Coach's Expressed Positive Behaviour Linked to Client's Interest to Change: An Analysis of Distinct Coaching Phases

Authors: Will, T., Schulte, E.M. & Kauffeld, S. (2019)

As coaching research has demonstrated, coach behaviour could influence the client. Hence, knowledge about ‘how’ a coach can influence the client during a coaching session, and more specifically, during distinct phases of coaching, is lacking. We attempt to fill this research gap (1) by considering active coach ingredients: coaches’ expressed empathy and appreciative behaviour summarized as positive supportive behaviour, and (2) by taking single coaching phases (contact, exploration, operationalisation, conclusion phase) into account. Therefore, we analysed 52 videotaped coaching sessions by using the interactional tool act4consulting. First, to examine if a coach behaves differently in each phase, we analysed expressed positive supportive coach behaviour. Second, we analysed if the coach behaviour was significantly linked to client’s interest to change. Third, we assumed that coach’s expressed positive supportive behaviour is more positively linked to the client’s interest to change in the exploration and in the operationalisation phase. Results yielded that coach behaviour differs significantly across all phases, and that expressed positive supportive coach behaviour in the contact, operationalisation, and conclusion phases was linked to the client’s interest in change. A variance in the coach’s behaviour on client’s interest to change in the single phases could not be found.

Coaching phases; Supportive coach behaviour; Expressed empathy; Expressed appreciation; Interest to change