Blog Post

Coaching and Consulting Techniques

Our assignment was to watch two movies to compare the components of coaching and consulting in these films, the films were The Legend of Bagger Vance (Coaching) and Twelve Angry Men (Consulting). 

The coaching concepts in the Legend of Bagger Vance that resonated with me included, first was about making the connection.  In the movie, Junah was living in the past, and focused on what had happened years ago, what Bagger did was guide him to look in the current moment and to be present in the here and now by taking in the moment and seeing himself in the moment, he was about to create an authentic connection.  Another coaching concept used in the movie was using silence to allow Junah to self-discover the right path for himself.  Bagger’s silence allowed Junah to reflect on what was going on within himself and come to the right answers himself.  In addition, Bagger did not overtly interfere to stop Junah from making a bad decision on a golf shot.  Bagger knew that too much interference would make Junah dependent on him, he needed to teach Junah that he would not always be there to give him the right answer (the correct club to use for the shot, or the right angle to take on the shot).  By allowing Junah to learn from his mistake he created an independence for Junah to survive when he was no longer there, to me that is a sign of a successful coaching outcome.  In the end, Junah learned to live in the moment and not in the past, let go of old baggage to move forward, and to survive and think on his own.

Regarding the consultative aspects of Twelve Angry Men, what struck me most was the transition of the elements of the listening skills.  Each of the twelve jurors “heard” the same case testimony however they each listened from a different perspective during the trial.  It was in the jury room where this became evident.  Each man came from a different social / economic background which formed their perceptions and prejudices.  In the beginning, most were listening by downloading, what they were hearing they were listening from the “yeah I already know that” perspective, almost like they already had their mind made up.  There were a few that listened from the factual perspective, they took their personal judgement out of the equation and listened only for the hard facts to form their opinion.  And in the beginning the lone juror that started with the “not guilty” verdict was listening from the generative form of listening, he was listening from the perspective of what was possible.  After this, the initial one person with the “not guilty” verdict he had to earn the trust of the others for them to begin to really listen to his point of view, he had to sell his idea by continuing to ask questions of the others.  He, and then others who shifted their opinion, had to employ empathetic listening to address some of the bias and prejudice that were driving the other’s perceptions about the person on trial.  As the conversation continued, you began to see a shift in each of the jurors from the original perspective of listening to empathic and generative.  By asking lots of questions and providing other forms of solutions, the other jurors could see the possibilities and come around to a reasonable doubt.  I think this movie really showed the transition to an open mind, to an open heart to an open will concept.

Interestingly, both example employed the transition to an open mind, open heart, open will concept, howeve in the coaching movie, Bagger Vance employes coaching techiniques (described above) and in the Twelve Angry Men, they use listening and conversation techinques of consulting to get to the same outcome.


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