Dr Michael Cavanagh is a Coaching and Clinical Psychologist and Deputy Director of the Coaching Psychology Unit at the School of Psychology, University of Sydney. He has graciously allowed us to republish this article, that focuses on systemic approaches to coaching, particularly coaching in complexity.
Michael is co-presenter with Professor David Lane at a full-day masterclass in Auckland, on March 9, 2009. This is a rare opportunity to work with two internationally acclaimed coaching psychologists. Read more here.
COACHING IS A JOURNEY in search of patterns. Our clients come to us, sometimes with fuzzy problems, sometimes with clear goals, but always
with a desire to understand their experience in a way that enables them to move forward. We, as coaches, undertake to work with them to develop
this new understanding, and to support them in taking the actions that flow from it. The value we add to our clients resides in our ability to
help them see their experience in a new way. We do this by helping them to discover or notice previously unnoticed (or ignored) patterns in the
complex mix of experience, thoughts, actions, and reactions that is their story. Coaching, then, is a journey in search of patterns.
This is our ninth year of providing specialist coaching and mentoring services to organisations throughout Australasia and we have started 2009 with a name change to better reflect the nature of our work and the future of the industry.
We are now the New Zealand Coaching & Mentoring Centre and have lots of good material on our new website www.coachingmentoring.co.nz that will be of interest to workplace learning professionals as well as details of all our major courses and events.
NZMC director Patti Gwynne is presenting at 3 coaching related conferences in New Zealand and Australia in late 2008. The common thread running through the 3 seminars is the emergence of, and need for, mental toughness and wisdom intelligence in the coaching domain.
On 16 & 17 October, Patti is presenting at the Kiwi Coaching Retreat in Queenstown, NZ, where she will be talking about 'Emerging Paradigms of Mental Toughness & Wisdom Intelligence in Leadership Coaching.'
The New Zealand Mentoring Centre took to the skies in September and ran a 'pilot' training for The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia in Queensland. The training, entitled Supervision Skills for Health Professionals, was trialled with a group of 16 staff from a range of disciplines including indigenous mental health workers, psychologists, nurses, social workers and of course, doctors.
Peer supervision differs from more traditional forms of supervision in that it doesn't require the presence of a more qualified, identified expert in the process - a supervisor. Peer supervision usually refers to reciprocal arrangements in which peers work together for mutual benefit where developmental feedback is emphasised and self directed learning and evaluation is encouraged (Benshoff, J.M. 1992). There are a number of things that can and do go wrong if individuals are left to lead their own supervision processes and maintaining the quality and effectiveness over time is a challenge.
This article discusses peer group supervision and the factors that impact on its effectiveness, identifies common pitfalls for peer supervision groups and discusses how to maintain the quality and effectiveness over time so that the process does fulfil the purpose and functions of supervision for supervisees, their clients and organisations.
A recent survey shows mentoring is building momentum in New Zealand, but largely on an informal basis, say Wendy Baker and Aly McNicoll. They outline the findings.
We often instinctively turn to an experienced person when needing guidance or a sounding board. This informal mentoring is usually done casually over lunch or a coffee and is often a by-product of another relationship.
For the 3rd year running, the New Zealand Mentoring Centre in association with Unitec Institute of Technology have certificated graduates of its 5 day 'Professional Mentoring & Workplace Coaching Skills' training course and released them in to the wild.
The 2008 graduates are a mix of managers, workplace coaches and independent practitioners from all over New Zealand and all are committed to developing their skills and becoming part of the ever expanding coaching community in New Zealand.
Val Leveson from the NZ Herald talks to NZMC director Aly McNicoll about peer mentoring groups.
When working for a company, people often have colleagues to turn to when they need advice on how best to complete a task or to make a good career move. Sometimes another person, even on the same level as oneself, may have a different perspective and an idea on how to make something that seems impossible work.
However, when you're self-employed things can be quite different. You can feel isolated and stuck with no one to turn to for good, impartial advice and help.
Peer groups are often a help, but what do you do when you work alone and don't have a peer group around you?
Aly McNicoll, training director of the New Zealand Mentoring Centre, discovered her solution ten years ago.
British expert will help NZ firms develop a mentoring culture, writes Steve Hart
New Zealand organisations are increasingly embracing mentoring and coaching as being essential to their organisation's toolbox of learning and development strategies, says Aly McNicoll.
The New Zealand Mentoring Centre training director says the benefits of mentoring include helping to develop leaders, drive change and address management and human resources issues. While mentoring staff and grooming them for advancement may be all well and good, McNicoll says showing the benefits on the bottom line - generating a return on investment - is something some firms struggle with.
But help is on its way in the form of a mentoring expert from Britain.
"Britain is about five years ahead of us in terms of where mentoring and coaching sits in organisations," says McNicoll. "One survey found that 86 per cent of organisations [in Britain] were using mentoring and coaching as part of their day-to-day performance management practice.
NZ Herald writer Steve Hart talks to NZMC director Patti Gwynne
It seems some people put a lot of energy into resisting change - especially when it's the idea of a new recruit. Thankfully, there are plenty of people who believe that when a new member of staff joins a company it is a golden opportunity - not just for the new employee but for the company and its staff.
Patti Gwynne is a mentor and company coach. She says companies should rely on new staff to give a fresh perspective on the company.
"New members of staff are valuable during those first three months in the new job because they will see so many things that could be done better," says Gwynne.