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 Is Coaching the Zeitgeist moment for personal construct psychology?

2012-08-15 00:00
By Roger Maitland
By Roger Maitland, a Learning Process Facilitator (LFP) and faculty member at USB-ED.

Coaching has seen exponential growth worldwide, and can be considered to be one of the most significant recent developments in leadership and management practice. Over 70% of large organisations in Western Europe, North America and Australasia use coaching as a major form of management and leadership development (Zenger & Stinnett in Hawkins, 2012.) Its growth has been significant in South Africa, where coaching has a nuanced difference owing to substantial use to support a broader socio-economic transformation within South African society.

Hawkins (2012) suggests that coaching is at a crossroads, where it needs to position itself more firmly to go beyond individual development to adding value increasingly to the strategic and commercial agendas of whole organisations. Pavlovic & Stojnov (2011) argue that the way in which George Kelly, the father of Personal Construct Psychology (PCP), envisaged Psychology in the 1950s bears a remarkable resemblance to modernday Coaching. “So PCP was perhaps the pre-cursor of coaching, and something of an ‘orphan’ in the clinical context where its main principles – no stigmatising or diagnostic categories and no curing or repairing – were not easy to implement. In this sense, it seems that the zeitgeist moment of PCP may be appearing 50 years after its introduction.” (Pavlovic & Stojnov, 2011:140)

The contemporary linking of Constructivist and Constructionist theories have seen PCP elaborated substantially into organisational and system contexts (Procter, 2012.) A Personal Construct Coaching approach offers arguably one of the most “sophisticated technologies of change”, which offers a coach a proliferation of techniques which sit within a robust theoretical structure. PCP is most famous for the repertory grid method; what is less known is the wide range of qualitative grids and many other tools used within the discipline. PCP is ideal for working in a diverse African context as it is rooted in the study of context.

In a turbulent world, where the only certainty seems to be the necessity of transformation for the survival of humanity, will the advent of Personal Construct Coaching offer an approach that makes a new level of effectiveness in socioeconomic transformation possible?

USB Executive Development Ltd, in partnership with the Serbian Constructivist Association and LifeLab, is offering a programme in Personal Construct Coaching. Prof Dusan Stojnov, an internationally respected academic and practitioner in Personal Construct Psychology and Coaching, will facilitate the programme together with Roger Maitland, who is also a faculty member of the USB MPhil in Management Coaching. This programme is ideally suited to the professional coach, HR/OD practitioner or Psychologist wanting advanced coaching training. ​​
1 Comment
very interesting article and also relevant to transformation through business coaching!
Posted by Michelle Frauendorf on 09-05-2013 1:16 PM


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