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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: Ernst & Young builds relations

Mentoring in the community makes employees better at serving clients, and at managing people, according to an Ernst & Young community engagement champion in the US. Mentoring is a core leadership competency at Ernst & Young, said Rene Salas, Ernst & Young’s East Central assurance partner and community engagement champion. He said, “Mentoring in the community helps employees build relationships that matter – and they learn how to listen, how to coach and how to forge connections based on trust.” Salas, who directs the company region’s charitable giving and volunteerism efforts, was speaking at a networking reception for more than […]

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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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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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TroubleShooter: The path less stressed

A corporate high flier finds herself at a careers crossroads. How can this executive choose a path that maintains a positive career, while balancing work commitments with personal ones? Andrea has been employed by a leading global bank for nearly 20 years. She is considered a high flier and is a member of the company’s leadership team. The bank values its employees and has a record of longevity with its people. Andrea never planned her career; she simply accepted the promotions and opportunities. She is considered the ‘go-to girl’ for executives wanting to ‘get things done’. Andrea is now being […]

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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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Leading Ladies?

Are women still sitting waiting to be asked to dance? Mairi Eastwood reports on research on how to help organisations get more women into the executive group Now that the proportion of women non-executives is moving upwards, attention is focusing, rightly, on the pipeline of senior women in the executive group. Most chief executives we speak to now understand the issues, yet they’re still asking: “But what more do we do? We are trying most things. It’s not working.” Praesta Partners coaches 450 leaders a year, 50 per cent of whom are at board or executive level, and a further […]

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Book reviews: Coaching at Work, volume 8, issue 2

Book

Title: Neuropsychology for Coaches – Understanding the Basics
Author Paul Brown and Virginia Brown
Publisher Open University Press
ISBN 978 0335 24547 5
Usefulness ****

The authors of this book set themselves a big task: “to set out a framework within which an executive coach might systematically start to use the immense power of the knowledge that is pouring out of neuroscience research labs worldwide”.

They launch a detailed approach to tackle this. Basic neuroanatomy and neurochemistry are covered, there are some useful coaching examples, and you are signposted to some other valuable resources, too.

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Research: radical coaching vs groupthink?

Collusion to preserve corporate ideology contributed to the credit crisis. Could critical coaching prevent such thinking, asks Dr Angélique du Toit, of the Coaching and Mentoring Unit at Sheffield Hallam University The notion of ‘groupthink’ is not new – we were first introduced to the concept by Janis (1972;1982). One of the major symptoms of groupthink is collusion and the lengths to which individuals and groups will go in order to protect the ideology of the group – in its extremes, leading to fundamentalism (Sim, 2004). The pervasiveness of groupthink in the corporate world is symbolised most strikingly by the […]

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