Association for Coaching evaluation tool ‘will help raise standards’

The Association for Coaching (AC)’s new coach evaluation and feedback tool has been met with a mixed response, but the AC believes it will help raise coaching standards and promote its coaches. The tool, CoachBack, is the brainchild of Gladeana McMahon, chair of the AC UK, and has been developed by Diana Hogbin-Mills. It includes a client survey and is designed so individual coaches and organisations using coaches will be able to track performance. Hogbin-Mills said: “Coaches had a bit of a wobble so we do have to manage that conversation.” However, she said the AC hopes the tool will […]

Congress in brief

Spotting strengths The essential characteristics of an effective ‘strengthspotter’ have been identified for the first time. According to a study of 528 people by strengths expert Professor Alex Linley, they are: making connections between people and instinctively making links and introductions; creating conditions for people to grow and develop and providing fair and accurate feedback. Professor Linley’s paper, “The strengths of the strengthspotter: individual characteristics associated with the identification of strengths in others”, is due to be published this month (March) in International Coaching Psychology Review. Steppe change Russian CEOs need coaching to enlarge emotional competency, strengthen strategic thinking and […]

Narratives begin in childhood

Many problems at work stem from people’s inability to soothe themselves, said David Drake of the Center for Narrative Coaching in Sydney, Australia. “Many of the behaviours we get called in to coach on are points of immaturity that stem from compensatory behaviours from childhood,” said Drake, speaking on attachment theory at the 1st International Congress of Coaching Psychology. “People’s narrative schema [working models] are developed from a time before words, and coaching is done with words. Why clients’ stories are so important to me is that they help them hold a mirror into their schema without judgement. We’re trying […]

Australia’s coaching guidelines spark fears of ‘barbarians at the gate’

The publishing of draft guidelines for coaching in Australia created angst, controversy and a fear of being hijacked in some quarters, but the move presents an opportunity for coaching psychologists to lead the way, said Peter Zarris. “[The move] has created enormous controversy and raised fears and incredible sensitivity. The organisational psychologists are ready to charge at us [coaching psychologists] with arms, the Australian Psychological Society [APS] colleges of organisation and counselling see this as their domain as well,” said Zarris, convenor for the APS’s Interest Group in Coaching Psychology (2007-10). “Others are saying their skills are being diluted while […]

Coaches must equip clients for the Big Society

Most people don’t play to their strengths at work because they don’t know what they are or because of their work culture. Instead, people tend to become proficient at what they are rewarded for, said Professor Alex Linley. “The single biggest reason why people don’t do what they like is work culture and what we get rewarded for doing. The second reason is that people don’t know.” Linley identified three pillars of responsibility for people: personal responsibility – realising our own strengths; collective responsibility – creating the conditions to realise strengths in others; and social responsibility – harnessing strengths for […]

Soft sell

Neal Young In these hard, recession-hit times, we must maintain a soft approach to our coaching A recession represents perhaps the most stringent of acid tests for any company, challenging not only its durability, but the values, ethics and training housed within it. During a financial crisis, there is often a need to consolidate, retrench and cut resources, including employees. This leads to a dichotomous situation between the management wielding the knife and the workforce suffering the cuts. Such clinical evaluations of the worth of each individual, product and service focus our attention on the hard, objective skills of leadership. […]

Tuned In

Working through the body, we can explore and change how we connect and build trust with others. We can expand our capacity to make meaningful action. It is the essence of somatic coaching, says Eunice Aquilina “To work somatically with someone is to work with the unity of the human organism. To do this we first observe how life takes shape in the individual, and how the individual organises him/herself towards life. We then intervene with listening, speaking, breathing, touch and movement practices” Richard Strozzi-Heckler If coaching is a learning conversation, somatic coaching offers an approach to learning that enables […]

TroubleShooter – back seat driver

A hotel receptionist, promoted to management, is finding it hard to lead his team when he has no training or experience. A potentially great leader lies within – can coaching release him? A year ago, Johan was promoted from receptionist to reception manager at a small boutique hotel. He has recently taken part in a 360-degree appraisal with five of his colleagues and five of his direct reports. The results show that his lack of management experience is having an impact on the way he leads his team. With no training or managerial skills, Johan has struggled to position himself […]

Toolbox – take the weight off

As coaches and training teams continue to support organisations pulling out of recession, Coaching at Work road-tests the resilience workbook 1 The tool What is it? The resilience workbook is a paper-based resource developed by Hay Group and Adaptiv Learning Systems. Used alongside Adaptiv’s online resilience factor inventory® (RFI), the workbook helps individuals understand resilience and takes them through their scores across seven resilience factors, showing how each one can be developed. The resilience workbook draws on the work of Andrew Shatté and Dean Becker, founders of Adaptiv Learning Systems. Shatte, along with other psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania, […]

The Coaching Chronicles

THE TROGLODYTE Hello, I am Roach the Coach and I will be your guide through the Coaching Chronicles. We’ve been around for more than 300 million years, but as you lot weren’t even Homo sapiens then, we’ll start the story a bit further on… At the time of cave men and women – Captain Caveman, Fred Flintstone, Raquel Welch in ‘that’ bikini… But these poor people had it bad. Theirs was a life of foraging for food, dodging dinosaurs (well, not really as they never co-existed, but let’s not ruin a good story with facts) and living in caves. So, […]