Presentation on theme: "An Exploration of Male Self- Confidence in the Coaching Context Presented by Jackie Fitzgerald at the 11 th Annual Coaching and Mentoring Research Conference,"— Presentation transcript:
An Exploration of Male Self- Confidence in the Coaching Context Presented by Jackie Fitzgerald at the 11 th Annual Coaching and Mentoring Research Conference, Oxford Brookes University. 15 January 2015
Why this topic? Male self-confidence not well understood – almost a taboo ‘Men who lack confidence? Don’t you despise them?’ Not clear what self-confidence ‘is’. How can coaching improve confidence?
References to search terms on Google Indicate familiarity with terminology (Shamma et al, 2004; Kelly & Cool, 2002) Self-confidence = 129m results Self-esteem = 53m results Self-efficacy = 9.5m results (search carried out 27/5/14)
Literature review No clear definition/understanding of self-confidence – Lies at the interface of abilities and personality (Stankov & Crawford, 1997) Little found on male self-confidence specifically (except arrogance) Men & women have similar levels of self-esteem (Reitzes & Mutran, 1994) Degree of Gender Role Conflict (O’Neill, 2013) affects confidence Confident men feel competent (Reitzes & Mutran, 1994) Not clear whether & how coaching helps self-confidence issues
Research method Intepretivist paradigm + pre theory status of question = IPA study 6 outwardly successful men aged 40-65 All had been coached and/or mentored Semi-structured interviews Data transcribed and analysed following Smith, Flowers & Larkin (2009) process
Superordinate themes 3 emerged: 1.The uniqueness of the RP’s attitudes towards and experiences of self- confidence 2.Control as a factor in increasing self- confidence 3.The need for someone to talk to
1. The uniqueness of self-confidence What self-confidence means to the RP’sRP1RP2RP3RP4RP5RP6 Trust in my own ability, competenceXXXXXX It depends on context/the situation XXXXX Accepting myself, being comfortable in own skin, being congruent X XXX Financial security XX X An act, what I project XX X Being well-prepared, having practiced X X Something you can work on and change X X
2. Aspects of self-confidence Having: resources, skills, experience, power, autonomy, security, someone to talk to Doing: Education, training, research, planning, practice Being: congruence, authenticity Clear distinction between work and social or quasi-social situations: linked to control? Arrogance a means of taking control?
Effects of low confidence Reported effects strikingly similar: sleeplessness, physical discomfort, changes to posture, illness: RP3: So, it’s that…it’s just, it’s unsettling. So, you wake up in the middle of the night, you don’t get back to sleep. So, you go and chop a tree down at five in the morning, except the chainsaw will wake everybody up, so you can’t do that either. You just end up pacing round the house. Coping strategies: distraction, physical activity, withdrawal
3. Someone to talk to All considered this important – Can’t talk to their wives, keep them out of things Slightly motivational, more of a sounding board: RP4: I would say overall its nearly always been positive because its helped me deal with, for want of a better word, nagging doubts about things, and not in a massively life changing way, but in a positive reinforcing way, in a ‘there is nothing wrong with you thinking that’ kind of thing and occasionally a little bit of a gee up about ‘yeah, I do need to be…’
What the RP’s wanted from their coach Listen, support, teach & guide Get them through ‘stuff’ Affirm, confirm thinking and decisions Validation more than motivation Most valued a mentor rather than a coach However the coaching experience was transformational for some
Implications for coaching practice 1: Idiosyncrasy of self-confidence re-emphasised the importance of initial contracting. RP5 ‘That makes me think. One of my clients, a senior guy in banking, he wanted coaching on some self-confidence stuff and I never thought to find out what he meant because I thought I knew what he meant. We are going to be having a very different conversation in a few weeks.’ Does the client want coaching or mentoring?
Implications for coaching practice 2: Coach must find out what self-confidence means to that client & what combination of factors influences their confidence Set aside value judgements - remain client centred Focus on context and situation – Can coaching help given the context?
Implications for coaching practice 3: Frequent temperature-checking needed – Situation may change – Client may not raise confidence themselves Confidence warning signs: – Sleeplessness, illness, slouching – Withdrawal, reticence, avoidance of issues, arrogance (Berglas, 2006) – Focus on/concerns about decision-making
Implications for coaching practice 4: Suitable approaches Client-centred to address the highly individual nature of male self-confidence Skills and performance for those with strong ‘doing’ bias or in task/performance contexts Strengths-based – Known to improve confidence & self-esteem (Hodges & Clinton, 2004; Linley & Harrington, 2008) – Addresses fear of showing weakness (Brown, 2012)
Further research Do gender role expectations matter more for younger, less affluent men? What differences are there between how men and women recognise & deal with self- confidence Is there a developmental aspect to confidence?
References Berglas, S. (2006) ‘How to keep A players productive’, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 84, Issue 9, pp. 104-112. Brown, B. (2012) Daring Greatly How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. London: Penguin Books. Kindle edition. Hodges, T.D., Clinton, D.O. (In press) Strengths Based Development in Practice In: Linley, P.A., & Joseph, S. (eds.) International Handbook of Positive Psychology in Practice: From Research to Application. New Jersey: Wiley and Sons. Available from: http://strengths.uark.edu/development-in-practice.pdf [Accessed 25 September 2014]. Kelly, D., Cool, C. (2002) ‘The effects of topic familiarity on information search behavior’ In: Proceedings of the 2nd ACM/IEEE-CS joint conference on Digital libraries. New York:ACM. Available from http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=544232 [Accessed June 9 2014]. Linley, P.A., Harrington, S. (2006) ‘Strengths Coaching: A potential-guided approach to coaching psychology’. International Coaching Psychology Review Vol. 1 No. 1, 37:46 O’Neil, J.M. (2013) ‘Gender role conflict research 30 years later: an evidence-based diagnostic schema to assess boys and men in counseling’, Journal of Counseling and Development, Vol. 91, pp. 490-498. Reitzes, D.C., Mutran, E.J. (1994) ‘Multiple roles and identities: factors influencing self-esteem among middle-aged working men and women’, Social Psychology Quarterly, Vol. 57, No.4, pp. 313-325. Shamma, D.A, Owsley,S., Bradshaw, S., Sood, S., Budzik, J., Hammond, K. (2004) Using the Web as a Measure of Familiarity and Obscurity. Available from: www.researchgate.net [Accessed June 9, 2014]. Smith, J.A., Flowers, P., Larkin, M. (2009) Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis Theory, Method and Research. London: Sage. Stankov, L., Crawford, J. (1997) ‘Self-confidence and performance on tests of cognitive abilities.’ Intelligence Vol. 25, Issue 2, pp. 93-109.