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Title: Choosing your coach : what matters and when : an interpretative phenomenological exploration of the voice of the coachee
Author: Jones, Charles W.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 540X
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2015
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In the last 20 years, coaching has enjoyed immense growth, responding to demands from organisations and individuals. Limited research suggests that clients value coaching. In particular the coachee values the relationship with, and the qualities of, the coach in their collaborative work. To aid this process many believe that effective matching should play an important role in successful relationships. However the process of matching is under-researched particularly from the perspective of the client. The aim of this study is to address this gap in the coaching literature and to respond to the practical need of organisations and coaches to gain better understanding of how coachees experience the matching process in an organisational leadership context. Using an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) methodology this study explores the experiences of coachees at different stages of a leadership coaching journey. It aims to gain a greater insight into the psychological factors influencing how coachees choose their coaches and how their view on this choice changes through the duration of the coaching experience. Purposive sampling was used to identify eight leaders from five different organisations who were about to undertake matching as a precursor to taking part in a coaching experience. Of the eight participants five were men, three were women, with an age range between 30 to 55 years old. The theoretical contribution of this research is in providing a more detailed understanding of the real experiences of those involved in receiving leadership coaching and how this perspective sheds new light on what matters to the coachee and when. A number of important themes emerged. Firstly, the different levels of understanding and meaning attached to coaching, and how the meaning attached had an impact on what coachees requested from their coach and coaching. Equally noticeable was the change in what mattered to coachees. At the start of choosing a coach, the coachee’s focus was on objective requirements and concepts such as the knowledge, experience and gender of the coach. When they were experiencing coaching they had a greater appreciation of the subjective elements of the work and the relationship, placing much greater emphasis on issues such as Trust and ‘Touch’. Importantly the value of encouraging ‘Chemistry Meetings’ to help coachees inform their decision was strongly supported in the findings. This study also draws attention to the importance of choice being offered to the coachee when coaches are being selected for them. Overall it is argued that more can be done to empower and educate the coachee to make a more informed and thought-through decision when choosing their coach.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available