International Coach Federation – The Science of Coaching

The International Coach Federation’s latest issue of Coaching World features the topic of the Science of Coaching. Often my Executive Coaching clients are surprised when I reference scientific aspects of coaching. Their perception had been that coaching is soft and fuzzy, not rooted in research or science.

Neuroscience – for years, people thought that brain function decreases with age. The old adage you can’t teach an old dog new tricks was a testament to that belief. However, neuroscience is discovering that you can change the brain – it’s called neuroplasticity. Repeated behaviours, whether they are new or not, can change the way brain neurons activate.

Adult Model of Change – Coaching World details in this month’s issue that coaching can benefit by exploiting the model of adult change to help clients modify behaviours, perspectives, values or self-identity. The simplified theory is that clients observe and reflect on their own thoughts, feelings, behaviours and experiences. The reflection allows clients to develop new ideas that serve them or their goals better. The client can then test those new ideas in different situations. If the new ideas are deemed beneficial and are repeated over time the client has altered their experience and outcome.

Mindfulness – this doesn’t mean meditation and it certainly doesn’t mean filling the mind with more. It’s about being mindful of what is happening and not happening within and around us. It’s about having increased awareness to what is present, now. Being mindful is a key aspect in the adult learning model and in neuroplasticity.

What aspect of the science in coaching would help you move more towards your goals?