Coaching with the Brain in Mind: Foundations for Practice
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More About This Title Coaching with the Brain in Mind: Foundations for Practice


Coaching Brain in Mind

Foundations for Practice

David Rock and Linda J. Page, PhD

Discover the science behind brain-based coaching

By understanding how the brain works, coaching professionals can better tailor their language, strategies, and goals to be in alignment with an individual's "hard-wired" way of thinking. Written by two well-known coaching professionals, David Rock and Linda Page, Coaching with the Brain in Mind presents the tools and methodologies that can be employed by novice and experienced coaches alike to create an effective—and ultimately more rewarding—relationship for both coach and client.

This informative guide to the neuroscience of coaching clearly demonstrates how brain-based coaching works in practice, and how the power of the mind can be harnessed to help an individual learn and grow. Illustrated with numerous case examples and stories, this book is organized for immediate use by professionals in their client work.

Coverage includes:

  • A succinct but comprehensive overview of the major scientific and theoretical foundations for coaching and their implications for practice

  • How the language of coaching—setting goals, making connections, becoming more aware, seeking breakthroughs, and taking action—parallels what neuroscientists tell us about how the brain operates

  • Neuroscience as a natural platform for the ongoing development of coaching

Building on the existing foundation of coaching by adding neuroscience as an evidence base for the profession, Coaching with the Brain in Mind shows that it is possible to become a better professional coach by understanding how the brain works. As well, the authors, through their research, present that an understanding of neuroscience research, however new and speculative, can help coaches and leaders fulfill their potential as change agents in the lives of others.


David Rock is one of the thought leaders in the global coaching profession. He has taught his integrated coaching model to more than 3,000 coaches and managers worldwide. His coaching organization, Results Coaching Systems, works with large corporations to build internal coaching competencies among managers and leaders.?He is the author, most recently, of Quiet Leadership: Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work.

Linda J.Page,PhD, is founder of Adler International Learning, a coach training and consulting organization, and active member of several international coaching organizations. Her writing and editing experience spans various media, genres, and subjects, including articles on coaching, neuroscience, organizational change, and psychotherapy. She has also written scripts for CBC radio and for several children's albums including Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch: Camping in Canada.


Preface: Who Should Read This Book? xiii

About the Authors xix

About This Book xxiii

Knowledge and Action, Action and Knowledge xxv

Acknowledgments xxvii

Introduction: What Are the Questions? 1

Coaching Bedrock 3

Coaching Pillars 7

Neuroscience Platform 13

Organization of Coaching with the Brain in Mind 15

What Do We Need to Know About Neuroscience? 18

What Are We Doing Here? 27

A Note about the Science of Neuroscience 28

Part I: Who Are We?

Chapter 1 Bedrock—Ontology 33

Western Philosophy 35

New Age Philosophy 41

Anthropology 44

Sociology 50

Ontology as Bedrock for Coaching 53

Chapter 2 Pillar—Social Embeddedness 55

Globalization 57

Systems Theory 65

Quantum Theory 86

Social Embeddedness as a Coaching Pillar 89

Chapter 3 Neuroscience Platform—Mindfulness 91

The Potentiating Brain 94

Thinking Processes 102

Mindfulness Practices 108

Practice Guide for Coaching with the Brain in Mind—Know Yourself 113

Part II: How Can We be Healthy?

Chapter 4 Bedrock—Health Practices 117

Western Medicine 119

Physiology 124

Stress 134

Wellness Theory 136

Resource Section: How to Recognize and Avoid Unsupported Claims of Health Benefits 140

Health Practices as Bedrock for Coaching 141

Chapter 5 Pillar—Optimizing Performance 143

Sports Psychology 145

Change Theory 149

Models of Change 155

Optimizing Performance as a Coaching Pillar 169

Chapter 6 Neuroscience Platform—Neuroplasticity 171

Dynamic Stability 173

Placebo Effect 174

Experience and Hardwiring 178

Attention 178

Veto Power 183

Applying the Schwartz-Rock Formula for Dynamic Stability 186

Practice Guide for Coaching with the Brain in Mind—Leverage Change 188

Part III: Why Do We Do What We Do?

Chapter 7 Bedrock—Psychology 191

Behaviorism 194

Psychometrics 199

Developmental Psychology 206

Evolutionary Psychology 209

Psychology as Bedrock for Coaching 215

Chapter 8 Pillar—Activating the Mind 217

Cognitive Psychology 219

Learning Theory 223

Activating the Mind as a Coaching Pillar 243

Chapter 9 Neuroscience Platform—Cognition 245

Memory 247

Awareness 256

Mapping and Predicting 259

Dilemma Model 267

Practice Guide for Coaching with the Brain in Mind—Make Decisions and Solve Problems 271

Part IV: How Can We Feel Better?

Chapter 10 Bedrock—Psychotherapy 275

Humanistic Movement 284

Trauma and Its Social Implications 287

Research Revealing Transtheoretic Common Factors 288

Linking Psychotherapy Techniques to Coaching 290

Resource Section: Mental Health Issues—How Not to Do Psychotherapy 316

Psychotherapy as Bedrock for Coaching 320

Chapter 11 Pillar—Accentuate the Positive 323

Learned Optimism 327

Science of Happiness: Pleasure, Engagement, and Meaning 331

Resilience 338

Emotional Intelligence 340

Accentuate the Positive as a Pillar for Coaching 343

Chapter 12 Neuroscience Platform—Emotions 345

State of Mind 348

Scanning for Threats 351

Status and Belonging 356

Emotion Regulation 358

Practice Guide for Coaching with the Brain in Mind—Keep Cool Under Pressure 365

Part V: How Can We Get Along?

Chapter 13 Bedrock—Management 371

Management Theory 377

Industrial/Organizational Psychology 381

Social Psychology 383

Meta-analysis 390

Management as Bedrock for Coaching 395

Chapter 14 Pillar—Leadership 397

Organizational Heresies 400

Social Network Theories 407

Family Systems Therapies 411

Appreciative Inquiry 414

Human Capital Movement 417

Leadership as a Coaching Pillar 418

Chapter 15 Neuroscience Platform—NeuroLeadership 421

Collaborative, Contingent Conversations 423

Our Social Brains 426

Theory of Mind 431

Repairing Relationships—Sange 434

Resolving Conflict—Stop and Grow 440

Calming Threats—The SCARF Model 443

Practice Guide for Coaching with the Brain in Mind—Get Along with Others 447

Conclusion: What Are We Doing Here? 449

Internet Links 459

References 461

Index 487