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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: Professor Passmore wins the 2012 SGCP Research Award

Jonathan Passmore has won an accolade for his ground-breaking research into the psychology of coaching within driver learning. Professor Passmore won the 2012 British Psychological Society’s Special Group in Coaching Psychology (SGCP) Research Award for a distinguished research project. The award was given for his research into the psychology of coaching as a learning methodology […]

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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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Take cover

Is your practice covered by insurance? Chances are, you may never have felt the need. But as the industry becomes more established, legal cases may well arise. Varya Shaw examines the types of cover already available. What would you do if your client was unhappy with your advice and refused to pay? Or if a […]

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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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The health coaching toolkit, part 5

Part 5: health coaching expert Professor Stephen Palmer, and Professor Cary Cooper and Kate Thomas, examine multimodal health coaching

Multimodal health coaching can be used for a wide range of health-related issues, such as undertaking and maintaining exercise programmes, weight management, stop smoking, managing stress, enhancing resilience and alcohol reduction.
It is also a useful approach to assist clients who relapse, which often occurs when they become stressed. For example, many of us will use comfort eating or drinking to help us cope with work overload, and this can increase our calorific intake, yet we are too busy to counter this by taking more exercise.
This is not very useful if you want to maintain your existing body weight, especially as our choice of comfort food, when stressed, can be of a high calorific value.
Others, when stressed, will either start smoking again or smoke more if they have not already stopped. Not surprisingly, this can have a negative impact on their health coaching programme. In these cases, it may be preferable to have a more comprehensive understanding of the different issues that may be having an impact on the client. The multimodal approach, originally developed by Arnold Lazarus, literally takes us back to basics, where the coach assesses the different factors involved.

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Play your part

In a previous issue of Coaching at Work, Tatiana Bachkirova argued that supervision should be our professional conscience in practice and be non-mandatory. Experienced coach supervisor Nicola Haskins disagrees Not enough coaches are coming into supervision – and it’s something the industry is, rightly, concerned about. The recent explosive growth in supervisor training programmes and […]

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Reviews

Book One Title: Coaching and Mentoring: A Critical Text Author: Simon Western Publisher: SAGE Publications ISBN 978 1848 60164 2 Usefulness ***** This is a rich tapestry of a book – comparable in complexity to Erik de Haan’s Relational Coaching. Whereas de Haan majors on systematic research, Western’s strength is in the depth of his […]

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