|Coaching the narcissist: how difficult can it be?
This study will investigate how coaching psychologists have managed the coaching process when dealing with narcissistic personalities. It explores some of the problems that coaching psychologists might encounter in working with narcissists and how they have addressed these in order to facilitate effective psychological coaching. It will also address the paradox that while often attracted to coaching, narcissists can present difficulties in that they do not see much area for improvement. The primary objective is to explore the psychological coaching process from the coach’s standpoint. The narcissist profiles include traits such as charm, confidence, a strong sense of self-belief. Narcissistic personalities are often highly confident, charming, exploitative and with an overbearing sense of entitlement (DSM-IV, 1994). Such strengths, however, can often combine with a lack of empathy for others, a failure to recognise their shortcomings and an inability to reflect on their mistakes
This study considers two different data collection methods to assess for narcissistic personality profiles; 3600 feedback and psychometric test scales. The hypothesis is that individuals with narcissistic personalities profiles (indicated by 3600 feedback ratings) and high scores (>90th percentile) on the Narcissistic cluster (Moving Against profile) of the Hogan Development Survey (HDS) will be most resistant to coaching, particularly towards those aspects which challenge the person’s self view.
Interviews with coaching psychologists will also be conducted to explore the psychological coaching process from the coach’s perspective, and determine what difficulties, if any, they found in coaching Narcissistic personality types and how they address these.
|The Coaching Psychologist
|5 (1), pp. 22-25
|British Psychological Society
|Web address (URL)
|BPS SGCP 1st European Conference on Coaching Psychology