Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

The Goal-Focused Coaching Skills Questionnaire: Preliminary Findings

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

The Goal-Focused Coaching Skills Questionnaire: Preliminary Findings

Article excerpt

Goal-focused coaching is increasingly being used to help people set and reach personal and workplace goals. However, coaches' coaching skills are rarely measured. This exploratory study reports preliminary findings on the initial development and validation of a self-report measure, the Goal-focused Coaching Skills Questionnaire (GCSQ). Some participants also completed the Schutte Emotional Intelligence Scale (Schutte et al., 1998) and the Insight subscale of the Self-reflection and Insight Scale ([SRIS-IN], Grant, Franklin, & Langford, 2002). Convergent, face validity and test-retest reliability were found to be good, and scores on the GCSQ distinguished between professional and nonprofessional coaches. Scores on the GCSQ were also related to measures of emotional intelligence and personal insight. Behavioral observations following a coaching session indicated a significant correlation between coachees' ratings of the coaches' skills and the self-reported skill ratings of the coaches themselves. Limitations of the study are discussed and future research suggestions presented.

Keywords: workplace coaching, coaching skills, emotional intelligence, executive coaching, life coaching, insight.

Organizations are increasingly investing in developing the coaching skills of their managers, and coaching by line management is an important factor in enhancing employee engagement, well-being and performance (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, 2004; Ellingeic, Ellinger, & Keller, 2003). Workplace coaching tends to be highly goal-focused, helping employees to set goals, develop action plans, and stay on track for success (Graham, Wedman, & Garvin-Kester, 1994). Reflecting the increasingly widespread use of coaching (Jarvis, 2003; Wright, 2005), one in five UK managers has received specific training in coaching skills (The Work Foundation, 2004). However, coaching skills are rarely measured or assessed using valid and reliable assessment tools (Lidbetter, 2003). The measurement of goal-focused coaching skills is an important part of assessing the impact of coach-skills training programs, and as a means of benchmarking coaching skills. Such measurement would be helpful to manager-coaches, professional coaches and human resource managers who oversee the learning and development needs of employees, as well as researchers exploring psychosocial factors related to personal and workplace coaching.

Our objective was to develop a short self-report measure which could be used quickly and with ease. Long complex questionnaires tend not to be warmly received, and we wanted the questionnaire to be both practical and reliable. This exploratory study reports our preliminary findings on the Goal-focused Coaching Skills Questionnaire (GCSQ) and presents directions for future research.

Goal-focused coaching can be understood as a collaborative, solution-focused and systematic process which is aimed at enhancing performance, self-directed learning and well-being (Grant, 2003). Although many proprietary models of coaching are presented as complex methodologies, in fact the essence of goalfocused coaching is a simple series of processes in which an individual sets a goal, develops a plan of action, begins action, monitors his or her performance (through observation and self-reflection), evaluates his or her performance (thus gaining insight) and, based on this evaluation, changes his or her actions to further enhance performance, and thus reach his or her goal (Graham et al., 1994). The role of the coach is to facilitate the coachee's progress through this cycle. In order to purposefully move through this cycle, individuals need to be able to regulate their thoughts, feelings and behaviors to best help them achieve their goals. Intelligent and purposeful use of emotions is thus central to the coaching process (David, 2005).

Emotional intelligence (EI) can be understood as having four key branches; a) the ability to accurately perceive emotions in oneself and others, b) the ability to use emotions to facilitate thought, c) understanding how different emotions arise and change over time, and d) the ability to use the knowledge from the first three branches to regulate emotions and translate them into constructive action (Mayer & Salovey, 1997). …

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