Archive for August, 2009

Glamour models

Not that kind of model!

Not that kind of model!

Perhaps one reason for the popularity of coaching is the prevalence of structured coaching models with acronyms that make real (and rather dynamic) words.

The most popular coaching model is GROW, developed by Sir John Whitmore. This stands for:

  • Goals
  • Reality
  • Options
  • Way forward or Will or Wrap-up or What, Where, Why, When (depending on who you ask)

Grow is quite a dynamic and optimistic word, but obviously not assertive enough. In 2003 Sabine Dembkowski and Fiona Elridge came up with ACHIEVE.

  • Assess current situation
  • Creative brainstorming
  • Hone goals
  • Initiate options
  • Evaluative options
  • Valid action programme design
  • Encourage momentum

Perhaps even more zappy is LASER developed by Graham Lee.

  • Learning
  • Assessing
  • Story-making
  • Enabling
  • Reframing

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Let the right one in

Unleashing Aspirations, the final report from the governmental Panel on Fair Access to the Professions has been released. The report looks at social mobility in the UK and specifically entry into society’s top jobs and professions, such as lawyers, civil servants, doctors, bankers, journalists and university vice chancellors.

Not surprisingly, the report shows that most professions have become increasingly exclusive, with increasing proportions of members coming from families with above average incomes. It criticises the professions for recruitment practices that directly and indirectly discriminate against students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Plus ça change…!

In 1968 Ken Roberts proposed his Theory of Occupational Allocation (or Opportunity Structure theory as it became known). After researching into the jobs of school leavers he proposed that individual choice had less of an impact on career destination than the social proximity of the options available based on gender, ethnicity and social class.

More recent theoretical concepts along similar lines have included habitus and social capital.

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Who are you…now?

Rita Carter is a science writer who has written a number of books on the human brain and how it works. Her most recent book is called Multiplicity and it examines the idea that we do not have one consistent and constant personality or identity. Instead, some psychologists suggest that we have a number of different personalities inside us, linked to different clusters of memories. The different situations and contexts we experience prompt different mini-personalities to take control of our thoughts and actions.

Are you made up of multiple personalities?

Are you made up of multiple personalities?

A similar theme is approached from a slightly different angle by Peter MacIlveen and Wendy Patton from Queensland University of Technology in their article ‘Dialogical self: author and narrator of career life themes’ in the International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance (Volume 7, Number 2, August, 2007 – or try here for an alternative version).

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Choice cuts

Radiolab is a programme on WNYC New York Public Radio. It seeks to cover mainly scientific and philosophical topics in an entertaining and thought provoking style. Whether you like the style or not, the content is usually fascinating, and it is well worth signing up to the two-weekly podcasts.

A fairly recent show was on the subject of Choice, looking at different aspects and quirks of human decision making. Examining how people make (or fail to make) good decisions should be of interest to every career practitioner.

The news that the vast number of choices available to relatively advantaged students in the modern world is likely to lead to paralysis, indecision and stress is not necessarily news to any careers adviser. However, the ‘poster test’ effect described by Malcom Gladwell which seems to demonstrate that making people explain their choices can lead them to making bad decisions should raise a few eyebrows and make us think about our practice.

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