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Neuroscience of coaching: theory, research and practice

Riddell, P. ORCID: (2021) Neuroscience of coaching: theory, research and practice. In: Passmore, J. ORCID: and Leach, S. (eds.) Third Wave Cognitive Behavioural Coaching: Contextual, Behavioural and Neuroscience Approaches for Evidence Based Coaches. Pavilion Publishing and Media Ltd, Shoreham-by-sea, pp. 215-254. ISBN 9781803880006

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The process of coaching involves an exploration of the way in which individuals make sense of their world and an ability to help individuals to notice ways in which this sense-making might be changed to improve their outcomes. In order to do this, coaches are required to make hypotheses about how another person might be thinking and how this might relate to subsequent behaviour. In psychology, this process is known as developing a theory of mind (Frith & Frith, 2012). We use information from other people’s spoken language, body language and behaviour to make predictions about the thinking behind behaviour and test these predictions through questions that help individuals to become more aware of the relation between their thinking and their actions. Understanding how the brain works can help to tune the theories of mind we create since this can help to elucidate the, sometimes not wholly rational, ways that humans make sense of their world. This chapter aims to provide a basic understanding of how the brain perceives, learns and acts on the world with reference to ways in which an increase in understanding is useful to coaches. We will explore the processes that allow us to change behaviour, both in terms of the way in which change occurs in the brain and with respect to the processes that are used in coaching to help elicit change. We will then consider the effect of stress on behaviour and how coaches can help individuals to be better able to cope with stress and increase resilience. We will also consider decision-making, especially in relation to leadership, in order to show how this understanding might be particularly useful in executive coaching.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Henley Business School > Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
ID Code:104382
Publisher:Pavilion Publishing and Media Ltd


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