Common factors supporting the matching between coach and coachee

Holtshousen, Mark (2015-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research assignment is a qualitative study into the common factors supporting the matching between coach and coachee. The research purpose was to contribute to the lack of understanding of common coach and coachee matching factors based on the views of coaches and coachees respectively, and to provide guidelines for matching to key stakeholders that participate in the practice and profession of coaching. To do this, the available literature on the coach-coachee relationship and matching was reviewed in parallel with the psychotherapeutic literature on the subject. The literature informed the semi-structured interview guide, which was used to interview three coaches and eight coachees following their introductory meetings. The eight introductory meetings between coaches and coachees were the basis for the 16 interviews with the individual coach and coachee participants, and comprised the data used in the thematic analysis. The coach and coachee data were compiled on spreadsheets, allowing key themes to be identified. These themes were interpreted making reference to the literature and then synthesised into super-ordinate themes, from which guidelines were extrapolated for coaches, coachees and client and coaching organisations. It was found that there were two super-ordinate themes common to both coaches and coachees: relational chemistry and perceived personal benefit. These super-ordinate themes were however comprised of different factors for coaches and coachees. Relational chemistry for coachees comprised coach similarity, openness, ability to build rapport, empathy and assurance of confidentiality. Relational chemistry for coaches comprised below-the-line similarity with coachees, a distinction from above-the-line similarity aligned to the literature. Perceived personal benefit to coachees included coach difference, confidence, credibility and derived and expected personal benefit. Perceived personal benefit to coaches included coachee challenge, coachee motivation and fitting the coach’s area of speciality. It was found that matching factors could be grouped generically and specifically. Generic factors could easily be applied in all matching situations and were therefore useful in coach training and coachee match preparation, and specific factors posed the greater matching challenge requiring considered attention by those charged with matching. Relational chemistry, an almost elusive notion in the literature, was found to be the result of particular coach and coachee matching factors. A surprising result was the importance of the coaches’ views, found to be the more tenuous and influential in matching with coachees. It seemed that coaches could regulate the coachee’s matching experience if they were sufficiently motivated to do so based on their perception of personal benefit. The key recommendations of this research are encapsulated in the guidelines developed from the findings. Essentially, stakeholders in the practice and profession of coaching are encouraged to utilise the common factors identified in this research in coach training, coachee preparation, and coach-coachee matching situations.

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