The relationship is king, confirms large-scale coaching study

By Erik de Haan and Nadine Page

The coaching relationship remains the best predictor of outcome, confirm preliminary findings from the Greatest Coaching Outcome Research Project.
In addition to the coaching relationship being a very important factor in effectiveness, other key findings include that clients, coaches and sponsors agree on what they see as coaching outcome, and that client self-efficacy (the client’s self-motivation) is also an important active ingredient.
Only client self-efficacy correlates with client outcome, both as rated by the client and as rated by the coach, whereas coach self-efficacy does not. There are substantial correlations between different independent estimates of coaching outcome (between client and coach and between client and sponsor, but not between coach and sponsor). There are only small correlations between personality in terms of MBTI and the other variables above, finds the project presented by the Ashridge Centre for Coaching .
Data collection is now completed- the project has drawn in 2,018 client questionnaires, 1,880 matching coach questionnaires, and 130 matching coaching sponsor questionnaires. These numbers are at least a factor 10 above most existing coaching outcome studies, and larger than any study that we know of in this field. Around 75% of the dataset has been analysed.
A fuller report will be featured in the next issue of Coaching at Work magazine.
Erik de Haan is lead researcher and Nadine Page is lead statistician at the
Ashridge Centre for Coaching.

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