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Special Group in Coaching Psychology
1st International Congress of Coaching Psychology [...]
Coaches routinely encounter the vestiges of long-held patterns of insecurity in their client’s stories and lives, particularly when they encounter stress. By tracking these patterns, coaches can look for the ways in which clients are living the same ‘story’ over and over again. In this presentation, David Drake will outline the key elements and benefits of using attachment theory to identify these patterns and help clients’ to shift them in the direction of greater mental health and more adaptive behaviour.
He will talk about (1) the centrality of interpersonal neurobiology and the relational field in coaching; (2) the roles of resonance and dissonance in helping clients shift habituated attachment patterns; (3) the importance of narrative coherence and the value of a secure attachment; (4) the need for coaches to do their own attachment work; and (5) some strategies on working with each of the four non-secure patterns in clients.
Findings in the scientific sub-discipline of cognitive neuroscience have profoundly and widely shed light on some of the fundamental theoretical and conceptual challenges in psychology. Although a complete pattern of how these findings can cogently be interpreted into coaching psychology practice is yet to be found, significant progress has been made. In this session you will be introduced to some of the most interesting theories and research findings in cognitive neuroscience and be havioural decision research. Moreover, you will be shown how these findings can be integrated into your coaching practice. Specifically, it will be presented how coaching foci related to the psychology of judgement and decision-making, such as goal-setting, willpower, self-control and self-regulation could be put to use in coaching practice.
Health, wellness and stress (management) coaching is in vogue especially since the downturn in the economy. It’s proponents claim that it is effective and cost efficient. Is this true? In fact, it may surprise some coaches and coaching psychologists to learn that in the UK some Primary Care Trusts offer free health coaching to 1000s of their patients.
This paper will briefly consider the theory, research and practice of this specialised coaching approach. How solution focused cognitive behavioural coaching may facilitate coachees in attaining their health-related goals will be discussed. An important consideration will be the return on investment (ROI). Unlike executive coaching it is probably easier to assess the ROI in health coaching. Finally, it will conclude that a fair proportion of coaching is wellbeing and stress management coaching, whether or not the coachee has requested it. This may one of the hidden benefits of coaching which is largely overlooked!
Many coaching psychologists use cognitive and cognitive behavioural coaching approaches (Palmer & Whybrow,2007). In order to investigate how coachees experience cognitive coaching a number of individuals, who had participated in this form of coaching, were interviewed.
Design: A qualitative design was used as the study aimed to investigate the participants’ individual experiences of coaching.
Methods: The study used semi-structured interviews to collect the data and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, (Smith & Osborn, 2003) to analyse the interviews. Overall, ten managers who had participated in cognitive coaching in the workplace were interviewed.
Results: Four main themes emerged from the analysis, these were - the role of the coach, increased awareness of self and others, new cognitive and emotional knowledge, and doing things in a new way.
Conclusions: The results indicated that cognitive coaching had helped the participants to increase their awareness and to make cognitive, emotional and behavioural changes. As the study used a qualitative approach it is difficult to generalize the results, nevertheless, the results support the continuing development of cognitive coaching.
Leaders’ success depends very much on building and maintaining strong teams, and failure to do so can put leaders at risk of derailment (Hogan, 1994). Successful teams require leaders to communicate clear objectives, develop a shared vision, create a sense of cohesion, empowerment, and autonomy, involve team members in decision making, and to create an environment which is conducive to innovative thinking. If a leader’s style does not enable the above their team can become disjointed, experience low motivation, and develop low confidence in relation to objectives. As individuals, team members may become disenfranchised, and disengaged. These factors can result in poor team performance, increasing the risk of derailment. The behaviours and attitudes that prevent leaders from managing successful teams may be linked to maladaptive/dysfunctional beliefs. Rational Emotive Behaviour Theory (REBT) states that performance hindering behaviours, such as procrastination and avoidance, are caused by unhelpful/irrational beliefs, and that working to flex rigid beliefs to make them more rational can influence positive behaviour change (Ellis, 1994). It is suggested here that working with leaders using Rational Coaching, with techniques drawn from REBT, can help leaders to work with their beliefs to enable positive behaviour change. This can result in better communication with team members to enable better performance and improve employee engagement, as well as reducing the risk of derailment.
Ellis, A. (1994). Reason and emotion in psychotherapy (revised edition). New York: Kensington Publishers.
Hogan, R. (1994). Trouble at the top: Causes and consequences of managerial incompetence. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice & Research. 46.
