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Jonathan Passmore: From the turning points of coaching’s history to the challenges of digitalization
Episode 211th January 2023 • ONCoaching • Zoltán Csigás
00:00:00 00:42:29

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In the second episode my guest is professor Jonathan Passmore. If you have

not heard of him previously, Jonathan is an internationally renowned expert in

coaching research and practice. He is the professor of coaching at Henley

Business school, and Senior VP CoachHub, the digital coaching platform. Over a

40 year career he has worked in government, not for profits and the commercial

sector, including PricewaterhouseCoopers, IBM and OPM, focusing on

organisational change, coaching and leadership development. He is a chartered

psychologist, holds five degrees and is a master coach and a team coach and

coaching supervisor. He has published widely with over 100 scientific papers,

100 + book chapters and 30 books. His most recent books include: The Coaches

Handbook (2021), CoachMe: My Personal Board of Directors (2022), and The

Coach Buyers Handbook (2023). 


In this episode he shares insights in around a number of topics. First we

talk about the history of coaching and mentoring and he outlines four pivotal

points in the formation of the helping professions. How did we get here?

Continuing the historical idea, in the second part we discuss the impact of

technological development on the profession. How does digitalization change the

process and business of coaching, and what are the typical challenges that

coach-tech companies need to handle (e.g. data safety) when running their


We talk about research as well, and revolve a bit around the active

ingredients of the coaching conversation and the enablers of coaching success.


Zoltán Csigás:

Hello, my name is Zoltan Csigás, and this is Zoltan Podcast ON COACHING. In this series, I'm talking with internationally renowned coaching scientists and coaches. We explore their personal and professional insights on the science of coaching and the helping professions. Are you interested in how they got close to this profession? Are you curious about the new frontiers they are exploring right now? Join me and listen to the conversation, inspiration, and some fun is ahead. I'm happy to have to in today's episode, Professor Jonathan Pasmore, Senior Vice President of coaching at Coach of the University professor at Henley Business School and a published author of a number of books. And I'm quite sure I'm missing a few things here. Because you are involved in such a wide variety of aspects of coaching. So how should they continue your introduction?

Jonathan Passmore:

Right, I've been fascinated over the last year about a number of particular themes that your listeners may be interested in. One has been the global coaching survey, which was a partnership with the MCC. So we recently published the results of that. So that paper is called future trends in coaching, available on the emcc website, but also on the Henley Business School website and available on the coach Hub website. And that talks about how coaches have been responding to COVID and what the future of coaching might look like. And the some of those ideas are picked up in our paper in frontiers in psychology, which offers a view about how coaching is at a pivot point in our particular developmental history. So that particular paper called The Future of coaching, written with another colleague from Coach hub, Rosie Evans is available as an open source publication. The second thing that we could talk about in our conversation today is the whole issue about race and diversity. And some research that Charmaine Roach and I have been engaging in over the last two years really, about the coaching industry to more deeply understand stakeholders views about race, equality, diversity and belonging in our industry, and how we collectively as a group of stakeholders interested might move forward with that particular challenging issue. And then the third theme that we could potentially explore the very happy to go in, in any particular direction, been a series of books that I've been producing around coaching tools. So the first in that was called we coach, which is a hardback book 202, two, written as I look down project at Henley. And then we've been producing paperback versions of this book, Volume One came out at the tail end of 2021. Volume Two is coming out in spring 2022. And volume three will be available in 2023. So spaced out over three years 100 Plus tools in each of these books. And the idea of that particular project, and I say we could talk more about it was really about bringing people together, and recognizing the real diversity, perspective of ideas or frameworks of models of tools and techniques, that this eclectic group of individuals who are students at Henley, our tutors at Henley, our friends of our community are using in their coaching practice. And so sharing that resource that treasure trove of knowledge with the wider global community of coaches, you know, my first reaction is that and how should we fit all of these into 20 minutes?

Zoltán Csigás:

I mean, any of these three big buckets could take hours. But if you let me pick, then, let's focus first on the first thing that you have mentioned the research around the future of coaching, and you mentioned that the article that talks about the current pivotal point where code changes, and I would love to hear your perspective on that. And if you could take a historical perspective, I think that will be even more interesting for our listeners that, in your opinion, what were the key pivot points or milestones in the development of the coaching profession, from a research perspective or without research perspective?

