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Curated 2021: The History of Coaching

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Alternative Perspectives on the History of Coaching

While we are quite grateful to Dr. Brock for her work, it is also important (as is the case with all histories) that we look for alternative interpretations. Our second section of Curate 2021 is devoted to several alternative histories and interpretations of the history that Dr. Brock has offered.

Each of these essays comes from a 2009 issue (No. One) of The International Journal of Coaching in Organizations that was devoted to analysis of the history of professional coaching (with a focus on coaching that takes place in an organizational setting).

The first is a set of two essays that I prepared regarding dilemmas and opportunities in the field of professional coaching. They both center on a hypothetical interaction between a coach and their client. What were the historical “ghosts” that influenced this interaction, and what might these interactions look like given trends in the field of professional coaching?

https://libraryofprofessionalcoaching.com/research/history-of-coaching/natalie-and-john-a-narrative-perspective-on-the-past-and-present-dilemmas-and-opportunities-facing-organizational-coaching/

https://libraryofprofessionalcoaching.com/research/history-of-coaching/natalie-and-john-a-narrative-perspective-on-the-future-hopes-and-fears-facing-organizational-coaching/

The next essay in this series taken from the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations was written by Linda Page who provides a rich historical perspective in identifying two major challenges facing the field of professional coaching and arguing for the establishment of a discipline (actually an inter-discipline) of professional coaching. Here is a link to this carefully conceived and deeply researched essay:

Neurosocial Dynamics: Toward a Unique and Cohesive Discipline for Organizational Coaching | Library of Professional Coaching

The fourth essay in this series was co-authored by Peter Jackson and Elaine Cox. Like Linda Page, they provides a rich historical perspective on professional coaching. In their case, this historical perspective is philosophical in nature. What are the philosophical influences that helped to shape the field–and how did they influence professional coaching?  Here is a link to this thought-provoking essay:

The Philosophical Influences that have Shaped Coaching | Library of Professional Coaching

The final essay in this series is written by David Drake, a senior-level coach and the “father” of narrative coaching. His essay on the history of coaching includes references to the previous essays that have been included in this issue of Curated. Here is the link to his insight-filled essay on the present and future status of professional coaching:

https://libraryofprofessionalcoaching.com/research/history-of-coaching/coaching-is-dead-long-live-coaching/

I also have provided a link to an issue of Future of Coaching (a companion document to Curated that is located, like Curated, in the Library of Professional coaching). It is an issue that provides diverse perspectives on the field of professional coaching. The documents contained in this issue were written by early leaders in the field. An interview with one of these leaders (Julio Olalla) is also provided. Here is the link:

Diverse Perspectives on Professional Coaching | Library of Professional Coaching

Another way in which diverse perspectives about the history of coaching has been framed is through the sociology of knowledge (an important but often overlooked sociology sub-discipline). An issue of the Future of Coaching provides this perspective. Here is a link:

https://libraryofprofessionalcoaching.com/concepts/philosophical-foundations/coaching-and-the-sociology-of-knowledge-3

Yet another perspective on professional coaching is found in a different issue of Future of Coaching. It builds on a statement made by my colleague, Linda Page, at an international conference on coaching—a statement in which she declared that professional coaching is an interdisciplinary field. This issue is titled: “Professional Coaching as an Interdisciplinary Art and Science”. Here is the link:

Professional Coaching as an Interdisciplinary Art and Science | Library of Professional Coaching –

Finally, I offer a provocative and insightful essay prepared by our esteemed colleague, Rey Carr, who was honored in memoriam by this library several years ago for his contributions to the field of professional coaching. Here is a link to his essay on “the death of coaching”:

The Future of Coaching: Trends that Illustrate the End is Near | Library of Professional Coaching

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