This research explores how in a single coaching intervention affect based trust builds up between an executive coach and coachee and further impacts the positive perception of the coaching relationship. It aims to understand how specific emotional competencies of coach and coachee such as perceiving, using, understanding and managing emotions foster affect based trust building. It analyses how their emotional competencies impact an effective outcome by measuring the perception of genuineness, effective communication, facilitation of development, comfort with the relationship, the coach’s performance rating and the likelihood of working towards a specific development goal.
To define the outcome in a 45 minutes coaching conversation, the relationship qualities are measured through the PQECR scale (perceived quality of the employee coaching relationship) (Gregory & Levy, 2011) and the level of affect based trust through the McAllister Scale of trust (McAllister, 1995). The coach’s and coachee’s emotional competencies are measured through the MSCEIT (Mayer Salovey Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test) (Mayer, Peter, Caruso, & Sitarenios, 2003) to explore how they impact the process of trust building, the perception of the relationship qualities, the likelihood to work towards a specific development goal and the coach rating.
Several of the coach’s emotional abilities positively and significantly impact the perception of affect based trust and various relationship qualities. The coach’s using emotions ability has the strongest correlation with the perception of affect based trust, which then further impacts the positive perception of specific relationship qualities. The coachee’s emotional using ability impacts strongly the likelihood to work towards a specific personal development goal but has no impact on the level of affect based trust being raised.
Future research will need to increase diversity among coaches, explore additional drivers and include qualitative data from the coaching intervention.
Managing people, conflicts, change and performance involve creating meaningful relationships. Mastering emotional abilities is key in raising trust and having a positive impact on the relationship. Therefore management education and development should include the training of emotional abilities to increase managerial and organizational effectiveness.
The present research shows how affect based trust raises based on the coach’s and coachee’s emotional abilities and impacts the positive perception of other relevant relationship qualities. Thus it adds to the theory by providing empirical evidence on the mechanisms of affect based trust building in a one-time coaching intervention.
Executive Coaching, Affect Based Trust, Emotional Intelligence, Coaching effectiveness