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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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The Skeptic: Innovation or scam?

The skeptic is a new column by David Clutterbuck, which looks at the “legitimacy” of non-mainstream coaching approaches. This issue we take the example of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), and ask, must evidence-based coaching approaches always be our measure of efficacy? I recently initiated a furious debate on the web about a coaching technique called EFT, by asking whether there was any evidence to support its remarkable claims. The furore – from both detractors and supporters, with ‘let’s keep an open mind’ in the middle – made me reflect on what is and isn’t ‘legitimate’ in the world of 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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Burditt Lectures: ‘inspired, moved, educated’

The second year of the Burditt Lectures saw entrants raise the bar even higher. Liz Hall reviews the top two winning entries at the awards ceremony in London This year’s Burditt Lectures Alumni Awards saw winner Brigid Russell’s essay turned into a book, while runner-up David Ramsey’s, which featured a speaking wardrobe, was enacted by professional actors for the benefit of delegates. It was the second year of the awards, held at the end of the Academy of Executive Coaching (AoEC)’s annual conference on 9 November 2012, and the quality of contributions was even higher, according to Peter Burditt, who […]

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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 publications on coaching supervision, will certainly increase the pool of supervisors and heighten general awareness of it. But I don’t believe this will be enough to get coaches into supervision. What is needed is a three-pronged strategy to: demonstrate the benefits of coaching supervision mandate […]

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Who is setting the goalposts?

How do psychologists view goals in coaching? David Megginson, emeritus professor of HRD, Coaching & Mentoring Research Unit, Sheffield Hallam University, finds some unlikely alliances of opinion I’m co-writing a book on goals in coaching, and we have some great contributors from psychology and development offering their own views. What do psychologists who are authors of coaching books say about goals in coaching? This is what I discovered. Organisation agenda Peltier and Lee were two of the earliest coaching psychology books I read. Both drew attention to unconscious processes and opened my eyes to the possibilities of their influencing coaching […]

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Keep your distance

Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn? Social media platforms are such an integral part of modern lives that clients are crying out for a more flexible approach to coaching. Kate Anthony describes the benefits of online coaching. The use of technology to deliver therapeutic services has increased substantially over the past 15 years, yet coaching at a distance has had a surprisingly small uptake. Jennifer Baker of TheCoachOnline says: “The coach’s main concern is about losing the personal one-to-one interaction. Some coaches are not seeing the opportunity of how to use the Internet as a tool to enhance their business.” The rise […]

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The stress professor

World-renowned counselling and coaching psychologist, founder of the Centre for Stress Management, Centre for Coaching and the Coaching Psychology Unit, Professor Stephen Palmer’s boundless energy has helped add many strings to his bow – just don’t put him in a box, he tells Liz Hall

As we talk, Stephen Palmer watches tanker ships on the horizon, waves crashing against the walls on the beach below his house in Cornwall. Other times he might see dolphins. But “always there’s the sound of the sea, which I love”.

Palmer is well-known globally for contributions to coaching psychology, stress management and Cognitive Behavioural Coaching (CBC). He’s known for his involvement in many projects and professional bodies, and for his high energy levels. The artistic, reflective and nature-loving side is less well-known.

Palmer does have fingers in many pies. Even in Cornwall, where he comes to reflect and to write, he is very productive. He has written and edited more than 40 books and more than 225 articles. He also produces seascape-inspired semi-abstract paintings and often explores the coastline.

Mind and body
Biology is one of many recurring and long-standing interests in Palmer’s life and work. Psychology is another. He’s been interested in human behaviour since childhood.

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Greater awareness of emotional styles can improve resilience

By Ros Soulsby More than any other factor, resilience determines who succeeds or fails, said Dean Becker at the ICF conference. Becker, managing director and co-founder of Adaptiv Learning Systems, drew on 30 thirty years of research in his session on resilience and connection. Adaptiv’s Resilience Factor Inventory (RFI) measures seven factors (emotional regulation, impulse control, causal analysis, self-efficacy, realistic optimism, reaching out and connection) and seven skills (discovering emotional radar, avoiding thinking traps, navigating problem icebergs, getting flexible around the style, harnessing positive emotions, tapping into positive icebergs and creating connection). The core of the work is credited to […]

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