Further development of evidence-based coaching: Lessons from the rise and fall of the human potential movement
Although several authors have argued for the development of an evidence-based approach to coaching practice, few attempts have been made to draw support for these arguments by examining events of the recent past. This paper seeks to learn some lessons from history by exploring events surrounding the rise and fall of the human potential movement (HPM), which occurred between the 1940s and 1970s. The demise of the HPM is of relevance to the coaching industry because it powerfully illustrates how the promise and potential of innovative practices can be easily lost when its practitioners become disconnected from theoretically sound rationales and solid research. It is argued that the longevity of the coaching industry will be dependent upon the degree to which it embraces the evidence-based practice ethos, and concludes by outlining recent contributions made by psychologists to the advance of evidence-based coaching practice.