Personal and professional coaching: A literature review


Research on the efficacy of coaching has been slow to emerge since the inception of its use in the late 1930s. Existing theoretical and empirical evidence is scarce, yet the successful use of many proprietary methods and models of coaching have been reported. The purpose of this literature review was to summarize current methods and models of personal and professional coaching to identify a common theoretical foundation upon which empirical studies can be conducted. The findings of the literature review revealed that humanistic theory can provide the theoretical framework for coaching. All methods and models of coaching emphasized unconditional respect for each individual's capacity to make their own choices and achieve fulfillment through self-actualization. The coaching process was found to be holistic, client-centered and focused on human value and potential. Due to the lack of theoretical and empirical evidence supporting the efficacy of coaching, a randomized study is proposed that is designed to assess the efficacy of coaching based on humanistic theory. The with-in subject study suggests using a quantitative Likert summated scale to assess client attitudes before and after coaching. It is designed to eliminate possible confounding variables that may have been present in previous research. The purpose of the proposed research study is to test the hypothesis that coaching increases client satisfaction as measured by quality of life indices in an effort to determine if this new helping intervention is impacting our society in a useful and positive way. Demonstrating the efficacy of coaching is not only socially significant for the protection of the consumer, but ethically imperative to substantiate claims being made by those who coach.






Sandy Maynard

Original Work Citation

Maynard, S. (2006, May). Personal and professional coaching: A literature review. (Master's thesis, Walden University)



“Personal and professional coaching: A literature review,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 23, 2021,

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