Research on senior leadership transition acknowledges that it is a challenging process but it does not always look at the impact on the leader’s confidence. Confidence in the coaching literature has been given little attention and yet increased confidence for the coaching client is often a key incidental outcome of the coaching process. Using multi-perspective IPA (Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis), this article explores the experience of the challenge to confidence for senior leaders during leadership transition, and how coaching supports leaders with confidence at this transition point. Three key findings are presented here: a framework of the experiences of confidence and loss of confidence across four inter-connected areas; the role of the organisation in the confidence of the leader; and how coaching supports confidence at this transition point.
Emotional labour is the activity of maintaining an appropriate outward demeanour at work. This study employed a phenomenological approach, using conceptual encounter, to explore the under-researched emotional labour of the coach. Coaches’ experience of emotional labour has high commonality with research outcomes in other roles: impacts on authenticity, detachment, resource drain and ‘burnout’, and emotional labour was experienced both inside and outside the coaching space. These findings have implications for coaches, supervisors, educators, and professional associations for the preservation and well-being of the coach. In addition, what I have termed, commercial emotional labour has importance for coaches and organisations, and potentially beyond.
This paper explores how coaches experience moments of deep connection with their clients in coaching relationships. Although there is a growing interest in the coaching relationship and its importance in coaching, the topic remains under-researched. Interpretive phenomenological analysis was used to gain a rich ideographic understanding of the connection by interviewing six coaching participants. The findings reveal that connection is important to coaches. Their accounts encompass moments of genuine meeting, warmth, intensity, intimacy, openheartedness and strong affective bodily sensations. The research raiseS some interesting questions for coach-educators and practitioners alike, including, what coach capabilities are required to work sensitively and ethically with these intensities.
Peak moments include peak experience (Maslow, 1964), peak performance (Privette, 1983) and flow (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). Research of the literature revealed that peak moments are an under-researched phenomenon in coaching. This paper addresses the imbalance, and reports on a heuristic study (Moustakas, 1990) undertaken with ten experienced coaches in the UK. Analysis revealed five core conditions which increase the likelihood of the occurrence of a peak moment in coaching. The implications of these findings relate to the joy and engagement of coaching as a vitalising, aesthetic experience, adding richness through the connectedness and collaborative engagement between coach and coachee.
This paper looks at the use of contemplative practices to acquire a deeper understanding of my development as a coach. Adopting autoethnography as a methodology, I reveal how I used both digital and non-digital contemplative practices to develop a personal conceptual formation of what I consider a soul guide coach to be. Stemming from Western’s (2017) discourse on soul guide coaching, I make a connection to three dominant, cultural perspectives that have influenced and shaped me. The paper highlights the potential of contemplative practices and addresses the gap of the lack of use of digital technology within coaching.
Lack of a coaches understanding of their own psychology impacts on the effectiveness of coaching, in particular the client’s ability to access insight. Despite the general awareness of the role of the coach, the concept of coaches’ psychology needs a deeper understanding in the coaching literature. This article reports on an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) study of the elements that promote the occurrence of Aha! Experiences, and considers ways coaches enable the occurrence of client insight. This article seeks to deepen coaches’ understanding of the role they hold as the central tool for successful coaching.
This study explored how team coaches perceive presence and how presence affects their relationships with teams. It also sought to offer insights into those phenomena to enable team coaches to apply reflexivity in their own practice. Nine experienced team coaches were interviewed using semi-structured interviews and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The three main findings are that: presence is multi-faceted; presence requires self-awareness; and presence is inherently relational. Participants described a presence continuum with coaches having a preference to work towards either polarity. Recognising that preference allows team coaches to develop their skills towards the other polarity in service of teams’ needs.
People rarely talk about expressiveness in coaching. When they do it is generally in relation to non-verbal communication (NVC) or as an ‘add-on’ to working with emotions, two areas that remain under-researched within coaching literature. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to explore the relationship between expressiveness and coaching. Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), six coaches were interviewed in order to understand how they engaged with their clients’ expressiveness. Findings suggest that coach and client are involved in a co-created and systemic expressive interplay. Very importantly, that expressiveness provides a ‘vehicle’ or ‘ability’ by which we’re able to engage with the complexity of the ‘self’.
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