Objectives: Research suggests that autonomy support, need fulfillment, and self determined motivation are thought to predict optimal work performance. Needs are innate psychological elements that are essential for ongoing psychological growth and well being. Self Determination Theory (SDT) suggests that satisfaction of particular needs (autonomy, competence and relatedness) leads to increased internalisation of behaviour and enhanced intrinsic motivation. This study aimed to investigate the impact of autonomy support on coaching outcomes.
Design: An experimental longitudinal design was used.
Methods: This repeated measures experimental study aimed to determine whether there were any significant differences between coachee groups. 55 participants were randomly allocated to three different coaching conditions (autonomy supportive, standards supportive and self coaching), with coaching enabled via 17 coaches specifically trained in autonomy supportive and standards supportive coaching techniques. All coaching was conducted for leadership development goals to maintain homogeneity across the groups in relation to type of goal. Coaching occurred over 5 to 10 sessions with coachees completing standard scales at pre-test, time 1, time 4 and time 10 sessions (post-test). Measures comprised a motivation, goal attainment survey, and coaching effectiveness measures.
Results and conclusions: Results related to differences between groups in self determination and needs satisfaction will be discussed in the context of coaching practice and implications for coaching psychology.
7. Unfolding the intention-behaviour gap: Applying the Health Action Process Approach model to coaching psychology
Objective: The coaching experience can be quite frustrating, as coachees often do not behave in accordance with their behaviour intentions: Unforeseen barriers emerge, people give in to temptations, and eventually their goals are not met. This paper presentation offers a theoretical framework for bridging this gap, by applying the Health Action Process Approach (HAPA) theoretical model, developed by Schwarzer (2008) to the coaching setting.
Content: Social-cognitive theories (e.g. Theory of Planned Behaviour) do not always account for the intention-behaviour discrepancy, and do not take into account post-intentional factors such as perceived self-efficacy and strategic planning. The HAPA model constitutes of three implicit stages: Pre-intenders, Intenders and actors. These three stages involve three different types of self-efficacy: Action, maintenance and recovery, all of which are highly relevant to the coaching process. Identifying the specific stage the coachee is currently experiencing is a crucial step toward successful behaviour change.
Methods: In the present paper presentation the existing evidence based HAPA literature will be reviewed and applications to coaching will be discussed (e.g. screening for the specific stage, enhancing different types of self efficacy).
Conclusion: Although the HAPA model has been extensively studied in the field of health related behaviour change, it has not been applied to coaching psychology yet. We will present this model, tie it to the coaching literature and propose a theoretical framework for coaching research as well as for practitioners
Content: The purpose of this paper is to present to a wider group the benefits of using peer coaches (in this case two coaching psychologists) in evaluating coaching programmes and practice, through our experience of evaluating the coaching programme "Creating Focus™".
There is currently much discussion about peer supervision, but there appears to be little around peer evaluation. Peer evaluation, defined as "a participation of colleagues in the development and assessment of activities" (Benshoff, 1988), can significantly improve the quality of these activities (Reese-Durham 2005). Given the nature of the coaching relationship, the use of peer evaluation could be a useful tool in assessing coaching programmes and practice.
Methods: This paper is a case study of the benefits and learning from using peer evaluation in the coaching context. Qualitative questions were designed to assess each element of the programme for ease of use, validity, benefits and outcome. In addition, reflections of each session were analysed for the coachee’s progress towards an outcome.
Results: Key to this paper are the benefits of the peer evaluation:
Informed feedback from a fellow coaching psychologist, leading to practical suggestions for improvement
Conclusions: This evaluation shows the power of using peer evaluations alongside (peer) supervision in coaching. The criteria for its successful use are twofold: 1) the need for the evaluating coachee to present with a real coaching issue, and 2) careful contracting between the two parties to establish the requirements of the evaluation and expectations of and on each.
It has long been argued that we cannot rest on the assumption that giving feedback will have a positive impact on individual performance (Kluger & DeNisi, 1996). This paper will commence with a qualitative review of existing up-to-date research on feedback from a psychological perspective, commencing with a challenge of commonly held assumptions about the value of feedback. This will lead to a discussion of research on 360 degree feedback, which provides the unique opportunity to compare the impact from different sources, the evidence for sustaining behaviour change following feedback and also the growing literature on feedback seeking.
The discussion of this evidence will be linked to a simple framework for considering content and process feedback in coaching (McDowall & Millward, 2010), and the importance of personally meaningful goals for the coachee; and the role of the coach as a facilitator for the feedback process.
