Posts

VIEWPOINT: THE LIMITS OF COMPETENCE

Following on from other contributions on the topic of competence, Bob Garvey argues for a return to the values of humanism   Discourses are employed in order to shape social contexts. Coaching, located within a business context, is influenced by that context and the main discourse of business management is the ‘rational pragmatic’ (Garvey & […]

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OPINION: VIEWPOINT – BEAUTY OR THE BEAST?

Is your coaching all about happy endings? Probably not – and nor should it be. For most of us, the real success happens in very small increments Everyone loves a happy ending. It’s the basic assumption that we all have when reading a story or watching a film, and as writers we know that’s what […]

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BREXIT VIEWPOINT: SEPARATION ANXIETY

What ideas and themes has Brexit brought about in the behaviour of groups and individuals? Is there anything we can create out of this chaos? By Rachel Ellison Shock. On both sides. Then the drama of the unknown. Britain voted out. On 23 June 2016, 52% of the electorate voted to leave the European Union […]

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OPINION: VIEWPOINT

The value of ethics By Magdalena Mook The International Coach Federation’s Code of Ethics doesn’t tell its members what to avoid ethically. Instead, it tells them how to be as an ICF member   As more people across the world turn to coaching for personal and professional reasons, it is increasingly incumbent on this thriving […]

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VIEWPOINT: EVERY LABEL MASKS US

This issue, a male view on the gender debate: how can we move past masculine/feminine expectations in organisations? By Neil Scotton Complex issues rarely have simple, singular answers. There are many causes, forces, players and implications. It is, by definition, complicated. Our culture doesn’t like complicated. It wants simple. Digital. Good guys, bad guys. It […]

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VIEWPOINT: WHEN YOU’RE GIVEN LEMONS…

In the 1999 film The Matrix, the red pill represents truth, the blue pill illusion. Coaches should take the red pill and accept life is messy, says Dr Paul Ballman What is your coaching philosophy? I’d be amazed if there’s any reader of this publication who has never been asked that question. Whether as part […]

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VIEWPOINT: A MOMENT OF WEAKNESS

Strengths-based coaching is a growing, positive force, argues James Brook in response to a recent Harvard Business Review article slamming the approach   The recent article in Harvard Business Review, ‘Strengths-based coaching can actually weaken you’, by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, has received a lot of coverage and generated a great deal of debate surrounding the strengths-based […]

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VIEWPOINT: HELP YOUR CLIENTS GET REAL

Our clients gain power when they find optimism to temper their pessimism. But take care to ground the former and use the latter to be pragmatic By Stephen Burt One of the most powerful things that we coaches can do with our clients is to help them engage with what is real in their lives. […]

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VIEWPOINT: THE RISE OF THE MACHINES

As robotic process automation grows, people management will become even more important says Neil Bentley, chief knowledge officer, ActiveOps By Neil Bentley   No longer the preserve of science fiction, the impact of robots in the workplace has been subjected to intense debate in recent months, with a new study by the Oxford Martin School […]

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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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