Understanding the relational approach


By Martin Vogel

Ahead of our 20 September session with Simon Cavicchia on the relational approach to coaching, here’s some background reading for those who are interested in digging deeper regarding the intellectual foundations of the approach.

From Simon’s forthcoming book, he’s provided this useful primer on the core components of a relational orientation.

A relational approach to coaching:

  • With its emphasis on intersubjectivity reveals the complex and interactive nature of human systems.
  • Is concerned with the self-experience of coachees in their context, how they are impacted by it, make meaning from experience, take up their roles, how they interact with others, and how they are both shaped by and contribute to shaping their environments via the medium of conversations and interactions.
  • Is equally concerned with the self-experience of coaches in their professional settings, the different contexts of client organisations and the coaching dyad, how they are at once shaped by and stand to impact clients and their systems.
  • Is focused on enabling coachees to respond creatively to ever increasing complexity and uncertainty in themselves and in their contexts.
  • Achieves this by enabling coachees to contain anxiety and integrate more and more aspects of themselves, thereby increasing their repertoires for reflection and action all the while acknowledging the relationship between individual and context.
  • Makes overt use of subtle and powerful relationship dynamics in service of meaning making, learning and development.
  • Sees the coach’s “use of self” as a central component in facilitating change.

For further background, Simon presented an interesting paper to the APECS Symposium of 2014, which prompted an engaging conversation about how professional coaches should be developing their positioning in the market: Multi-pointed contracting (pdf).

There’s also Simon’s 2008 paper introducing the application of the relational approach in a coaching context: Towards a relational approach to coaching (pdf).

Book now for the session … 

The relational turn
20th September 2016, 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Space in Marylebone, 10 Daventry Street, London NW1 5NX
Members £30; Non-members £35.

Book with Eventbrite

Image courtesy Fouquier.


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