Reflective coaching – an antidote to compulsive ‘busy-ness’

Reflective coaching – an antidote to compulsive ‘busy-ness’

Certificate in Coaching 2014 – applications now being invited.

Certificate in Coaching 2014 – applications now being invited.

A client describes his company as ‘pathologically busy’; a study in the Harvard Business Review finds that 75% of companies privilege energy over focus; and there is a furore in the UK press because the Prime Minister goes on holiday. These disparate elements display the same theme: the current obsession with action at the expense of reflection. Both are needed, of course, but in the hyper-manic modern world, thoughtfulness and even reverie – a quasi-dreamlike state conducive to creativity – are edged out.

Executive coaching can offer the space for reflection, a break from doing and being seen to do, and an opportunity for the gentle exploration of themes and issues……yet in many cases the ‘action imperative’ invades even this space, as many coaches feel obliged to pursue and impose on their clients a linear approach towards targets and goals. Formulaic coaching often imposes what Blake called ‘mind-forg’d manacles’ on the process.

But the apparent paradox is that a more reflective approach to coaching does not inhibit achievement: a way forward, a means of resolving difficult problems, emerge, all the better and more rounded for being the product of an unfettered journey through the highways and byways of an issue, a journey that takes account of the rational and irrational, the underlying assumptions and beliefs as well as the immediately tangible and concrete.

Let us take the example of a CEO: for him or her, the strategic demands may be quite clear- the exigencies of the market or regulatory framework, the activities of competitors, profit and performance levels, for examples. Meeting these is another matter, requiring: a profound understanding of their own psychology and that of other senior figures, the identification of cultural factors, negotiation between different perceptions of the ‘truth’, being aware of the subtleties of influence and communication…..and regular chances to probe and understand these dimensions with individuals who have the appropriate skills and perspective. The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations certificated course in Coaching for Leadership and Professional Development was created, nine years ago, to develop coaches who can fulfil this role.

Applications are now being invited for the next course beginning in January 2014. For a brochure with full details including outline, fees, venue and module dates or if you have any questions, please contact Rachel Kelly, Professional Development Coordinator:

e: r.kelly@tavinstitute.org
t: +44 (0)20 7457 3927

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