Are your coaching practices having a statistically significant effect on your clients?

This question is addressed by Sabine Junker, Martin Pommer, and Eva Traut-Mattausch in their article published in Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice. The authors set out to showcase the effect of coaching on cognitive appraisal and stress response.  The preliminary study found that cognitive-behavioral coaching appears to be effective in helping coached individuals develop strategies to deal with stress.

The authors want to create more evidence within the scientific literature of coaching to showcase the field’s ability to reduce stress in the general workplace. They cite a statistic from the International Labor Organization in 2018, which lists stress as the reason for 50-60% of all workday absences in Europe.

With this goal in mind, Junker et al., wanted their experimental study to showcase areas that coaching can be statistically shown to benefit workers.

The field experiment conducted by Junker et al. followed the following guidelines:

Participants: 44 college undergraduates, an experimental group that received coaching (n=24), and a control group that did not receive coaching (n=20).  

Independent Variable: The experimental group (n=24) received three coaching sessions lasting 120 minutes over a three week period.

Dependent Variable: Both the experimental group and control group completed questionnaires on cognitive-behavioral management and stress. These questionnaires served to show what differences, if any existed between the control group and experimental group.

What are the measurable results of the study by Junker et al.?

Although some of their hypotheses did not receive enough statistical support to be viable, the field study did result in some significant evidence for coaches. The results showcase that individuals within the coaching group reported experiencing less stress than their non-coached counterparts several weeks into their goal development course.

This difference is significant in showcasing how coaches are able to reduce the stress clients experience when working on attaining personal and professional goals.

What does this research mean for coaches?

It is important to recognize the value coaching can provide to a client’s life in terms of stress reduction. Many studies have showcased how stress is detrimental not only for a companies’ bottom line, but also for an individual’s health and wellness. By staying current in the coaching research, coaches can discover that their work is making statistically significant differences in their clients’ lives, and they can keep track of what coaching processes may be the most beneficial.

If you have clients worried about stress in 2021, coaching can be a beneficial tool in reducing that concern.

IOC's Tips of the Week are authored by Austin Matzelle