The translation of ‘moments of insights’ into sustainable change by executive coachees with different learning styles
Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.
Purpose – The purpose of this research was to examine the translation of ‘moments of insights’ into sustainable change(s) by executive coachees with different learning styles six to 12 months after the executive coaching intervention had ended. Design/methodology/approach – In this qualitative study, 12 coachees who had completed coaching programmes six to 12 months prior to commencement of the study were selected based on Kolb’s four learning styles (that is, three coachees per learning style). The coachees or research participants were executives, senior managers, professionals or entrepreneurs who had been coached by executive coaches. Essentially, there were three parts to the research process. The first step was to source a sample of coachees using the Kolb’s learning style inventory. The second step was to conduct a semi-structured interview with each coachee. All the interviews were recorded and transcribed for analysis. The third step was to analyse and compare the data using thematic analysis. The findings were interpreted and links were made to the relevant literature. Key findings – Coachees with different learning styles seemed to remember their ‘moments of insight’ in alignment with their learning styles. These coachees, with different learning styles, appeared to translate their ‘moments of insight’ into sustainable change congruently with their learning style preferences. Where any variation was noted in the findings within a learning style, generally it was associated with the coachee having a more balanced learning style, or having a more extreme style within the relevant quadrant of the learning grid. Research limitations/implications - The sample size of this study was small. Nonetheless, the study was intended to be qualitative rather than quantitative. Practical implications – There are implications of this research for both coaches and training institutions for coaches. For the coaches: To recognise how ‘moments of insight’ could lead to transformation of coachees with different learning styles. Knowing and understanding learning style preferences can deepen and further embed learning with regard to the coaching process. Training institutions for coaches: These training institutions need to consider incorporating learning styles in the content of their programme, so that coaches can optimise their coaching of individuals with different learning styles - and learn to work more effectively with metaphors in their coaching interventions with coachees having different learning styles. Originality/value – The study adds to the body of knowledge on understanding how coachees’ different learning styles can impact on coaching, the learning process and the sustainability of changes emanating from the coaching.