When I am speaking on and demonstrating a narrative approach to coaching, many people are quick to recognize that it seems both quite powerful and quite different to...
more traditional approaches to coaching. I often get asked, “How do you do it?” Therefore, I decided that over the next few weeks I will share with you some of the foundational elements behind narrative coaching and some of the practical implications for our work. Much of this material will appear in my chapter in a forthcoming coaching encyclopedia edited by two colleagues from the evidence-based coaching program at Fielding Graduate University I helped to found. I look forward to hearing about your observations, reflections and experiences.
Narrative coaching is a body of knowledge that draws on millennia of ancient wisdom, a century of social science thinking, and breakthroughs in domains like the neurosciences to create an approach to development fitting for our times. It is a mindful, experiential, and holistic approach to helping people shift their stories about themselves, about others, and about life itself in order to create results that matter to them. Narrative coaches take a more “decentered” position in their role, a more nondirective approach to the coaching process, and a more contextual view of coachees’ identity, development and behavior.
Six philosophical assumptions which inform narrative coaching A narrative approach to coaching works exceptionally well across cultures as it is less tied to western epistemologies and more easily tuned to local dynamics. It is quite useful in giving voice to non-dominant groups as part of a larger evolution in the systems in which they work and live, ie, in organizations embarking on culture change.
Dr David Drake is the founder of the field of Narrative Coaching.