Coaching brings with it dynamic thinking constructs together with its own unique language, buzz words and vocabulary.

Learning the language is a great way to get acquainted with coaching, whether you’re about to coach or whether you’re preparing for your first chemistry meeting with your preferred coach. 

These definitions are my own with adaptations from Drs Skiffington and Zeus, (The Behavioral Coaching Institute) which I use most often in my work.

Authenticity: living an authentic life involves striving to determine life’s meaning, seeking purpose in life and living according to one’s own chosen values

Behavior: any measurable response of an individual, including anything the individual does, says or feels in response to external or internal events. 

Congruence: a state of being in which the individual is integrated, authentic, spontaneous and self-disclosing.

Defense mechanism: an enduring pattern of protective behavior, the purpose of which is to protect the individual against the awareness of something that provokes anxiety.  Some defenses are unconscious, while others are conscious.  Furthermore, some defenses are limiting, while others are positive.

Learning: a relatively permanent change in a person’s behavior due to experience

Re-framing: a technique that helps us to redefine unpleasant situations or events, thereby making these situations easier to manage

Reinforcement: an event that, when presented following a behavior, causes the behavior to increase or  decrease in frequency.  Positive reinforcement, synonymous with reward, increases the likelihood of the behavior occurring again.

ROE:    Return on Expectations involves the coach, client and coachee identifying and agreeing on expectations, including the “critical success factors” that the coaching program will meet.

Self- antecedent instructions: statements we make to ourselves that describe, direct or guide the behavior we will perform  They can affect our performance positively of negatively

Self-Observation: systematically observing one’s own behavior over time, on several occasions in an ongoing manner

Self-Regulation: the individual’s ability to recognize, direct and modulate her or his own thoughts, feelings and behavior.

Socratic Dialogue: A method of asking questions to prompt reflection, which in turn will lead to knowledge or the individuals own awareness of his or her own knowledge or ignorance    


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Photography by Marc Williams ©

Michelle Clarke is an Executive Coach.  She works with Leaders, Executives and Executive Coaches, helping them to  develop strong, influential personal brands and to elegantly navigate the complexity of 21st century leadership . To learn more about her work please visit her website, and be sure also to subscribe to this blog for future updates. If you enjoy Facebook, please join Michelle’s Business Page

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