Novice executive coaches' perceived self-efficacy
Han, Yoo Ri
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The executive coaching field is still new, and there are a number of novice coaches working in the field. Regardless of their backgrounds, coaches are expected to possess competencies to best help their client. In particular, what is required of novice coaches is their sense of self-efficacy that they can effectively apply coaching skills in highly complex real situations. However, few studies exist on novice coaches’ self-efficacy and their development. The purpose of this qualitative study of novice executive coaches was to explore incidents that positively or negatively affect coaches’ perceived self-efficacy about their coaching skills. The following research questions guided this study: (1) what incidents influence the self-efficacy of novice executive coaches? (2) what were important lessons that novice executive coaches learned from those incidents? A semi-structured, open-ended qualitative interview, combined with the critical incident method was used as a method to gather data from each participant in this study. One male and eight female novice executive coaches, aged between 32 and 58, were interviewed for this study. The constant comparative method was used to analyze the interview data. The findings showed that novice executive coaches’ self-efficacy increased or diminished when they experienced positive or negative feelings from five categories: (1) provoking critical reflection through questions, (2) managing a coaching session proficiently, (3) developing a good coaching relationship, (4) facilitating personal transformation to develop new possibilities for action and learning, and (5) creating the foundations for business coaching. Experience, reflection, and transformation of role perception were important things that the coaches learned from the practice. Three conclusions were drawn about novice executive coaches’ self-efficacy. There were: (1) novice coaches' positive experiences bolster their feelings of high efficacy, while negative experiences diminish it; (2) novice coaches develop high levels of self-efficacy when they understand a client’s anxiety and resistance and are willing to push clients out of their comfort zones to confront and change their behavioral challenges; and (3) novice coaches develop high levels of self-efficacy when they make transformational shift of their role perception and actions from lay helpers to professional coaches when interacting with clients.