The Coaching Chronicles Hello, I am Roach the Coach and I am your guide through the Coaching Chronicles. There are 4,500 species of us cockroaches so we are well placed, across the globe, and across time, to tell you about coaching… It is believed that Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orléans, was born in Domrémy in north east France in around 1412. Her parents, Jacques D’Arc and Isabelle, were tenant farmers and owned about 50 acres of land. Joan came to be known as the heroine of France and is also a Roman Catholic Saint. Joan’s story is not […]

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In the latest in our series of columns looking at coaching and mentoring-related research, Lis Merrick explores whether the gender of our clients is relevant in the coaching dialogue – and whether we should we coach to it Social science research, popular myths, fairy tales, films and any number of psychological studies suggest men and women develop and behave differently. Putting media gender stereotypes to one side, there do seem to be core differences between men and women. Beginning with the ground-breaking work of psychologist Carol Gilligan1, research suggests that in childhood and adolescence, men and women learn differently and […]

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Lis Merrick In the latest in a series of columns dedicated to mentoring, we look at intellectual capital. This issue: how mentoring can spearhead knowledge management in your organisation Strategic mentoring can harness the power of your staff’s tacit knowledge and enhance productivity The knowledge and skills of a workforce (its intellectual capital) are an organisation’s most valuable asset. Knowledge can be explicit or implicit (possessed by highly skilled individuals or ‘master’ performers, who may or may not be able to articulate what is behind their expertise). However, there is a third kind of knowledge that cannot be articulated – […]

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The Coach’s Casebook: Mastering the Twelve Traits That Trap Us

Title The Coach’s Casebook: Mastering the Twelve Traits That Trap Us Authors Geoff Watts and Kim Morgan Publisher Inspect & Adapt Ltd ISBN978 09575 8744 1 Usefulness  5 stars The moment I opened The Coach’s Casebook I was impressed. And with recommendations from Nancy Kline and a foreword by Julie Starr, I wasn’t alone. This refreshing book is organised around the 12 traits that can trap us: Imposter Syndrome, People Pleasing, Going To Excess, Fierce Independence, Cynicism, Driven By Fear, Ostrich Syndrome, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Performance Anxiety, Searching For Fulfilment and Dealing With Loss. Here, captured in one place, was almost […]

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The Fertile Void: Gestalt Coaching at Work

Title The Fertile Void: Gestalt Coaching at Work Author John Leary-Joyce Publisher AoEC Press ISBN 978 09930 7720 3 Usefulness 5 stars To suggest there might be a ‘bible’ for Gestalt Coaching is a bit of a paradox. However,  John Leary-Joyce covers the topic with such depth of understanding that any coach would be hard-pressed to find a more inspirational guide, not only to coaching, but also to living an authentic life. His definitions and explanations make it easy and pleasurable to access the richness of Gestalt philosophy, and he brings a light, yet profound touch to theoretical input, putting it […]

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In the last issue we focused on how coaching can contribute to employment relationships ‘ending well’. In part 2 we now concentrate on coaching relationships and the 4Ps for ending well: Purpose, Process, People and Prevailing forces Reflecting on past coaching relationships, do you wonder why they have ended in a particular way? Why some clients remain vividly in your memory for years, while others are quickly forgotten? Why some relationships end positively with a ‘thank you and goodbye’ or a genuine wish to stay connected, while others just fade away with a disingenuous ‘let’s keep in touch’ or a […]

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When Carlisle City Council built a new internal culture, other public sector organisations became interested, too. With the help of Barefoot Coaching, the Cumbria Coach Academy was born. Darren Crossley reports Senior managers at Carlisle City Council have been working with a dedicated team of staff from across all our services to consult with all employees and determine the best way forward for establishing and embedding a new set of principles for the Council. The outcome of this work has been a focus on three new Cs: Clarity – of purpose and of what customers want Commitment – to delivering […]

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In the final part of our special report into coaching in education, we look at the evidence for coaching in education and suggest next steps. Margaret Barr reports Fourteen-year-old Mary (not her real name)had a chaotic home life and found it difficult to converse or make eye contact.  Today, at our school fair, she was selling strawberry plants she had grown in the school garden. A visitor was asking about care instructions for the plants. I held my breath. With a big smile, Mary advised confidently: “Just stick them in the ground and water them!” Phew. We had turned a […]

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In part one of our special report into coaching in education, Christian van Nieuwerburgh, John Campbell and Jim Knight present a revised framework for coaching in schools, embracing best practice from around the world

The past decade has seen a welcome growth in interest in the use of coaching in educational settings in the UK, US and Australia. Schools have been experimenting with various coaching interventions and approaches and there are indications that these can have a positive effect on student and teacher wellbeing, the emotional intelligence of students, effective teaching practice and examination performance.

Towards a global framework

As a way of capitalising on current interest and in order to build on existing good practice, we are proposing the concept of ‘coaching portals’ to provide a global framework for educators interested in adopting coaching approaches, interventions and cultures. In our work (primarily in the UK, US and Australia), we have found that the introduction of this concept is a helpful means of explaining the different ways in which coaching can support schools to create the best possible learning environments for their students.

School leaders have reported that this framework has allowed them to see how coaching can have an impact in a range of conversational contexts.

Ultimately, we believe that a strategic approach to the use of coaching and positive psychology in schools can contribute to better learning outcomes for students as well as enhanced wellbeing for students and school staff.

In the following, we bring together our thinking and experiences about the various ways in which coaching is having a positive impact in educational settings.

What we propose here is a practitioners’ framework for coaching in education. It is meant to support educators, school leaders and researchers and is a ‘work in progress’.

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When I’m outdoors, I’m at my best – and clients benefit as a result. From a young age, I have spent as much time as possible outdoors (walking, cycling, riding), enjoying how alive and happy it makes me feel. Clients pick up on this.

There is a growing body of research (see further information) highlighting the benefits of nature on our wellbeing, confirming what we have always known. One growing area of research is ecopsychology. Professor Stephen Palmer, at the Institute of Work Based Learning, Middlesex University says:

“Ecopsychology research can directly inform evidence-based coaching practice, especially if the coaching goals include improving physical and psychological wellbeing, as this gives permission to the coach to provide relevant information. For example, just a five-minute walk with nature can enhance self-esteem. Therefore having your lunch sitting on a park bench is preferable to eating your sandwich in the office in front of a computer screen looking at an Excel sheet!”

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