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Body Talk

A recent survey found that nearly three-quarters of you are members of a professional coaching organisation. But for those of you who aren’t, confusion still reigns. Liz Hall brings clarity with an in-depth look at what’s on offer.

Professional bodies aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but as coaching buyers begin to ask more questions about accreditation, standards and ethics, more coaches are signing up. And they are discovering the real benefits to be had.

A recent cartoon by our resident humorist Kipper struck a nerve with many of you, highlighting the confusion that still reigns over who does what. How do you decide what body to join? Which are relevant to you? What do they offer?

Some 74 per cent of respondents to Meyler Campbell’s survey of coaches (see news, page 12) are members of a professional coaching body, up on last year’s 65 per cent. There was no clear leader last year either, but in 2009 the Association for Coaching (AC) pulled ahead by a long shot (59 per cent), followed by the International Coach Federation (ICF; 29 per cent), as shown in Table 1.

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News: Lack of preparation stalls cross-cultural mentoring

Many multinational mentoring programmes are at risk because employers fail to think strategically, adapt their approach to local cultures, or offer participants adequate cross-cultural training beforehand.
These were the key messages emerging from contributions to the multinational mentoring stream in the European Mentoring & Coaching Council’s (EMCC) first ever mentoring e-conference on 16-18 January.
David Clutterbuck, co-founder of the EMCC, said many organisations fail to change. “One of the mistakes I have seen commonly is for the headquarters of a multinational to assume that what works [fits] culturally in the home country is the right way to do it everywhere else. This cultural imperialism often leads to conflict and the abandonment of very effective local programmes.”

Adina Tarry, director of Rich Answers International, who has lived and worked in seven countries, and works with multinationals, said she has never seen a cross-cultural competence development programme precede mentoring, for example. She said businesses have a limited understanding of what cross-cultural experience, awareness, competency and sensitisation are, and do not appreciate that specific preparation is needed.

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News: Government portal helps SMEs find mentors

A UK government initiative has reached its target – by adding 15,000 more small business mentors to its books. Mentorsme.co.uk, a national mentoring portal owned and operated by the British Bankers’ Association, already had 12,000 mentors from the small business community. Over the past 16 months, it has trained a further 15,000 volunteers, to help SMEs start, grow and create jobs. The mentors have been recruited and trained as part of the £1.9m government-funded Get Mentoring project, delivered by the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI). Business minister, Michael Fallon said:
“Small businesses are vital to our economy and we are […]

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News: Mindjet report: demoralised employees lack the willpower to succeed

Employers are struggling to motivate employees because of a lack of resources, recognition and direction from senior colleagues, suggests research. Inefficient communication is also a factor in holding people back, suggests the report from software company Mindjet. More than half of British office workers care about their employer succeeding in 2013, but only 49 per cent take their own role in this success seriously. And although a third (33 per cent) think they need to change their everyday working practices to be more successful, 24 per cent say they “haven’t got round to it” and 19 per cent feel too […]

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News: ‘Sloppy work’ is biggest timewaster

Half of UK employees feel their employer doesn’t help them develop good team working skills, suggests a survey of 2,000 people by training consultancy Cedar. Employees understand their own work contributes to team targets, but one-fifth have never attended a meeting in which team performance was discussed. Four in ten have a manager “who does not assist in resolving conflicts”. This, along with difficult interpersonal relationships within teams, is taking its toll on the team’s overall performance. A third of respondents dread coming into work because of a bad team environment, while a further third believe a tense atmosphere is […]

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News:Executive coaching spreads its net wide

US-based Sherpa’s latest annual survey reveals the value and credibility of coaching is at an all-time high, spreading across the globe and creating corporate cultures

This is the year that high-definition video made its mark on coaching, while the number of practitioners using face-to-face coaching fell for the first time in eight years, according to a global survey.
Webcam, a technology that was hardly mentioned even five years ago, is now an important component of service delivery, with 15 per cent of practitioners using it to coach, according to Sherpa’s eighth annual survey – Executive Coaching at the Summit (www.sherpacoaching.com).
The use of video-conferencing is also rising dramatically. External coaches use it more often than internals, by a 22 per cent to 20 per cent margin. And as live, high-quality video starts to become widely available, it will overtake other delivery methods, predicts the report.
Some 92 per cent of internal coaches see face-to-face coaching as the most effective method of delivery, compared to 76 per cent of externals.
The report has thrown up other differences between how external and internal coaches operate, too. Internal coaches meet their clients more often and have more face-to-face meetings – more than half of internals’ coaching is in person, compared to just 40 per cent of externals’ services, the survey notes.
Internal coaches are twice as likely to have weekly meetings, and strongly favour shorter engagements (90 days or less.) Some 27 per cent of externals believe a coaching engagement should last six months or longer, while only 7 per cent of internal coaches opt for engagements that long.

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Opinion: Ethical frameworks

Ethical frameworks – if only life were that simple by Bob Garvey Many coaching bodies create sets of rules around confidentiality. But if ethics are socially defined, and contextually relevant, how can they be right or wrong? Many professional bodies claim their ethical frameworks reassure potential clients or sponsors, and ensure quality control, standards, accountability and protection. These are bold claims. Given the complex arguments surrounding ethical behaviour, is it possible to deliver on these promises? Are ethical frameworks ethical? Ethics is a moral philosophy in which complex issues of good and evil, right and wrong, justice and injustice, are […]

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Three minutes to midnight: making the world a better place

Want to change the world? We’re listening… This is the fourth in a new series of columns on our role in tackling the complicated economic, environmental and social challenges we face. It will be a place to question, offer, share, explore, challenge, dissent, celebrate, reflect, learn and enjoy Why don’t they just ‘get it’?!” Have you ever felt this frustration? Have your clients? Cassandra, a figure in Greek mythology, was blessed with the power of prophecy, but cursed not to be believed. It’s a heavy burden. Matthew Taylor, CEO of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts (RSA), spoke […]

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Profile: Professor Paul Brown

The limbic leader

Neuroscience expert Professor Paul Brown speaks his mind, and it’s our minds he’s passionate about. He tells Liz Hall why the neurobiology of behaviour is the future of coaching

With Paul Brown’s penchant for challenging the status quo, it seems fitting that we meet in London’s Reform Club, birthplace of many of the ideas, ideals and political activity expressed in the UK’s Great Reform Act of 1832.

Members of the former gentlemen’s club have included Winston Churchill, E M Forster, Henry James and H G Wells. Admission is not based on background, but character, talent and achievement – and Professor Brown has all three in abundance.

If anyone can convince me it’s coaching, rather than any other profession, that should carry the baton of neuroscience in the occupational arena, it’s Brown. Not only is he eloquent, charming and irreverent, he has an enormous wealth of expertise and knowledge at his fingertips.

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Rising Tsars

Coaching in Russia is at a much younger stage of development than in the UK. It lacks focus and regulation, and is poorly understood. Yet, coaching is beginning to find its place in the Russian business psyche, reports Lena Smirnova Business coaching classes may not require students to swallow pills, don ear muffs and wriggle into straightjackets, but for some Russian business people it’s a novel practice akin to a psychological experiment. And it’s one they’re often reluctant to take part in. In the 15 years or so that business coaching has been available in Russia, established psychotherapists and psychologists […]

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