Jonathan Passmore:

So let me start by talking about a story. So part of what I've been doing over the last year and this project has been going is to talk to interview pioneers of coaching. And one of the people who I interviewed in that journey over the last 18 months in the conversation said something which we You startled me. And this individual said, Well, of course I invented coaching said all that's fascinating. Tell me more about this and said, Oh, yes. And it was the third of November 1973, that this idea of coaching came to me, because that's fascinating. Tell me some more. And so they told a story about how they were meeting a client and and how this idea of coaching emerged as, what were you reading at the time? What approaches what psychology? What models of change what other things were influencing your thinking, that led you to this? Yeah, I was just an idea that came to me. And really, I am the person who has invented coaching. Oh, that's very bold claim. And that made me stop thinking about what is coaching? And what are its roots. And of course, the more than I thought and read about the nature of coaching, and we're all familiar, I suppose with some of the ideas of coaching, what is what is coaching? Well, we talk about, it's being a Socratic approach. So it's got links back to classical civilization. But the more I thought about it, coaching is really just a learning conversation. That is part of a repertoire that we have as humans in a sophisticated linguistic dialogue, helping individuals to think critically and to learn. So our view in this paper was a proposition, no evidence to support this, but a proposition that probably humans have been using coaching conversations, conversations that are involve questions that encourage people to think and to learn for 10s of 1000s of years, when your ancestors and mine were moving across the savanna, in search of lunch, when they were looking for the berries, or for the deer that they would be putting in the pot that evening, probably hunting in a small group of maybe six or 10 people working together, the leader of that group, that hunting pack, or that gathering group, would recognize that actually, their life expectancy was probably about 35 or 40, that they were going to die in the next 10 years, probably. So how do you pass on knowledge, one way of passing on knowledge is to tell people, This is what you want to do. And in a landscape that is fixed, where you are in only one valley, you can say, well, that bush over there is a great place to get the berries. And if you wait here, then you'll notice that there's a pathway down here. And we'll kill the deer when they come down to the drinking whole. But in our hunter gatherer society, they will be transitory, there'll be moving over a large tract of land between seasons. And so the bushes and the tracks that the animals will be taking, will change. So what you want people to do is not to understand it, that bush on that track that you need to be standing by. But instead, what are the features of the landscape that you need to pay attention to where the sun is shining, where the Jew will fall, where the grass is trodden? And thinking about those aspects. And that type of sophisticated understanding of the landscape is best developed not from passing on directive information, but are encouraging people to look at that landscape and reflect. So probably, coaching was part of the learning processes that happened between those tribes in the hunter gatherer societies 10 and 20,000 years and beyond the go. That's proposition, no evidence, no written records to support that, then we move on to us.

Zoltán Csigás:

Let me interrupt you before we get to the second point, because what you are telling me then I'm thinking about coaching and mentoring. And is there a difference between those two activities? Because what

Jonathan Passmore:

