Clients' experiences of intentional personality change coaching
Purpose: The main objective of this study was to explore clients' experiences of participating in a structured intentional personality change coaching programme designed to facilitate change on client chosen personality facets. Design: A qualitative design, using inductive thematic analysis was employed to explore participants' experiences with as few pre-conceptions as possible. Method: The current study used semi-structured, face-to-face interviews to collect data from 32 participants at the conclusion of a 10-week structured intentional personality change coaching programme. Transcribed interview data was then coded and analysed for themes, using steps and processes outlined in Braun and Clarke (2006). Results: Thematic analysis revealed four key themes. First, personality coaching promoted reflection, leading to greater self-awareness. Second, it fostered an authentic self and values consistent way of living, without loss of valued aspects of identity. Third, it produced tangible and practical life benefits including enhanced confidence and competence, and strengthened ability to relate to others. Finally, most clients viewed the structured personality change coaching programme as enjoyable, positive and beneficial. Conclusion: This study suggests personality change coaching is perceived by clients as providing opportunities for developing greater self-awareness, authenticity, and a values consistent way of living. Whereas personality change is the goal of such coaching, this translates into practical benefits, and is perceived by clients as a positive experience. Professional implications of expanding coaching into this relatively new area are identified. Keywords: personality; intentional; change; coaching; Big Five; Five Factor; clients' experiences.