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An exploration of the experience of self-doubt in the coaching context and the strategies adopted by coaches to overcome it

L Hindmarch International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring 2008

This study explores the experience of self-doubt in coaching, and strategies adopted to overcome it. A phenomenological approach is used to explore the lived experience of self-doubt with eight participants. Four of the participants are clients who have been coached in self-doubt, and four are coaches who have worked with clients in addressing issues of self-doubt. Key results include the suggestion that self-doubt is a work-related phenomenon; that it is an emotional experience based on a perception of lack of abilities to perform at work to a satisfactory level; and that men raise it later in their coaching programme than women. The results also suggested that an important element in coaching clients in overcoming self-doubt is the expression of warmth and positive support from coaches, and that coaches benefit in a similar way from being in supervision. The implications of the findings for coaching practice are discussed, and a description of self-doubt is proposed.

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