Third International Conference on the Teaching of Psychology
Heidi Möller & Arthur Drexler,
University of Innsbruck,
Institute of communication in the professional field and psychotherapy,
Innsbruck, Austria

Presentation (ppt)


In our research project we investigated the effects of a professional coach training. We will present a model for the evaluation of coach trainings, which we observe as prototypic for quality assurance in further education programmes and which provides “hard” evidence about the effects and the quality of such trainings. The empirical results should help to raise the quality of the training and should also improve the methods for an appropriate “performance management”.

Coaching aims at improving a client’s abilities to succeed in the professional life.. Executive coaching as a distinct form is meant for business executives, entrepreneurs, HR managers and other types of executives to enhance their on-the-job performance. These coaching sessions look into the problems these professionals generally face in the corporate world. Executive coaching usually deals with people individually by analyzing their personality and performance; thereby giving a boost to their strengths and reflecting their weaknesses. This leads to an overall improvement in their performance.

In the German speaking world (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) concepts of coaching are well developed. Coach training programmes as well as practical coaching use concepts which are systematically and theoretically differentiated.

A good coach needs to have life experience and possess self-awareness. The Austrian Coaching Council demands as entry qualifications that coach-candidates must be older than 28 years and have minimum 180 hours of specific training. Additionally they have to attest 2 case studies and name referees in their application.

The focus of our research is on the efficacy and the effectiveness of a coach training. Up to now there are no empirical findings about appropriate contents and didactic methods to teach couching trainees.

Following the concept of Reinecker and Schindler (2000) we categorise coaching-competencies on three levels: Knowledge (of theories and methods), skills (of communication and dealings with client problems) and self-experience (to know the influence of trainees’ own personality in an interaction and about the limitations of coaching).

According to this categorisation we raise the following research questions:

  • How does the conceptual knowledge of the candidates change during training?
  • What changes in personality and soft skills are measurable during coach–training?
  • How do the trainees asses their own progress and how does this compare to expert ratings?

To address these questions we used a multifaceted model in a pre- and post measurement design with self- and expert assessments after each seminar.

The instruments in particular are:

  • Sculpting to analyse the initial motivation of becoming a coach
  • Case study to assess the participants’ concept competence
  • Business knowledge test
  • Computer based tests to assess facial affect recognition
  • Personality tests
  • Self rating questionnaire on learning progress and others’ rating questionnaire on the participants’ learning progress

The findings of that multidimensional approach to the coach-training will help to improve the quality of the courses and the competencies of the coaches as well as the methods for performance management.

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© 2008 Victor Karandashev