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The Coaching Kool-Aid
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The Coaching Kool-Aid

Author: Renée Lockwood and Melanie Weeks

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Ready to be challenged? Feeling playful? If you’re a coach who’s serious about engaging in reflective practice, or you’re simply interested in taking a look behind the curtains of the coaching profession, come with us as we bite into the juicy fruit of this intriguing, complex, and totally unregulated industry. In each episode we’ll look at a different concept used within coaching, and playfully unpack both its problems and its utility.
15 Episodes
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In the final episode for the season, we take a look at some fascinating research on the potential negative effects of coaching on clients, coaches, and organisations. From decreased life-satisfaction to feelings of love, you may be surprised at some of our industry’s potential pitfalls. We discuss why these effects may occur and what we can do about them. Other topics include the importance of supervision and Mel’s fear of monkeys. Come inside for the conversation.
This special episode of the Coaching Kool-Aid is brought to you all the way from Boston, MA,  where we sat down with the charming and insightful Erik de Haan, keynote speaker at the IOC’s Coaching in Leadership and Healthcare Conference. Erik is Professor of Organisation Development at VU, Amsterdam, and Director of Ashridge's Centre for Coaching. A prolific author, Erik speaks with us today about his latest book, Critical Moments in Executive Coaching, as well as the importance of being aware of our own agendas within the coaching space.  
Curious about meaning and purpose? In this episode we speak with Professor Michael Steger of Colorado State University. Michael has spent his life in a state of both scepticism and curiosity – a perfect combination – and today he talks to us about how this led him to forge a career studying meaning and purpose. You know, the superficial stuff. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the conversation. 
Have you ever been told to “change your mindset”, only to feel baffled as to what this actually means? In Episode 1 of the Coaching Kool-Aid, we look at the myth of the ‘mindset switch’, where this idea came from, and how we might use it more effectively. You’ll also meet your hosts, Mel and Renee, who will tell you why they decided to take a magnifying glass to the glossy facade of the coaching industry.
The Internet is full of coaches advertising their services to help you find your ‘authentic self’ (maybe it’s just under the couch), or to ‘unlock its power’ (sounds risky, why was it imprisoned in the first place?). In this episode, we look at where this notion of an ‘authentic self’ came from, and why it actually fits more within a religious framework than a scientific one. As coaches, we also look at how we’d approach this Cartesian dilemma in our own practice.
What does it mean to be resilient? Is it working an 80 hour week, turning up when you’re sick or behaving as though a setback has not completely rocked your world? Or is it going to bed instead of answering emails or spending time with your family? Our modern world of work would have us believe that the only way to succeed is by being better, stronger, harder, and faster versions of ourselves; performing at our peak at all times. But is this possible? And is resilience something innate or is it something we can learn? In this episode, we interview Dr Michael Cavanagh, Deputy Director of the Coaching Psychology unit at Sydney University, in order to seek some answers to the question: who is responsible for resilience? 
The Positivity Problem

The Positivity Problem

2019-04-0746:04

What could possibly be wrong with positivity? Come on ladies, you’re pushing it too far now. Perhaps, but we dare you to come inside and see what unfolds. In this episode, we cover emotional vocabulary, death, long-haul flights with multiple children, and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. Oh, and Mel learns why she needs to watch the end of Bambi.
What’s the difference between meditation and mindfulness? And are these practices really as harmless and user-friendly as we are told? In the first of this two-part episode on mindfulness, we’re joined by Dr Alex Norman of Western Sydney University. If you’re interested in where mindfulness comes from, what we’re doing with it now, and the potential dangers of utilising this ancient practice in a modern context, this is the episode for you. 
In part two of our series on mindfulness, we continue to look at some ways in which these practices have been used as tools of manipulation, including by military forces past and present. Our discussion then moves to the topic of mindfulness in coaching, in order to examine its relationship with Kegan’s theory of adult development, its role in ethical leadership, and the problems associated with thinking about thinking. Finally, we have a look at what we need to consider before using mindfulness practices with our clients.
This special episode of the Coaching Kool-Aid is recorded live from the University of Sydney’s Evidence-Based Coaching Conference, where we chat with Dr David Drake – founder of Narrative Coaching – and pick his brain about his unique approach. David explains his belief that the world is changing at a much faster rate than coaching is, and just what the latter needs to do in order to keep up. You may be surprised – you will definitely be entertained. So pull up a chair, sit back, and enjoy the conversation.
Today we’re in lock-down with the charming Professor Tatiana Bachkirova of Oxford Brookes University. Tatiana describes what she terms ‘beautiful ideas in coaching which can make us ill’.  We also hear about the need for us all  – world leaders included – to reflect on our personal philosophy, practice, and purpose, particularly in these uncertain times. 
Today we're speaking with Dr Paul Lawrence, whose latest research focuses on systemic coaching. As such, he suggests some important questions for anyone to ask themselves before brandishing the badge of “systemic coach”.  Paul is Principle at the Centre for Coaching in Organisations and Associate Lecturer in Coaching at the Sydney Business School. He is a prolific author; his three most popular books being Leading Change, Coaching in Three Dimensions, and The Tao of Dialogue. I hope you enjoy the conversation.
In today’s episode we’re in conversation with Dr Reinhard Stelter, professor and head of the Coaching Psychology Unit at the University of Copenhagen. Witness the ‘with-ness’ as Dr Stelter tells us why he prefers the term ‘lingering’ to ‘coaching’, his approach to the use of values, and his view of coaching as a potential tool for social change. It’s a bit of philosophical deep-dive so get your tea (or beverage of choice), get comfy, and enjoy the conversation.
Today we are in conversation with Dr Alison Hodge, coaching supervisor to executive coaches across Australia, South East Asia, the United States, Europe and the UK. We discuss Alison’s approach to supervision and the common pressures she sees facing coaches, namely the need to expand our practice beyond theory and qualifications. Enjoy the conversation.
This special episode of the Coaching Kool-Aid is brought to you all the way from Boston, MA,  where we sat down with the charming and insightful Erik de Haan, keynote speaker at the IOC’s Coaching in Leadership and Healthcare Conference. Erik is Professor of Organisation Development at VU, Amsterdam, and Director of Ashridge's Centre for Coaching. A prolific author, Erik speaks with us today about his latest book, Critical Moments in Executive Coaching, as well as the importance of being aware of our own agendas within the coaching space. 
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