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RESEARCH MATTERS: THE ELOQUENCE OF SILENCE

Which kind of silence is your client manifesting? Elaine Cox discusses the multi-dimensional nature of silence and calls for more coaching research in this area   Frequently in our society, silence is seen as the absence or opposite of talk and as something negative. However, something is lost when we judge everything in relation to speech. In coaching, for example, silence has importance: it has an amplitude that we, as coaches, instinctively understand. Coaches do not discount the value of silence, for as Kimsey-House et al (2018) point out, although there is the temptation to “fill the momentary silence as […]

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RESEARCH MATTERS: A MAP FOR MENTORING

Is mentoring a remedy for all? Judie Gannon and Rhianon Washington report on the initial results of their research into formal mentoring schemes   A previous Research Matters article in this magazine (The Forgotten Custodians, Vol 2, issue 3, 2017) we identified and lamented the absence of research on the role of mentoring scheme and coaching programme coordinators and managers, despite the growth in formal programmes of these developmental relationships. In relation to organised formal mentoring specifically, several studies have suggested formal mentoring relationships are less efficacious than informal mentoring (Inzer & Crawford, 2005; Desimone et al, 2014; Menges, 2016). […]

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RESEARCH MATTERS: KEEPING ETHICS TO THE FORE

Christiana Iordanou and Ioanna Iordanou reflect on the ethical issues in team coaching and offer some practical guidelines on how to deal with them   Unlike in other helping professions, such as medicine and psychology, coaching continues to be practised without any formal regulatory safeguards. Complying with any code of ethics is up to the individual coach’s discretion, while ethical standards of professional practice are primarily self-imposed (Iordanou, Hawley & Iordanou, 2017). The consequence of the seemingly lax attitude of the coaching industry towards formal regulatory processes that could safeguard the profession from dangerous, unethical practices, is that coaches are […]

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RESEARCH MATTERS: USING COACHING FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION

How could coaching help executives handle workplace conflict? Sarah Hughes and Claudia Filsinger-Mohun discuss relevant literature and the findings of Sarah’s recent action research study   Workplace conflict is common and can have substantial negative effects, both for individuals and organisations (Dijkstra et al, 2012). High levels of relationship conflict are associated with lower morale, lower productivity and higher staff turnover, all of which have an impact on organisational profitability. Jehn (1997) identified three categories of conflict: Task conflict (what should be done) Process conflict (how to do it) Relationship conflict (personality clash)   Some argue that a moderate level of task […]

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RESEARCH MATTERS: EMPLOYEE RESILIENCE – THE VALUE OF COACHING

It’s official: coaching can enhance resilience, which in turn is linked to greater wellbeing. Carmelina Lawton Smith explores the research   As we approach what may become one of the most turbulent periods for UK organisations, many are looking to build the emotional resilience of their workforce. Resilience has been a hot topic over recent years partly because higher resilience is often linked to greater levels of wellbeing. Personal resilience has been described as the capacity to maintain or recover high levels of wellbeing in the face of life adversity. Much advice and information has been offered from organisations such […]

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RESEARCH MATTERS: COACHING TENSION: DIVISIVE PROCESS OR A POWERFUL LENS?

The coaching process is full of paradoxes that have a tendency to act as a divide between camps. But what if we harness the energy of the paradox to better understand tension? Sue Fontannaz and Elaine Cox identify seven team coaching paradoxes   Coaching is a complex, multi-faceted process which, although widely used, is often perceived with scepticism. This could be due to the seeming tensions or paradoxes in the process of coaching, including, for example, the developmental/performance tension, the individual/team focus and the support/challenge dilemma. Barnson (2014) claims a theory of coaching paradoxes might offer a unifying framework for […]

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RESEARCH MATTERS – UNDERSTANDING INTUITION PART 2: IN THE MOMENT

In Part 1, Peter Jackson explored affective and somatic aspects of intuition and potential origins of ‘felt’ knowledge. He asked whether practitioners used intuition based on some specific area of knowledge, and how coaches actually used intuition in their practice. Part 2: Carmel O’Connell explores these questions in more detail in her field work   We’re all aware as practitioners that we bring something human to the coaching relationship. That whatever our style of practice it’s more than a logical sequence of steps: it’s a collaborative dance of ideas, energy, feelings, images. As a coach, I’m aware that intuition plays […]

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RESEARCH MATTERS – UNDERSTANDING INTUITION PART 1: A COLLABORATIVE DANCE

Artful coaching is an intuitive dance. But what is intuition and where does it come from? What do we need to be aware of? In the first of a two-part series, Dr Peter Jackson and Carmel O’Connell explain the background to an empirical study into coaches’ use of intuition in executive coaching. We’re all aware as practitioners that we bring something human to the coaching relationship. That, whatever our style of practice, it’s more than a logical sequence of steps – it’s a collaborative dance of ideas, energy, feelings, images. We’re aware that every client and every one of their […]

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RESEARCH MATTERS: UNDERSTANDING AUTHENTICITY FOR COACHES AND THEIR CLIENTS

How can coaching assist women towards authenticity? Sally A Jackson and Judie Gannon report In 1929, Virginia Woolf said, “It is obvious that the values of women differ very often from the values which have been made by the other sex; naturally, this is so. Yet it is the masculine values that prevail” (p74). Citing this, Gilligan (1993) adds that “as a result, women come to question the normality of their feelings and to alter their judgements in deference to the opinion of others” (p16). Thus, for almost a century it has been acknowledged that women’s capacity to be themselves […]

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RESEARCH MATTERS – SAFE SPACE: CREATING A SENSE OF SAFETY FOR THE CLIENT

Giedre Lesmaityte and Adrian Myers discuss ‘safe space’ in coaching sessions and how it’s created Have you ever experienced a coaching session, where, despite the impressive credentials and experience of the coach, you were reluctant to talk openly about your concerns? We explored this using ‘Conceptual Encounter’ (De Rivera, 1981) methodology with six coaching clients. This enabled an indepth exploration of the experience of research participants through dialogue and emerging from the initial understanding of the researcher (first author). The term ‘safe space’ is commonly used among coaching practitioners but is sparsely discussed in the coaching literature. The concept dates […]

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