I suspect that our hunter gatherer ancestors wouldn't have seen a difference between those, the probably, again, hypothesis, we have no evidence to prove it one way or the other. Probably the person who was leading the group would be the most senior. And there would be a mixture of that input of their wisdom and guidance. And they will be asking reflective questions that encourage the individual to discover for themselves what the best features of the landscape to be paying attention to. So I suspect that coaching and mentoring were much closer together in the past in those conversations, and they would have been blended with it some direction, they would probably be saying, look for waterholes look for these particular features. But they won't be the only things because in some landscapes, maybe there wouldn't have been a pool where the animals will be gathering. Maybe it'll needed to look for other types of different environments that if it's a Low Level landscape or a fairly flat landscape compared to a hilly landscape, or the soil types might change that might lead to different barriers in my lead to different animals that you needed to pay attention to, and haunting them in different ways. So I think coaching and mentoring are probably much closer and less clearly defined the way are articulating today. And so there was a, that was the start of the process, then we have the transition into Greek society, classical societies, where coaching is being used by Socrates and other teachers in a much more purposeful way. So they're very clear about why we're using that, and would have been able to articulate the Socratic method. And it's documented, we have scripts that we can go to, to demonstrate that that critical questioning critical thinking style of engagement was used as a teaching method that encouraged individuals to explore for their own purposes, the assumptions and beliefs that they are holding, that led them to the answers that they were articulating. And so by challenging individuals to think more critically about their beliefs and assumptions, they could develop a clear line of thinking that then leads to more effective understanding of democracy or a particular decision that society wanted to make. So Socrates was a second step in this journey of development of coaching. And then we need to travel on 2000 years or more. And that brings us to the 1980s, probably, when Yes, we can hear of stories going back to the 70s. But broadly, in the 1980s, there was a movement that was beginning to happen, where people were saying, Yeah, I can use this questioning style, it probably been going on all of the time, since the Greeks. And we can see examples in journal papers, where in the early 1920s, coaching was being used as a style of helping people to develop public speaking, we can see in the 1930s, coaching was being used as a style of engagement to help individuals in the manufacturing industries, very few touch points over these periods of time. And it's not until the 1980s that we see this growth, really in parallel with the growth of consulting, and a focus on an interest on self discovery. And of course, there are points that we can go back to the 1960s. With s land, for example, we can go into the 1970s. And people who were using this for the 1980s saw an expansion, and a touch point where people were started talking about coaching as a profession. And that led to the emergence of professional bodies. It led to standards of practice of codes of ethics, competency frameworks, and we have another stepping stone in this journey, where coaching instead of it being just something I might do as a leader or manager, something I might do as a teacher, now I'm seeing myself as being distinctive, and this becomes part of my professional identity. The fourth stepping stone in this journey that we articulated in the article is to say we're now at a nother pivot point, another transition point for coaching. And that pivot point really is the coming together of two forces, and then events in the world. So the first of those drivers has been the last 25 years or so, of scientific endeavor, where many people, great writers, great researchers, great thinkers, and we have Eric de Haan Tony grant, David Clutterbuck, others who are taking forward the science to understand what is it about coaching that we do? What are the elements, the ingredients that go together for an effective coaching conversation? How do we then put those together in an appropriate blend? And what are the outcomes that it delivers in certain circumstances or situations, we're now able to say, in 2022, pretty conclusively, coaching works. And it works in these particular circumstances. And it works most effectively when when we have these ingredients. So we've got a science behind coaching that we didn't have those years ago. The second driver for change is digitalization. So we're seeing digitization spread across our world. And that's facilitated by a number of drivers. So the first of those drivers is in our personal spaces. We're much more comfortable consuming digital technology, whether that's I've got a license to do Netflix, whether I'm engaged with YouTube, whether I'm using email, and a multiplicity of other apps applications, both in my personal life and of course that's cascading across into the workplace. So we're seeing the emergence of slack and a whole raft of digital tools. was the facilitating and enabling communication, learning, reflection, project management, and organizations are increasingly turning to those applications to enable work to be undertaken more efficiently, more effectively. So we have a digitization process and the delivery of apps. And then alongside of that, we've also seen a transformation of the hardware that we're using to run point when I started work in the 1980s, where it was unusual to see a computer on somebody's desk. Now everybody has a computer on the desk. But secondly, that computer can be put under their arm, or in their briefcase and take anywhere they want. And then the software aspects of that that connectivity. Not only do we have fast and reliable broadband at home, as well as in the office, we also have that in multiple other locations. So our devices, our smartphones have become another way that we can connect to the world, not only accessing our emails, but checking what's happening on our Slack channel, and engaging in a multiplicity of these apps that we can download onto our device. So those two forces have come together, the technology is present, the science of coaching has come together, and they were sitting waiting for something that would trigger a significant change. And then we had COVID CIO position where we were all sitting at home, were locked down. And suddenly organizations and leaders and managers recognized, actually, I don't need to be in the office for 40 hours a week, I can spend much of my week at home, sometimes I go to the office for particular functions, but I can do this. And I can use that technology of my broadband that I've got, because I've also got Netflix, and I watched Netflix of an evening. But I can also have multiple zoom calls, I connect to my emails, I can transfer documents, all of that technological innovation facilitates this. And of course, how do people continue to engage in learning? How do they continue to engage in coaching, when we were all trapped in our bedrooms? Well, that has led to a switch from face to face coaching, which was the dominant method for delivery in 2018 and 2019. To that being a secondary mode for delivery through that period, as more than 90%, from our research in the future of coaching study, demonstrated that coaches across the world had pivoted to online. And when we asked them, What do you think is going to happen? Post pandemic, when we move to an endemic status in 22, or 23? Or 24? What are you going to do?

