What is personality change coaching and why is it important?



Publication Details

Martin, L., Oades, L. G. & Caputi, P. (2012). What is personality change coaching and why is it important?. International Coaching Psychology Review, 7 (2), 185-193.


Purpose: This article explores the concept of coaching for personality change. The aim is to evaluate the feasibility and desirability of personality change, clarify how this fits with coaching, identify a suitable personality model and measure, and propose directions for future research. Method: The above aim is achieved through reference to the literature around the following questions: Is personality change possible and desirable? Is coaching a suitable medium to achieve this? How does this fit with and expand upon the current coaching literature? What personality model and inventory would suit this process? What coaching resources and future research are needed? Results: A growing body of research suggests that personality can change in the short-term in response to life events, in different social environments and via medical, therapeutic and coaching interventions. Although intentional and targeted personality change research is limited, these findings suggest it is indeed possible. As even small positive changes in personality have been associated with widespread benefits, personality change coaching appears worthwhile. One-to-one coaching provides an environment conducive to exploring this, in populations without major psychopathology. Conclusions: Personality change coaching appears both desirable and possible in a one-to-one coaching setting. However, further research is needed to develop practitioner resources, test the hypothesis that coaching can achieve such change, understand and manage factors that influence change, and explore the experience from a client and coach perspective.

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