How important are stories for coaching? Most coaches will no doubt say that the importance of stories for coaching can hardly be overestimated. But, why? And, if they play such a central role in coaching, how can we optimally work with the stories our clients tell us? Here’s a suggestion: use the ABCDE of narrative. 

What is the ABCDE of narrative? It is a model that helps us discern elements of stories and to frame powerful questions around these stories. There are four elements of stories: 

The HR Tech Market Heats Up
We’ve all sat next to that annoying business traveller who keeps his mobile going no matter what the flight crew say.  What’s got him hooked?  Emails can’t be that interesting.

How do you know that coaching works?  I often ask this question in the beginning of my coaching class. Many shining eyes put up their hands and quote the latest research on how coaching boosts the performance, motivation, or confidence of struggling employees, confused youth, or frustrated executives. Based on their answers I can almost guess what their day job is: ROI, increased employee engagement, happier children and healthier families: the rather revealing list goes on. 

Are you ready for a technology upgrade? Many of your coaching clients have already upgraded. They’re already using productivity and biometric apps and devices. This first in a series of three articles looks at ways to repurpose these tools across all phases of a coaching process and for a wide range of coaching goals. The second article will cover People Analytics and its potential impact on coaching; the third explores future scenarios such as ‘coach-bots’ interacting with leaders who may or may not work with a human coach.

What are you planning to do differently in 2017? Some of us welcome this calendar-prompted pause to reflect; others of us find this question daunting, or even a nuisance. Our clients are being asked to set goals for the new year, so coaching conversations may naturally turn to this topic right now.

Here’s my simple, authentic, energizing solution:  Tap your unrealized strengths.

Does it surprise you how many ideas and beliefs that were once universally held to be the case are now seen as wrong? Very well educated people used to believe, for example, that the earth was at the center of the universe and that ulcers are caused by stress. Folk-lore genuinely committed us to believe in elves and hobgoblins and that it was possible to change the weather by right thinking or behaviour.

This was my fourth Institute of Coaching Conference in Boston. And it was great to be back; such high caliber speakers. I find these events energizing. They remind me how important our work is as coaches. I left stimulated, and with plenty to think about.

There is much to be admired in Tony Robbins — he’s a motivational guru who has built a $450 million empire advising people on how to overcome life’s challenges. But when it comes to happiness, his latest guidance and the planned focus of his next book, is just not supported by the science.