Zoltán Csigás:

I'm going to place any online,

Jonathan Passmore:

we're going to stay online, why are you going to stay online is super convenient, it means that I can get more coaching done. And I'm really now very familiar and comfortable, the platforms that I'm using, and so are my clients. So not surprisingly, the way that circumstances coming together with the science and the availability of the technology has moved us in to a digital world. And I suspect that for most coaches, most coaching is going to be continuing to be done online. And that has then liberated platform providers such as coach up such as Ezra such as a whole plethora that are out there alongside slack and many of these other channels to really take their product into a new territory into many, many global organizations when the past thing was no need. We've got coaches coming in. And once you're then able to deliver that in a highly cost effective way. The platforms that were popular, have now become ubiquitous.

Zoltán Csigás:

I tend to agree with all these switches, and they're going at least two points in which I will, I would go forward. One, let me take one step back to the science of coaching that you've mentioned, and that it is here and it is available. And you you've said it quite clearly that we have conclusive evidence of what are the circumstances and what are the active ingredients? And can you give us a recap on what are the most important ingredients or circumstances? Because in my readings, I don't see that conclusive evidence. But that's why we have you who have of course.

Jonathan Passmore:

That's it's a tricky question, because it's a complex question. It's a complex question because we

Zoltán Csigás:

reflect let me rephrase it. So in your understanding what are the five most important active ingredients that you consider to have been properly evidenced, and we all know that there is no such a thing as perfect evidence in such a scientific field as coaching where we don't have one cent zeros or measurable particles.

Jonathan Passmore:

