Dr June Fettes: Executive Coach

Mob : +44 (0)7774 157163

Tel : +44 (0)1738 564330

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Coaching philosophy

The philosophy behind my coaching approach is rooted in three established and widely accepted psychologically-based theories, whose underpinning values match my views of how sustainable personal development is achieved.

  • The systems-psychodynamic model recognises that the personal issues faced by an individual do not occur in isolation but are influenced by the system within which the individual works: the organisation. The organisation itself is situated within a particular industry and cultural environment and is underpinned by a 'history', both spoken and unspoken. All of which has an impact. This model provides a framework for understanding context and how, out of immediate awareness, implicit learning taken from the past is carried into the present and is 'lived' as if it were true today. As well as providing a sense of belonging, these unacknowledged beliefs can lead to all sorts of unhelpful ways of working and the result is a sense of stuckness in the individual and the system. The M&S story is probably a well-known example of this in action. Halina Bruning is editor of a recently published book on this perspective and how it relates to Executive Coaching.

  • George Kelly (Reference 1) maintained that we are active participators in trying to make sense of our experience by placing our own meaning on events and that the events we face in our lives day by day are subject to as great a variety of constructions as our wits will enable us to contrive. Change is always a possibility.

  • Carl Rogers (Reference 2) client-centred approach considers that when the right circumstances are present, individuals are able to acknowledge and accept the beliefs they hold about themselves and others. These beliefs are implicit in current patterns of behaviour both towards the tasks performed at work and also how relationships are managed. It is from this understanding and acceptance of ourselves that change occurs.

Client-Centred Approach to the Coaching Relationship

A substantial body of research indicates that it is the relationship itself that effects positive change and that there are three necessary elements that underpin the relationship that make a difference:

  1. 1 Understanding (sometimes referred to as empathy). In the context of coaching, this is when one person (the coach) is prepared to enter another's (the client's) frame of reference in order to truly understand the meaning that the client attaches to their experiences to see the world from their eyes.

  2. 2 Acceptance is where the coach is able to demonstrate respect for the client's point of view through genuine warmth, which is rooted in a non-judgemental attitude.

  3. 3 Sincerity is about the coach's commitment to the client's agenda for development, using their skills and expertise to serve the client's purpose.

These conditions while clear and simple are far from easy to provide. It requires a high level of self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-expression in the coach. Thus, choosing an appropriately trained coach is an essential part of the coaching process; aptitude is not enough, honed knowledge and skills are required.

When these conditions are in place the client will feel able to enter a creative space with the coach and take advantage of the opportunity provided by the coaching process to increase their knowledge and understanding of themselves, others and their environment. Through the secure base of the coaching relationship the client is able to introduce increased flexibility and choice into their lives, the result of which is improved judgement, decision-making within the work context.