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Coaching, clients, and competencies: How coaches experience the flow state

B McBride 2013

This qualitative exploratory study examines how coaches experience the flow state, as defined by flow research pioneer Csikszentmihalyi. It further looks at the relationship between coaching competencies and coaches’ experience of flow. For this study, in-depth interviews were conducted with experienced coaches who are certified by the International Coach Federation. As a result of the study, five distinct themes emerged that led to the development of a model of coach flow experience and a model of the coach flow entry process. The first model was then expanded as a model of flow experience for the helping professions. These models serve both experienced and inexperienced coaches, as well as others in the helping professions. This study provides a roadmap for mastery of the coaching skills and recognition of client attributes that potentiate the flow experience and its benefits, including, greater perceived effectiveness, greater sense of self-efficacy, and affirmation of purpose.

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