Here is how to coach managers into positive thinking, says Edna Crosby

Do you have ANTS? That is, automatic negative thoughts. Do you believe that you have no choice in how you think?

Cognitive behavioural coaching is derived from cognitive behavioural therapy and aims to provide a constructive, problem-solving approach to development needs. It is based on the principle that we can change the way we feel and behave by replacing unhelpful or distorted thinking with more constructive, healthier thoughts - if we choose to do so.

Life Coaching: a cognitive-behavioural approach deals with issues that many managers bring to coaching or that surface during coaching, such as:

  • dealing with troublesome emotions;
  • overcoming procrastination;
  • time management;
  • dealing with criticism;
  • assertiveness;
  • taking risks and making decisions.

Examples are given of clients working through each of the issues with extracts of dialogue from coaching sessions. Questions to ask about the thoughts and beliefs that influence our feelings and behaviour include:

  • Is the thought true? If it is, what is the worst that can happen and could I cope with it?
  • What is the evidence for and against this thought?
  • Does this thought help or hinder goal attainment?

This isn’t a quick fix - effort and commitment are needed to ensure successful results. Some people may find the longer extracts of dialogue a little tedious, but the book has a lot to offer anyone wishing to become more personally effective. As well as a self help book, I have found it to be an excellent adjunct to coaching.

Edna Crosby is a coach and organisation development consultant.


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