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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 […]

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Viewpoint; Help or harm?

by Sarah Dale

Does coaching work? Should we use hard evidence or our own judgment to tell us if it’s good? Or is client feedback enough?

As an occupational psychologist who coaches, I was pleased to attend discussions about the evidence for coaching effectiveness at the Division of Occupational Psychology conference, specifically in sessions led by Professor Rob Briner. Evidence-based practice was also the theme of the Special Group in Coaching Psychology’s annual conference in December 2012.

The arguments echo a wider debate, often associated with Ben Goldacre, author of Bad Science, which challenges how we decide what works. They raise important questions about what constitutes good evidence. Ignoring these could put us in the same well-meaning boat as 17th century doctors wedded to their useless (or positively harmful) blood-letting practices. However, few of us work with cast-iron evidence for everything we do. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, parents – and psychologists – all rely on their own judgment at times. As a practitioner, the debate leaves me questioning what I should be doing. I get positive feedback from my coaching.

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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 […]

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The S factor

Spirituality has the potential to connect us all, to let us know what it means to be human, but how can we unbundle it from religious traditions? Katherine Long presents the Refraction model, and the dynamic dance at its core that could give us all a glimpse of an elusive Oneness In spite of an […]

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Toolbox: Coaching at Work road-tests DISC Personality Profiling

Is that really you?

1 The tool
What is it?
Is it possible to predict how a person will act in a particular situation? Would it be useful to know what motivates them and what their fears are? What about anticipating how they will react under stress? Can we know whether someone is suitable for a certain job?

DISC Personality Profiling answers ‘yes’ to all these questions. The assessment tool is based on the DISC personality theory developed by William Marston. A psychologist with a PhD from Harvard, as well as being the creator of the first lie detector, Marston (1893-1947) wrote Emotions of Normal People (1928), and DISC, Integrative Psychology (1931).

How does it work?

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Feedback: wake-up call for ‘old-school’ leaders

Senior leaders at ERGO Insurance Group were operating in the past as if in a “flotation tank”, where a lack of stimulation in the form of feedback induced them to “hallucinate about who they are”, delegates heard. To help raise levels of self-awareness in ERGO’s leaders, feedback has now been placed firmly at the centre […]

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Alliance: a unified voice for coaching?

News of the alliance of the International Coach Federation, the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC) and the Association for Coaching, broke at the EMCC’s annual conference in Bilbao in November. But is it a key milestone or the thin end of the wedge? Liz Hall finds out what you think… The creation of the […]

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Three minutes to midnight – to serve and protect?

Getting past the demons This is the third 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 As the world, our organisations and our communities face big, […]

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