Objectives: To evaluate if/how Big Five personality factors can explain and predict basic group psychological processes and thus help coaching in top teams.
Content: As members of top teams typically have different backgrounds, interests, competencies and personality configurations, top teams are inherently heterogeneous, so in theory more difficult to coach (and lead) than other work teams. In addition, performance criteria are usually systemic, dynamic and evasive rather than SMART, which increases the need for reflexivity and dialogue in goal setting (e.g. Olson, 2008). This points toward a need to specifically look at the relational contents in executive team coaching.
Methods: Literature review including Big Five and group psychology such as Kozlowski & Ilgen’s (2006) major review ‘Enhancing the Effectiveness of Work Groups and Teams’. Case studies include a major executive and team coaching assignment embedded in a Lean management context; and emerging teams using directors who were allocated during a board of directors training course to three nominal teams based upon their personality.
Results: Personality configurations (using Big Five) were successfully used to reflect upon key group psychological processes as part of various coaching assignments. The findings seem to hold for both existing and emergent top teams.
Conclusions: There was evidence that certain factors are more prevalent in top teams. The relative contribution of these theories in team coaching could be considerable if personality theories build upon traceable constructs such as core beliefs or developmental schemata.
Coaching psychology and positive psychology emerged at around the same time, just over a decade ago. Both have developed and contributed much in that time, but notably doing so in a time of relative prosperity for many in Britain and the developed world. Our context has now changed, as we confront the reality of the Big Squeeze. On a human level, this leads to increased stress, insecurity, and overwork - but also to game-changing opportunities for those who can best navigate their way ahead, or can help others to do so. What might this mean for coaching psychology and positive psychology? To deliver on their promise, the disciplines have to remain current in a world that is changing ever more rapidly and with ever more dislocation. These are the real opportunities for coaching psychology and positive psychology as we look ahead. My presentation will explore how we can grasp these opportunities and in doing so deliver our potential as agents of positive human, organisational and social change.
12. Teaching coaching psychology to undergraduates - benefits and challenges
Objectives: To examine the impact of peer coaching on Undergraduate’s self-reported Emotional Intelligence (EI). Coaching has been found to be an effective intervention for students in increasing cognitive hardiness, self-efficacy, hope and general wellbeing and reducing levels of depression (Green, Grant & Rynsaardt, 2007; Short, Kinman & Baker, 2010; Spaten & Hansen, 2009). The author’s propose that an overlap exists between these aspects of behaviour and EI which has been show to correlate with academic success (Parker, Hogan, Eastabrook, Oke & Wood, 2006). The research proposed represents an extension to Spaten & Hansen (2009) and Short, Kinman & Baker (2010).
Design: Two factor mixed design utilising both qualitative and quantitative data with two assessment points pre- and post-intervention.
Methods: Participants are two groups of UG students. Group one (n=32) will undertake a 12 week module in coaching psychology and engage in peer coaching, the control group (n=30) are not studying coaching psychology. The EQ-i HE will be administered pre- and post-course. In addition qualitative data will be gathered through focus groups to include self-reported academic confidence.
Results: It is anticipated that students engaging in coaching will develop their emotional intelligence above the control group. Qualitative data will be used to inform a future research in analysing the benefits of teaching coaching psychology.
Conclusions: It is anticipated that this research will benefit students through improvements in their emotional intelligence. It will inform those involved in teaching UG psychology of the benefits of incorporating coaching psychology into their programmes.
Objectives: This research aimed to understand the competences required in the training of executive coaches. The knowledge, skills and attitudes required for a competent executive coach; were investigated as well as favourable events leading to the acquisition of these competences, and their implications for professional practice.
Design: The research adopted a qualitative approach with an exploratory and descriptive focus.
Methods: Semi-structured Interviews were conducted and content analysised with content analysis. The participants were selected on using criteria of accessibility and data saturation, resulting in a sample of six executive coaches from the same organization.
Results: Data was collected and analysed into themes: knowledge (coaching, coachee, coach, organization, tools, system, business, other approaches, socio-political-economic and communication), skills (demand, contract, communication, relationship, intervention, emotional appeal, basic processes, methods, studies and identifications) and attitudes (honesty, empathy, confidentiality, curiosity, motivation, vision of the world, professional identity, transparency, maturity, self confidence, emotional intelligence, self-esteem, responsibility, confidence, consistency, objectivity, listening, concern, worry, organization, sharing, ease, serenity, calm, balance, openness, respect
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