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Edie Seashore: On Coaching

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Edie:  Helping the client to use themselves more effectively is one of the ways.  And using themselves more effectively in whatever role they were in.

When I go back to where I think I was being coached, I was being coached as a assistant co-trainer. I was called a co-trainer, which meant I was not the trainer of the group, but I was working with the trainer.  I was being coached in my ability to work with a T-group from the very beginning. I was being coached every year after that under a different person.

Dorothy:  Edie, you are now identifying how coaching can be used in the training and development experience. Who are the people that you identify as your coaches?  One of them you said is Richard Beckhard.

Edie:  Right. Well, certainly, Jack Glidewell. Glidewell was the person who said to me, “Edie, you are now fully trained.  Do not return as a co-trainer ever again to the Bethel campus.  Wait till they ask you back and give you your own group.”  This was after eight years of training.

That was a big leap.  He was coaching me through that summer, and he could see that that we could call off this “co” stuff.

Dorothy:  What was his claim–his particular expertise?

Edie:  He was a social psychologist. He was brilliant, absolutely brilliant. And he wrote a wonderful book called Choice Points. Yes, called when to fight and when to walk away [with choice].

Coaching and Choice

Dorothy:  Your particular gift that I see you giving in your OD and coaching work is to remind people that they are always at choice which now I also trace back to your work with Glidewell.

Edie:  Yeah.

Dorothy:  Could you speak to that in relation to how that is maybe a defining characteristic of coaching?

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