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Top tags: applied neuroscience  Critical thinking: learning or knowing?  Emotional Intelligence  neuroscience 

Learning or Knowing

Posted By Robert Thompson, The Coaching Revolution, 27 July 2017
I am doing some research on coaching and coaching psychology and the training debate between coaches (numerous training programs of various lengths and content, broad backgrounds) and coaching psychologists ( - defined courses, clinical background). I came across this article which got me thinking about learning and knowing. What is taught in the classroom doesn't always guarantee good execution, the learning is important as is the ability to know how to execute. While the learning is visible for all to see, how do we measure knowing, can we? This piece from the BPS talks about critical thinking which could equate with knowing. While it suggests that critical thinking could be taught, it cannot identify where these critical thinking skills come from. Are they innate?

Tags:  Critical thinking: learning or knowing? 

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Coaching's role in being the 1st profession to commercial apply Neuroscience to people.

Posted By Dr Paul Brown, 01 July 2017

We are in the decade of the brain. The dominating scientific models of the first quarter of the twenty-first century will come from neurobiology. For the most stunning pictures of what is being discovered, Google Human Connectome Project.

Last year President Obama promised $100 million a year for 10 years for brain research. This year he doubled that. One private research institute in the USA has committed $500 million dollars to its neuroscience programmes. The EU is funding brain research at the Campus Biotech in Geneva to the tune of 100 million a year for 10 years.

It used to be physics that got the very big research monies. No longer is that so.

Neuroscientists as a whole are generally more interested in the brain than the person and a great deal of the modern research is driven by the clinical neurosciences. Those sciences are typically not especially interested in ordinary people, in ordinary everyday life - or even in extraordinary people. They are interested in people who need mending in one way or another.

Coaches, however, are especially interested in ordinary and extraordinary people. Coaching could be the first main profession in the commercial world to take an active and productive interest in the brain.

One speciality in the neurosciences is called cognitive social neuroscience. It is at the forefront of the way the whole of psychology is having to re-position itself as a biological rather than social science. It concerns itself actively with how the brain works in managing experiences.

One of the early and already classic pieces of work in this area was conducted in 2000 by Naomi Eisenberger working in her husband Matthew Lieberman's lab at UCLA. How similar are social pain and physical pain? she asked.

She created a small computer screen display to be watched by a person laying in an fMRI brain  scanner. On the screen were projected three pairs of moving hands, organised as an inverted triangle. The experimental subject was told that the hands at the bottom of the screen belonged to him or her. The hands at each side at the top of the screen were participants with the subject in a ball game, and the hands were to pass a ball between each other.

After some little time of the game progressing, suddenly the ball started passing between only the two upper pairs of hands. The experimental subjects brain then showed reactions in the pain managing-area of the brain very similar to the reactions shown when a person experiences physical pain.

Feelings of rejection cause real pain, it seems. But with physical pains, endorphins - naturally occuring painkillers - rush to try and quell it. With emotional pain there is no such antidote. It can go on reverberating. So we begin to see the importance of having emotionally robust organisations, to which the key is the quality of relationship within which the organization exists.

Dr Paul Brown

Tags:  applied neuroscience  Emotional Intelligence  neuroscience 

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AC Global Research

Posted By Anne Archer, 01 July 2017

AC Head of Research, Anne Archer, introduces the recently formed Global Research (Advisory and Leadership) Team and outlines its exciting ambitions

The AC continues to develop and grow and has now become truly international. With this growth strategy comes the opportunity to draw on global expertise and perspectives, thereby enhancing practice and the experiences of clients, many of them leaders in a highly complex global economy.  In its commitment to be truly global the AC aims to represent its members and serve coaching in all countries with research evidenced by global participation and collaboration.

The recently formed global research team comprises AC members from around the world with representatives from Australia, Europe, India, South Africa, Canada, China and Japan.  All have an expertise and passion for research and how it can effectively serve our community. As members of a progressive professional body we are committed to developing our virtual community as a relevant and leading global research group, which contributes to coaching and the clients we serve.

To achieve this we are currently creating our global research strategy, allowing it to emerge through dialogue and exploration among the group, with a wider reach through our respective client base. Over the course of 2014/2015 our intention is to build strong links with academic institutions and research partners through networks across the globe. We are currently in the process of identifying and contacting those who we believe can support our dual aims of:

  • Grounded research that has visible/tangible benefits for coaching and our clients
  • Blue sky - innovative, future focussed research that tests our own comprehension, assumptions and boundaries, helping us to visualize how we can then push forward
  • We are currently reviewing coaching related research, both completed and being undertaken – no mean feat!  As a team we are excited by the potential for exploring global organizational leadership: the qualities and the challenges of working and leading in a global context. Blurred boundaries, multiple teams, cultures and connections require leadership coaching, which embraces both opportunities and challenges.

    As a global team, reliant on technology ourselves, we recognise that there is scope and relevance for us to explore our own experience alongside this broader enquiry; particularly as we are uniquely placed to explore this topic from multiple lenses – a key perspective and strength of this group.

    In keeping with the ethos of the AC, we are developing our way of working as a learning and knowledge hub where we can challenge each other and create new understanding through robust peer contact in multiple ways, many of which are virtual.  As we evolve we expect to provide leading-edge forums where we can challenge conventional wisdom and offer contentious insights in equal measure, placing a focus on the global nature of our research, while also including local examples of quality research.

    In short we intend to become known for:

  • World class, credible, replicable research (both global and local perspectives)
  • Member led and country/region specific research
  • Timely and helpful ways of disseminating research findings and application
  • A vibrant, innovative, future focussed research hub
  • Creating and sustaining mutually beneficial global research networks
  • You can read more AC News in our Global Bulletin

    Anne Archer

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