In the past decade coaching research has focused on studying effectiveness, as well as the mechanisms through which the coaching effectiveness is realized. These endeavors have significantly expanded our knowledge of the contexts in which coaching works, how it works and what aspects of the coaching process contribute to its effectiveness. More recently, we are witnessing new directions and sensitivities in coaching research such as: sustainability of the impact, “sleeper effects", issues of inclusion, diversity and equity (upcoming IOC July Webinar) and awareness of the negative aspects of coaching.
Another new direction is toward exploring coaching dialogues and language, and deepening our understanding of the interactions which occur between the partners. This direction highlights the role of language and dialogue and contributes to the development of coaching practice. Such perspectives on counseling, consulting and coaching relationships are often grounded in social constructionist theories, which posit that social reality, knowledge, and praxis are relational and dialogical. In other theories of interpersonal interaction and communication, language is seen as having a representational function (i.e. language represents what the speaker has in their mind and shares with others). In social constructionist theories, however, language is seen not (just) as describing the world, but as constructing worlds. Thus, a focus on language, in the coaching interaction, illuminates how new stories and realities are created.
In the June Coaching Report, we highlight several relevant resources, exploring language and dialogues in different ways. In the June Webinar, Haesun Moon takes a sociolinguistic approach and shares research on the micro-analysis of coaching interactions, as well as how this insight can strengthen coaching practice. We also include a link to her recent CoachX presentation. The team of Bachkirova, Sibley and Myers use the Q-sort methodology to conduct microanalysis of coaching interactions, emphasizing the content of coaching sessions. In a recent article (and his book), Reinhard Stelter also steps on a social constructionist ideas to inform research and coaching and explore dialogues in health coaching. The IOC through our grant program, is supporting a current study conducted by Bachkirova and Jackson, which furthers the in-depth analysis of the content of coaching conversations.
We are very happy to introduce the new book by the IOC Director of Education and Business Development, Jeffrey Hull, which is now available: “Flex: The Art and Science of Leadership in a Changing World"! The book is a timely resource for understanding the shifts in leadership principles and values in the contemporary workplace, and thus the accompanying shifts in dialogical interactions of leadership coaching. It will be very helpful for coaches working with people whose voice, stories and approach to leadership are diverse and different from traditional styles. The book includes tools which coaches can use with clients to support them in expanding how they see themselves and how they express their leadership.
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