Despite the prevalence in the use of the telephone modality for workplace coaching no published empirical evidence, using a micro-level conversation analysis (CA), has been found to inform effective communication strategies in this context. This exploratory study used a mixed-methods approach to examine seven workplace coaches’ experiences of telephone coaching conversations using a phenomenological analysis of semi-structured interviews. Additionally, a micro-level CA identified how aspects of coaches’ experiences were ‘played out’ in turn-by-turn communication patterns during coaching sessions. Analysis of data in this study identified, for example, how coaches use question formulations which encourage coachee reflexivity. Evidence also demonstrates how coachees engage with silences in ways which can become problematic within telephone coaching conversations. This paper argues that further conversation analyses of workplace telephone coaching conversations would enhance coach-practitioners’ communications skills by facilitating training which is based on an micro-level analysis of ‘real-world’ telephone coaching conversations.
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