Designing positive psychology is the one by Anthony Grant and Michael Cavanagh (photo) on coaching. I won't completely summarize it here but I'll highlight some points I found interesting.
What is coaching?
The authors explain that coaching, in the last decade, has become a mainstream activity both in business and in health settings. They define coaching as a relationship formed between a professional coach and the coachee for the purpose of attaining valued professional or personal outcomes. Also, they point out that most coaches do not have explicit training in the behavioral sciences and that most coaches do no tend to use coherent theoretical approaches or scientifically validated techniques and measures. As some applications of coaching they mention: 1) business coaching, 2) learning how to work well with difficult people, 3) career coaching, 4) team building, 5) coaching to improve sales performance, and 6) coaching to improve job interview performance.
According to the authors, coaching research is still in its infancy although there has been a significant growth in the coaching literature in recent years. Of the 360 peer reviewed papers which have been published between 2000 and 2009, 30% were about empirical studies. Many of these empirical studies were not outcome research but 1) surveys or descriptive studies into the nature of coaching, 2) investigations into organizations' use of coaching, or 3) examinations of different perceptions of coaching. The authors found 81 coaching outcome studies which have been done since 1980 of which 27 were case studies, 40 within-subject studies, and 15 between subject studies. There were 11 outcome studies which used a randomized controlled design which have indicated that coaching can indeed improve performance in various ways 4 of these were in the medical or health area, 4 of these were in life or personal coaching and 3 were about coaching in the workplace (Deviney, 1994; Duijts, et al., 2008; Grant et al., in press). For instance, Grant et al. (in press) found that "short-term solution-focused, cognitive behavioral executive coaching consisting of four coaching sessions over 10 weeks increased resilience and workplace well-being, and reduced stress and depression.