The Development and Validation of the Freeman-Gavita Prescriptive Executive Coaching (Pec) Multi-Rater Assessment

Article excerpt

Abstract

Executive coaching has become a usual practice in organizations as a means for enhancing motivation, self-understanding, positive affect, self-efficacy for change, and specific goal achievement. Prescriptive Executive Coaching (PEC) is based on the cognitive-behavioral approach to coaching. This study aims to develop and validate the Freeman-Gavita PEC Assessment as a new multi-rater measure of managerial skills relevant for the PEC process. Results obtained show a viable unifactorial solution for the PEC Assessment and the possibility to offer a valid prescriptive profile for executive coaching based on its predictive capabilities for performance. The PEC Assessment was found to be strong psychometrically, evidencing adequate reliabilities and validity.

Keywords: executive prescriptive profile, cognitive behavioral coaching

Nowadays, more and more managers are using specialized assistance in order to better manage distress and organizational pressures, build more effective behaviors, leadership skills, increase team productivity, and cope more effectively with employee problems. Executive coaching has been described as a customized, individual training intervention (Bono, Purvanova, Towler, & Peterson, 2009), having the overall goal of providing the manager with skills, tools, and knowledge, in order to develop him/herself and become more effective at work (Baron & Morin, 2009). While the field began as a means to overcome task performance deficiencies, it has evolved beyond mere performance improvement, towards facilitation of excellence and peak performance (Feldman & Lankau, 2005). Targeted outcomes of coaching may include enhanced motivation, selfunderstanding, positive affect, self-efficacy for change, and specific goal achievement (Grant & O'Connor, 2010). Although initially developed for working with highest-level executives, today executive coaching is geared toward learning and performance enhancement of the middle- and senior-level managers, as well as CEOs (Baron & Morin, 2009).

Cognitive behavioral coaching (CBC) is based on the cognitivebehavioral approach in psychotherapy and rooted in the works of Ellis (1962; 1972) and Beck (1976). CBC assists clients to better manage their emotions, by identifying, examining and changing their thinking, and developing more productive behaviors. The empirical data to support the effectiveness of CBC has been growing lately in both personal and executive coaching (e.g. Anderson, 2002; Grant & Greene, 2001; Kodish, 2002).

Based on the cognitive-behavioral theory, research, and practice, Prescriptive Executive Coaching (PEC) was developed by Arthur Freeman as an executive coaching model. PEC offers a contemporary approach to executive coaching, having a robust empirical basis, a strong theoretical base, and a number of real-world applications. PEC as a model of coaching uses the cognitivebehavioral orientation (Freeman & DeWolf, 1990) to build an understanding of the needs, interests, impediments, and goals of coaching. Both CBT and PEC examine the multiple relationship(s) between thoughts, feelings, actions, the social/cultural context, situations and circumstances, and the interpersonal context.

Assessment and feedback are important components of coaching and represent the starting points of the process. The cognitive-behavioral approach and PEC emphasize the role of the assessment and organizational diagnosis components in establishing coaching goals and in guiding the coaching plan and contract. However, since cognitive-behavioral coaching has a short history, there is a lack of instruments to assist professionals in accomplishing these phases. While many coaching texts make great claims for the effectiveness of coaching, presently they lack robust empirical data to support such claims (Neenan, 2008). Measures used in coaching and the human resources field lack rigorous investigation and data to support validity claims. …