To explore how coaches experience the challenge of developing their own professional practice

Horner, Caroline Janet (2005) To explore how coaches experience the challenge of developing their own professional practice. DProf thesis, Middlesex University. [Thesis]

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"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe
in new things until they have had a long experience of them." Nicolo Machiavelli, 1515¹

Coaching is not new, although over the past decade its popularity has been fuelled by organisational trends which have demanded that leaders learn faster to retain competitive
advantage. This rise in demand for coaching has raised questions about the quality of supply, and is driving the establishment of rigorous professional standards for the coaching industry. This exploratory study is concerned with making explicit the 'reality' of developing professional
coaching practice. It takes a critical stance towards formal education as an approach to develop and sustain professional coaching practice. The specific intention was to consider the impact of the i-coach academy masters' programme on developing professional practice, with a view to enhancing the programme and ensuring congruence with participants' needs.

The basic theoretical position lies within the field of Phenomenology, which sets out to obtain knowledge about how we think and feel in the most direct ways; it attempts to 'bracket' assumptions we have about things in order to grasp them in their most essential nature.

The project report documents the phenomenological research I undertook with i-coach academy participants in South Africa and the UK from 2002 - 2005. One of the principle intentions was tounderstand their experience of developing professional practice, separate from the construct of formal education. Equally there was an aim to develop increased clarity about the activities considered most helpful to developing and sustaining professional coaching practice.

The results of this research were used in combination with other materials to enhance the i-coach masters' programme. An educational framework for developing and sustaining professional coaching practice has been documented. The research also points the way to areas for further inquiry and development, which are outlined in the closing chapters.

The experience of the journey to establish a formal framework for the education of professional coaching is reflected well in Machiavelli's quote above. Whilst progress has been made toward establishing a foundation for educating professional coaches, it is also acknowledged that the learning cycles are continuous and the journey is never complete.
1 Extract from The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli, Written
c. 1505, published 1515, Translated by W. K. Marriott

Item Type: Thesis (DProf)
Research Areas: B. > Theses
Item ID: 13591
Depositing User: Adam Miller
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2015 13:01
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2021 16:46

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