It could be argued that imagination is a necessary counterweight to reason if coaches are to help clients make truly informed decisions. The use of imagination in coaching is under-researched. Much coaching research draws from psychotherapy and psychology. In this article, I show what we can learn from close and critical reading of literature. Adapting discourse-historical analysis I synthesise an idea of the Romantic imagination. Such imagination is revealed as an essential human attribute, with metaphysical characteristics, susceptible to nurture. The findings suggest how coaches and clients can embrace Keats’ ‘negative capability’. This article is a necessary contribution to coaching research which shows how the literary canon can provide valuable insights for coaches.
Organisations typically offer counselling to employees who experience stressful life events at home, and coaching to a much lesser extent. Yet my own experience suggests coaching can play a valuable role in support and action. A transcendental phenomenological methodology was adopted to gain vivid descriptions of the subjective experience of being coached, synthesised into an overarching essence. Findings highlight disclosure and boundaries were key themes, as was the interplay of coaching with concurrent therapeutic interventions. For organisations, the study supports the use of coaching as a tool for employee wellbeing and the creation of an emotionally literate culture.
Improvements in life expectancy are enabling more people to reach retirement age. The
transition to retirement is complex and, for approximately 30%, prompts a downturn in well-
being. For this first UK study into retirement coaching, six retired participants were
interviewed and recalled their coaching experiences. Interviews were analysed using
Giorgi’s descriptive phenomenological approach to articulate a typical transition experience.
Three pre-retirement themes emerged (planning, decision-making and unexpected events)
which saw a limited, practical role for coaching. Three post-retirement themes (redressing
the balance, identity, and aging) required deeper psychological support. Interestingly,
retirees chose several coaches to address their broad transition needs.
The transition to parenthood is one of the most joyful, yet stressful life events, however, there is little evidence to support paternity coaching as an intervention. This action research study draws on gender studies and maternity and transition coaching literature to inform the research. A cohort of four fathers participated in the research, each receiving three coaching sessions, followed by an interview. Themes emerging were responsibility, self-care and adapting to the new role. Practitioners and academics will find the research helps in understanding the themes supporting transition coaching for fathers, and in identifying further gaps for future research.
There is a dearth of empirical research and conceptual work on the application of coaching within social work. This research used focus groups and semi structured interviews to explore whether using coaching could equip social workers with greater confidence in their ability to make a positive difference to the lives of service users in a family support and child protection service. Using coaching to facilitate service users’ own change agendas and self-determined goals transformed elements of social workers’ everyday practice. The experience of co-creating transformational change through coaching positively re-connected social workers with their professional values and rejuvenated their vocational drive.
Little research exists on coaching in charities. This article explores how coaching might support managers in the charity sector. Using an interpretivist approach, 20 interviews gathered the views and experiences of key stakeholders: manager coachees, learning and development (L&D) managers and coaches. Findings from interviewees in two large, national, case study charities suggest a synergy between key principles of coaching and those of charities. Investment in coaching was seen as having significant benefits for managers and great potential for charities to help them improve people’s lives and the world we live in.
A result of organisational change over the last two decades has been the expectation on managers to coach as part of their roles. However, only the minority of organisations provide training in how to. Consequently, the role of the ‘coaching manager’ has emerged; a manager untrained in coaching, who uses coaching approaches as part of their daily work. This article provides an account of using IPA methodology to make sense of the lived experiences of coaching managers. It discusses how the role should be categorised in literature and considered as a stand-alone construct.
Although the coaching industry appears to place great value on developing coaching effectiveness, absent from the discourse is coach decision-making. This study explored the construct of adaptive expertise - judgement under uncertainty, in order to better understand ‘good coaching’. A case study approach, within an interpretative epistemology, entailed the separate videoing and debriefing of two coaching sessions. Findings suggest a need for coaches to create a framework for critiquing their own reasoning, with implications for coach education and research. One question that arises from this study is how we understand non-conscious drivers of coach decisions.
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