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Dialogue Coaching

Dialogue and coaching - how does this go together?

We believe it belongs together, not only because dialogue colloquially suggests an intense exchange between two persons. Rather, dialogue also means a communication model comprising many-faceted methodical elements, which elements are in turn useful in different situations of encounters.

The word "dialogue" comes from the Greek term dialogos, consisting of logos for "the word" or "meaning" and dia for "through" – surely not "two". A dialogue may in this sense be held by any number of persons. Consequently, dialogue does not mean a conversation between two persons here, but "flow of meaning". Even a sole individual may hold an "inner dialogue" or "soliloquy" in order to comprehend the impact and consequences of events or decisions for him/herself in a differentiated way. Dialog means a conversation with a center not sides.

Within organisations, a moderated dialogue is, beyond the limits of discussions and conventional conversations, supposed to enable the participants to enlarge upon subjects, support creative processes in teams and develop conversation skills. It is suited for creating links with complex current tasks (decision-making, conflict work, etc.) as well as for the way to cultural change if management is really committed to change. Almost any matter may be discussed in a strategic dialogue (how can we improve the use of our strengths? What have we been missing up to now? Where are our "blind spots"? Where do we want to go?...).

Even though the term "coaching" is neither bindingly defined nor protected, there is a broad consensus that coaching is to be understood as process consulting at a personal level. The coach provides support in the development of own solutions, with always two perspectives being concurrently involved: individual and role. Aside from the more popular individual coaching, we also practise group coaching, providing in-process consultation to teams and cooperative advisory groups.

The key tasks of the coach include:

  • sound feedback, analysis and exchange of thoughts;
  • improvement of individual freedom of choice with regard to behavioural options;
  • reduction of perception distortion;
  • improvement of working ability on the basis of the executive's specific needs.

Against this background, dialogue-based communication and coaching complement each other harmoniously. Attentive observation in a dialogue sharpens the perception of the participants' different perspectives and energies. Dialogue coaching assists in strengthening self-organisation powers both rationally and emotionally by relating and integrating experience at both an objective and a personal level.

Bibliographical reference:
Thomas Buhl-Böhnert, "Führen im Dialog", Expert Verlag 2007
William Isaacs, "Dialogue and the art of thinking together", 1999