Academic Research - International Coaching Federation
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Academic Research

Based on cutting-edge coaching science and industry research, ICF’s academic research is designed to help coach practitioners better understand the issues that impact them and find solutions to their professional challenges.

Supervision Literature Reviews

ICF publishes annual updates on the state of coaching supervision.

  • 2019 Literature Review

    Access the 2019 Coaching Supervision literature review below.

  • 2018 Literature Review

    Access the 2018 Coaching Supervision literature review below.

  • 2017 Literature Review

    Access the 2017 Coaching Supervision literature review below.

White Papers

ICF’s academic research team publishes white papers on a variety of topics relevant to coaching and coaches.

  • Referring a Client to Therapy

    This guide is a resource for coaches to understand when and how to refer a client to a mental health or other helping professional when the client’s needs are outside a coach’s competencies.

    A one-page reference guide for when and how to refer a client accompanies the white paper.

  • The Coach Approach to Managing and Leading

    Organizations have embraced the practice of coaching to grow their human capital and advance their goals and mission. Managers and leaders who use the coach approach to management and leadership are better equipped to develop their team members’ value to their organizations, as well as influence their career paths.

    Using a mixed methods approach, including a literature review, semi-structured interviews, and a team member survey, we identified topics and core insights that suggest participative leadership and management styles in organizations are related to the coach approach used by managers and leaders. We also created a coaching composite scale that allows organizations to measure the frequency of use of coaching skills by managers and leaders.

  • How Coaches Spend Their Time

    Beyond the actual coaching session, there are many additional tasks that coaches carry out in order to maintain a successful coaching practice, such as marketing, operational and administrative duties.

    ICF conducted a job analysis for both internal and external coach practitioners in two phases: a qualitative analysis and a quantitative survey.

    The study found that while both groups are focused on client-related tasks, internal coaches spend a significant amount of time seeking support from their superiors and ensuring the program is aligned with organizational goals and strategy. For external coaches, the client remains more of a focus in all of the tasks they do.

  • The Value of Artificial Intelligence Coaching Standards

    The future is here. Artificial Intelligence (AI) coaching has been constructed and are now in early deployment phases. It is likely that AI coaching will be used in conjunction with, as an adjunct to human-to-human coaching. This blended approach can provide the best of both worlds where coaches can offload low value coaching activities such as brief questions, assessment, and journaling—and keep the high value work of complex, transformational coaching in the human-to-human domain.

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