As a coach working in Higher Education, I’m conscious that academics, students and staff can obsess about their supposed lack of writing ability. A strange thing for highly educated, articulate, skilled professionals to obsess about? Not as strange as it seems. Welcome to the world of ‘Impostor Syndrome’ and chronic procrastination…
I recently attended a presentation-cum-workshop called ‘Turbocharge Your Writing’. Given by Hugh Kearns, it was thought-provoking – not only for the insight it gave into what causes procrastination amongst writers, but also for how it brought together what seemed to be hundreds of eager researchers and academics keen to rid themselves of one of the cruellest banes of their lives.
‘Coaching’… This word seems to be everywhere these days, a catch-all term amongst some organisations and individuals for anything that isn’t ‘training-in-a-classroom’.
There’s increasing evidence that strategically rolled out, clearly defined coaching interventions produce significant benefits for organisations which impact employee engagement as well as the bottom line. Where coaching programmes are seen to be supported by top management, and leaders model ‘coaching style’ behaviours, results can be powerful. Coaching is taken seriously, and people buy into it.
But what happens if coaching is not so clearly defined?
There have been lots of reviews of Nancy Kline’s classic exploration of what conditions, when brought together skilfully, are conducive to bringing out the best in human thinking and igniting the human mind. So what can I add that hasn’t already been said?
What about my own point of view…? I’m sure Nancy would agree that this is precisely what I should be encouraged to contribute, given her definition of what she terms a ‘Thinking Environment’. In a Thinking Environment, the ideas and inspirations of all are equally valued, and Nancy spent long years researching how practically to establish such an environment. It is to creating one across society that her life’s work has been devoted.
In Time to Think. Listening to Ignite the Human Mind (first published 1999), Nancy describes ten components without which a Thinking Environment will not exist: