Coaching World Issue 7: August 2013 - Page 13

service to and to include commitment at the very senior levels of the organization. CW: Your post-mortem of the credit crisis includes a scathing indictment of group-think while acknowledging that teamwork and group cohesiveness are central values to most (if not all) organizations. How can coaches give clients what they require—which, often, is coaching for team effectiveness—in a responsible, appropriate way that encourages cohesion while discouraging group-think? A&S: We saw group-think as largely a dogmatic position which discouraged questioning (which, of course, was to the advantage of those in power), and skepticism as a method of resisting this. Greater utilization of critical theory enables coachees to see that there is in fact a wide range of interpretations possible as regards any set of beliefs, and that dogmatic positions can always be subjected to question. Indeed, our overriding point throughout the book was that such positions must always be subjected to questioning, that this was the only way to ensure that belief systems remained open to new ideas. Unless new ideas are continually coming forward, authoritarian behavior tends to set in, and that is never in any organization’s longer-term benefit. Angélique du Toit had a career as a senior international manager before embarking on a career as an international Executive Coach 16 years ago. She works with leaders in both the public and private sectors. She is widely published on the subject of coaching and a regular speaker at various conferences and events related to coaching and leadership. Stuart Sim is a professor of critical theory and 18thcentury English literature at Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. He is a Fellow of the English Association. His latest book is “50 Key Thinkers in Postmodernism” (Routledge, 2013). CW: As we slowly climb out of crisis and toward economic recovery, what’s your vision for the future—of coaching, of banking, of society at large? What steps can members of the coaching profession take now to help us move in the right direction? A&S: Clearly, there has to be a change of consciousness within the business profession in general about its relationship to the general public, and coaching seems an ideal area in which to make individuals think more deeply about the beliefs they hold and operate by. The dangers of group-think and dogmatic belief-systems are only too evident in the prolonged aftermath of the credit crisis, and we do feel that coaching could play a key role in changing the culture that created this socially destabilizing situation. The more reflection there is by individuals on what they are doing within their organization, and whether it can be jus Y?YY H?]\??]?Y[\?[?[?\?[?B?[[??]X????\???\?\?H??X?[????\??[?X]\?\?]ZY??HH[YH??\??[?H?^[?H???\???%?B???[?????\?\???^H[???\??[??]8?%[?[?[????[??[??XY?Y?X??H[???Y\??X?[?\?[??\???X?X?\?[??\????X?][?????[?^?][?[[????Y][?X?]\??HY?[?\??X?Y??X?\?[ ??B????X?[??????]Y?\? ? L?B??L??