Generation Y : Are British organisations ready for younger executive coaches? A Mixed Methods Study
Research within coaching (Feldman & Lankau, 2005) suggests that background characteristics may influence the perceived credibility of the coach. With an increase in the number of younger coaches entering the profession, this present study focuses particularly on the age of the coach as an influencing factor for clients when selecting a coach.
A mixed method design was adopted, with thirty four participants ranking their perceived importance of twenty-three coaches’ attributes in an online survey. Qualitative data derived from semi-structured interviews with six coaches were analysed using Thematic Analysis. The results suggest that ‘personal rapport’ and ‘effectiveness of coaching process’ are the most valued attributes of potential executive coachees. ‘Age’ was ranked as fourth least important of twenty three attributes. However, themes emerging from the qualitative data suggest age can still be a barrier in the hiring of coaches aged under thirty. Practically, this research high- lights particular challenges for Gen Y coaching practitioners and offers specific recommendations for young practitioners contemplating entering the executive coaching industry.
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