T e results showed that although the coaching relationship was the key active ingredient that, within the relationship, the ‘click' between coach and coachee was not so important as thought.

Less active ingredients

Analysis revealed that the type of coach- ing, the coach’s degree of experience, in- ternal versus external coaching, the form of coaching, and its integration into organisations' development or leadership programmes, were not important. Some- times they were important in the eyes of the coach (for example, external coaches give themselves higher scores), but not in the eyes of the client or sponsor. Another important factor that made no, or very little, diff erence was the per- sonality profi le of the coach or coachee. Despite the recognition of typical leader and manager profi les in the coachee MBTI profi les,2

and counsellor profi les in the coach MBTI profi les,3

as well as typical coach neither personality nor

personality match (at least, measured by the MBTI) appeared to make any dif- ference to the eff ectiveness of coaching.

The strongest active ingredients

T e main predictor of an eff ective series of coaching sessions was found to be the coaching relationship. Due to the large number of coaching relationships in the sample, this fi nding was considered in detail. For example, not only was there a strong link between the strength of the coaching relationship (‘Working Alliance Inventory’) and the eff ective- ness of coaching, but also that this link is maintained (albeit to a lesser extent) when the other party in the relationship assesses its eff ectiveness, see Table 1. T e predictive value of the coaching

relationship is so strong that it mediates all other dependencies in our study to a signifi cant degree. In other words, the other active ingredients are eff ec- tive only if the coaching relationship is strong. T e coaching relationship

 Correlation coeffi cients

WAI according to coachee WAI according to coach

All correlations are signifi cant (p < 0.01)

therefore appears to be conditional for the eff ects of other active ingredients. In other words, in Figure 1 we can show that route ‘A’ to ‘B’ is much more im- portant than route ‘C’ (where relevant; the middle arrow in ‘A’ from personality matching is in any case fairly weak). T ese results were also checked for

the sponsor’s assessment of the eff ec- tiveness of the coaching relationship but, although the sponsor eff ectiveness score correlated positively with the coachee eff ectiveness score and even (to a lesser extent) with the coach eff ec- tiveness score, these correlations were not signifi cant due to the small number of linked sponsor questionnaires.

Figure 1

Coaching outcomes

Within the relationship it is less about the ‘click’

T e most remarkable fi nding in this research was that the three compo- nents of the coaching relationship or working alliance (agreement on tasks, agreement on goals, and aff ective bond between coach and coachee) did not correlate in the same way with eff ec- tiveness (as rated by coach, coachee and sponsor). T e fi rst two relationship aspects correlated signifi cantly more strongly with coach eff ectiveness than the third. So the ‘click’ or ‘rapport’ in the coaching relationship appears to be much less important than proper agreement on the tasks and goals of coaching. T e signifi cantly lower corre- lation between this ‘click’ and eff ective- ness was found for both coachees and coaches, and also occurs in the third (weak but signifi cant) fi nding con- cerning the MBTI personality match. Here is perhaps a helpful illus-


CC Coaching

relationship AA

Personality differences

self-effi cacy Coach self-effi cacy Client personality Coach personality Client Effectiveness

according to coachee .56 .19

Effectiveness according to coach

.23 .56

tration of this fi nding, taken from a telephone conversation I had with one of the participants in the research; a coach who scored moderately on eff ectiveness (slightly below average) but whose scores for relationship and eff ective bond were well below average (nearly 50 per cent lower). On fur- ther investigation, it was found that this coach mainly did ‘turn around’ work with senior managers who were being given a fi nal chance to keep their jobs by attending a number of sessions with him and showing that they could improve as a result. T is coach’s approach and the tone in which he gave direct feedback to his clients on their performance sounded harsh and it seemed almost inconceivable that the scores he had obtained for eff ectiveness could still be so high. T e best explanation was that many of his clients did indeed manage to keep their jobs by working loyally with this coach. Moreover, the coach had made clear contracts with his coachees (in other words, high ‘agreement on tasks’ in the WAI); moreover, the goals had been set by the organisation so were known to all parties involved (in other words, high ‘agreement on goals’ in the WAI).

Another active ingredient – 

A weaker but nevertheless signifi - cant connection turned out to be  | july 2016 | 21

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