Coaches and Clients in Action: A Sequential Analysis of Interpersonal Coach and Client Behavior
Despite calls for studying interaction processes in coaching, little is known about the link between coach-client interactions and coaching success. In particular, interpersonal behavior in coaching remains unexplored, although it is considered highly relevant to social relationships and interaction outcomes. This study takes first steps to adress this gap. The study examines the dynamics of coaches' and clients' interpersonal behavior based on the two basic dimensions affiliation and dominance. Furthermore, the link between emergent interpersonal behavior patterns and coaching outcomes is investigated. To this end, a total of 11,095 behavioral acts nested in 30 coach-client dyads were videotaped and analyzed. Sequential analysis showed that reciprocal friendliness patterns were positively linked to working alliance. Coaches' dominant-friendly interaction behavior particularly activated clients, in terms of showing dominance during the coaching interaction process. Clients' dominance was linked to their overall goal attainment. The results highlight the importance of interpersonal behavior for coaching success. Specifically, the findings suggest that dominance interaction patterns are context- and relation-specific, offering an explanation for contradicting empirical studies on interpersonal dominance. For coaches, the study implies that high awareness for interpersonal signals can help establish a positive atmosphere and activate clients' dominance. This empirical study uses behavior observation and interaction analysis to understand the interpersonal dynamics during coaching sessions.
Learn more >>>