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What Is Evidence-Based Coaching? Key Competencies Every I-O Psychology Professional Should Know

Evidence-based coaching is becoming a key specialty for industrial psychologists.

Business coaching has long relied more on instinct and axioms than on science and process. But evidence-based coaching is changing all of that.

Part of the industrial and organizational psychology field, evidence-based coaching (EBC) is a form of career, executive, and organizational coaching that utilizes methods developed through the systematic research and scientific study of industrial psychology. As such, it is a methodical, science-based approach that contrasts with the unproven approaches popularized by numerous coaching associations and coach-training services.

What Is Evidence-Based Coaching? Key Competencies Every I-O Psychology Professional Should Know

What Are the Goals of Evidence-Based Coaching?

EBC’s primary goal is to guide an organization toward sustainable systems/processes that allow it to remain nimble and thrive in a changing world. To achieve this, EBC seeks to align the development of individuals, teams, and organizations toward a mutual definition of success. This strategic alignment of attitudes, values, beliefs, and purpose allows for strong, effective leadership.

How Is Evidence-Based Coaching Being Used?

While EBC can be used to help individuals and businesses overcome any number of difficulties, many evidence-based coaches focus on helping organizations operate better in a rapidly globalizing marketplace. Diverse workforces and international business structures can create complications that EBC’s systematic approach is well-suited to helping resolve.

What Are the Best Practices in Evidence-Based Coaching?

When engaging in EBC, the coach and the individual/team being coached must have or develop certain key competencies. These include:

  • Being able to deal effectively with interpersonal relationships.
  • Being able to think and behave in terms of systems.
  • Being able to approach decision-making from the standpoint of values, purpose, and sustainability. 
  • Being able to think and act with flexibility.
  • Being able to maintain emotional balance by coping with disequilibrium.
  • Being able to continuously clarify and maintain a sense of purpose.  

These key competencies are supported by five characteristics the coach and the individual/team being coached should embrace. These are:

Concern: A commitment to other individuals and the overall vision
Trust: Belief that the leader will keep promises and commitments
Respect: Mutual regard for all individuals, even when views differ
Appreciation: Embracing the unique qualities of others
Hope: Belief that the leader, the vision, and the actions taken will result in success

With the key competencies and characteristics in place, the evidence-based coach can work to align individuals, teams, and organizations and create sustainability. To do this, evidence-based coaches should:

  • Be sure everyone understands how differences between individuals can add value.
  • Remember alignment is key to communication.
  • Be sure the organizational culture supports diversity.
  • Be sure management members are truly invested in change and improvement. 
  • Focus first on getting the executive team working together effectively and team members working together effectively.
  • Focus second on getting executives working with subordinates effectively. This is done by ensuring executives understand cultural differences, the similarities that brought everyone together on the team, the goals they are trying to achieve, the unique strengths within the team, and the challenges each team member faces.  

How Can You Become an Evidence-Based Coach?

Because evidence-based coaching comes from the field of industrial and organizational psychology, the best way to become an evidence-based coach is to first earn a master’s in psychology or PhD in psychology. Specifically, you should consider an MS in Industrial and Organizational Psychology or a PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, both of which are available with an evidence-based coaching specialization and both of which can prepare you for an evidence-based coaching career as well as other psychology careers.

Thanks to online learning, you don’t have to upend your life to complete a master’s or PhD psychology program. That’s because online psychology degree programs in industrial psychology allow you to complete the majority of your master’s or doctorate in psychology from home. Plus, online master’s and online PhD in psychology programs allow you to attend classes at whatever time of day works best for you. If you’re not ready to earn a master’s or PhD, you can also find Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Organizational Psychology and Development programs online.

Evidence-based coaching is utilizing the principles of I-O psychology to remake the coaching industry. Through the advantages of online education, you can earn your master’s or doctoral degree in psychology and put yourself in position to enter this exciting field.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering MS in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology degree programs online, as well as a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Organizational Psychology and Development program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,