively self-regulate their behavior and use meaningful goals.

Theembom, Beersma, and van Vianen’s research provides solid data that can be used to make a business case for coaching. And the best part is, this conclusion is not based on just one study, but on strong, consistent findings from 18 unique studies. How can you use these findings in your practice? How will this data-based evidence of coaching’s impact help you make the business case for your work?

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