The Effectiveness of Life Coaching on Overall Life Satisfaction
Pepperdine University, The George L. Graziadio School of Business and Management
By Darcy A. Luoma
The purpose of this research project was to determine the effect of coaching on overall life satisfaction by implementing a life coaching action research project with former United States Senate interns and then determining whether overall life satisfaction improved over three months of weekly life coaching.
Much of the research that has been done on coaching is on the impact and return on investment of executive coaching. However, there has been limited research done on life coaching and its impact on life satisfaction. In this age of an increased focus on “self-help,” it is ever more important to look at the results of one tool known as coaching.
At the start of the project, 82 potential participants were contacted and asked to respond to two surveys: the Personal Growth Initiative Scale and the Satisfaction with Life Survey. Of those, 10 were randomly assigned to the intervention group with the rest assigned to the control group. After three months, in which the intervention group received weekly life coaching sessions, all participants completed the same two post-surveys.
The results showed that those who received coaching increased their life satisfaction and improved their personal growth. Those in the control group, who did not receive any coaching, did not improve their life satisfaction or their personal growth initiative over that time. The results were comparable among men and women and among college students and graduates in both the control and intervention groups.
The key conclusions that emerged from this study included:
- Life coaching makes a significant difference in one’s overall life satisfaction.
- Coaching is an effective approach to goal attainment and personal development.
- The coaching experience helps clients be more effective by teaching them how to set concrete, measurable goals made up of specific and manageable steps instead of being overwhelmed by large tasks that seem too daunting or overwhelming to undertake.
- Using a collaborative effort to help the client identify and take action on creating change is effective based on the research results.
- Asking challenging questions to encourage the client to look at new ways to seek different solutions to problems is a key element of effective coaching.
Luoma, Darcy (2006, August). The Effectiveness of Life Coaching on Overall Life Satisfaction. Master’s Thesis, Pepperdine University, The George L. Graziadio School of Business and Management, 2006.