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Psychology in training & coaching


My interpretation is to explain and identify behaviours in others.
For example, communication-body language etc. building rapport.

How can we use psychology in a training/coaching context to get the best out of people?

Sophie Edmond

4 Responses

  1. Training and coaching without psychology??
    Hi Sophie
    as Eddie says this is a big one.

    I would turn the subject round – there are two basic types of training – Hard skills and soft skills/ behaviours.

    The first can me done in a mechanical way but the psychology of learning should be taken into account to be effective learning – as for the second this is only psychology of one form or another.

    In the US most OD personnel have masters or PHD’s in psychology – it is only here in the UK that we think anyone can train!

    Many organisations are not convinced about the real value of training – this is because most people only experience training from a person who lacks a great deal of psychological background.

    As an engineer origionally I have learnt that the difference that makes the difference is psychology.

    footnote to Grahams comments – While many ‘trainers’ are less qualified in the US than the UK, I understand that they are mostly delivers only and the design is done by design specialists (on the whole).

  2. Psychology, training and coaching
    Psychology is the study how we think, what we do and who we are.
    For me it is important in two main ways. Firstly, one must understand oneself (as best one can). Secondly, the more we can understand about how other people operate the better we may be able to help them. This means understanding how people learn, what motivates them, what enables them to change (and what causes resistance), how they relate to other people, how communication works, and what difficulties people encounter (and how they handle them).
    Designing or delivering training (or coaching people) without a reasonable grasp of psychology is like asking people to garden without a knowledge of plants. Sadly some people think training is about knowing your subject and being able to tell others about it. In fact training is about helping people to think new thoughts, do new things, or do old things but in new ways.
    A good intro to the topic is Alison Hardingham’s book ‘Psychology for Trainers’.
    Incidentally, Mike suggests that OD consultants in the US are often qualified in psychology. Whilst this is true I should point out that most mainstream trainers in the US are less qualified than their UK counterparts. But this shouldn’t detract from the message he rightly puts forward.

  3. Thanks!
    Some very informative responses-that you.

    The book, Alison Hardingham ‘Psychology for Trainers’ is unavailable at the moment and if anybody has a copy that they would like to sell, I’d snap it off you!

    Have looked on ebay & nothing there.


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