So I would say first of all, humans are complex, and they vary. And that's why you don't get consistent results in the same way that you might do if you're baking bread. So baking bread, you put the ingredients together, assuming you've got an oven that is consistent in terms of its temperature, assuming you're using the same ingredients of, of flour and the other ingredients, you follow that recipe, and you've got the same ones time and time. But at the same temperature on the oven, you're the same water mix. And you've got also a controlled environment in which you're baking. So your kitchen is at the same temperature, then you're gonna get consistent results. Already, you can see, even in a scientific process, it's a little bit more complicated than a Delia Smith recipe. She's a baker, a chef. So as we think about that, to humans, so let me just put it as humans, five factors you have asked for number one, I think is that the client who is engaging in coaching, or any process, any learning process needs to be ready and willing to engage. And without that commitment from the client, you can send people to coaching, you can take the horse to water, but the horse needs to want to drink and the coachee needs to want to engage in the process, they need to be having a growth mindset, they need to be at a point where they're ready to have open disclosure. And the possibility of identifying new insights are actions that they want to progress. If you have the client sitting in front of you who's just folds their arms and doesn't want to talk, it doesn't want to engage, there's going to be no progress. So there's some features around the individual coaching. I think a second feature there are what we need to pay some attention to, is the whole process around the coaching relationship. So how the coach goes about building trust. And there are a number of features around this have some evidence, again, the evidence is not overwhelming conclusive that the same factors apply for every individual or awaited in the same way. But generally, the coach prior to meeting needs to have some credibility in the eyes of the client. And that credibility might be to do with their background, their training, their experience, it could also be to do with personal factors such as gender and race, that will predispose the client to be more willing to engage in the process with that specific individual. Then there is the whole process of building the relationship. And Carl Rogers has talked extensively in a therapeutic area about the necessary and sufficient conditions, that helps us build the relationship. And I talk about those about creating a container for the work that needs to take place. And there are some who have argued that actually, that's all we need, Rogers would say they're both necessary, and they're sufficient. For me, they're necessary, but they're not sufficient. If we instead add other ingredients, we can bake the bread to get a better rise. In other words, we can achieve faster outcomes or more change. If we add in more ingredients. If we add in a yeast, we will get more rice, if we add in other approaches that will enhance the coaching process to produce better outcomes. But at the very starting point, there needs to be this relationship. And that partly credibility. And that's partly about the way that the coach contracts or set some boundaries that enable the client to feel as though this is a relationship where they can be open or honest. So confidentiality would be an important part of that process. It builds trust in the relationship. And then the other other aspects that continue to facilitate the relationship with a building trust is about the way that the coach works with them in terms of listening and providing the space for the client to tell their story. So second, second ingredient. I think the third ingredient that's important for us to pay some attention to is, of course, what does success look like? So defining what success is. So we might describe that about goal setting. And there is much discussion about well, it's really important to set clear goals is important to set approach goals in the work that we're doing. So those aspects can be useful for the client as they are moving forward towards those goals. There are others who will say well, coaching can be broader than goal coaching, it can be simply providing a space for the client to reflect. But we can only measure its effectiveness and we're clear at the beginning what we're seeking to measure. So it may be insight may be a factor. And as long as we establish a clear objective for the coaching conversation, it has a focus then we can measure whether it's an effective outcome. And the evidence is that actually having clear goals, it's more likely that we're then able to help individuals to move towards those goals. So a focus for the conversation could be goals, that helps people to move forward. A fourth factor that I think is helpful in this is drawing upon the wider therapeutic knowledge that's out there. And so let's take one specific example of this cognitive behavioral therapy, highly evidence based, hundreds of randomized control trials, all of those show that individuals are able to think about their thinking, help them to develop a recognition of their connections between their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and then to become more choice Phul in their progression to a resolution of their faulty thinking, and to move closer towards their goal attainment. So by taking a therapeutic approach, and applying that in a coaching context, to build quantifiable coaching, as a method for working with clients, well that provides is evidence that certain types of interventions, so helping the connection between those three aspects of what it is to be human, and the other elements of cognitive behavioral coaching, in terms of adopting and more evidence based thinking, can be helpful for clients in a coaching conversation. And then the last element five, we can go on for 15, if you like, but let's stick with five, let's fix it with fire indeed. So the fifth element to talk about in terms of the role that coaching has built, a built of evidence, is the element for coaching at the end, to have this review process, where clients are able to go back to that goal and then say, actually, I've been able to make progress on this towards this goal. So in a way, what we're doing, at the beginning, is having an end in mind, the comparison with therapy, which is never ending. So if you're Woody Allen, you can carry on therapy for 30 years. And how do you judge that it's successful is helpful. One might argue, therapeutic conversations of that type may be very pleasurable, may be very internally rewarding. Have some great our my therapist there, but our little more than intellectual masturbation, and I think coaching provides, if we're clear about evaluating at the end, we start with an end in mind, we work towards that end, it a nails allows the client to get into the relationship in saying I've now achieved the outcome that I set about. And that brings it to a natural conclusion. And so we are able to do with the client is then able to step outside of the relationship to once again take personal responsibility for their life.

Zoltán Csigás:

Thank you This was a clear and focused recap for me. And I really appreciate you putting all those together. And there was another thing I wanted to pick up. Because there was one thing about science and the other thing you said that now we have the technology. And they have to admit that our technology front as well. So at least I have at least four screens in front of me right now. But fortunately, one of them is active. In your research. And in your experience. How do you say this technology just an enabler of moving these conversations into the online space? Or do we already see technology as an adventure of things? Is there an added value besides making the conversations possible? And how is this and why I'm asking the question, not just know that curiosity, but I had conversations where the phrase, the sacred human nature for coaching conversation was brought to our attention. And some of my colleagues were arguing that well, that's the essence of coaching, as you have mentioned, people meeting and magic that happens. And I don't see people, as you mentioned using apps, and not just for having the conversation per se I just as we're having zoom as a background. So how do you say this enabler versus advancer approaches? Like you face it that way?

Jonathan Passmore:

So I think digital has both disadvantages, but also significant advantages. So one of the disadvantages, as I see it, is there is something special about a human encounter. And we know from psychological research, the one aspect that is missing from the encounter the we're having his touch, I can't shake your hand. If you cry, I can't put my arm around your shoulder would just approach probably touch you on the shoulder in a way that would be appropriate given our genders and our relationship. I can't do that in a digital space, those things occasionally happen, we would like to do that. Now touch is, of course, highly contentious, and is very much dependent on gender, power relationships, ethnicity, cultural context. And so we rarely use it in a coaching conversation. But that's one thing that we're missing. A second thing that we can miss, but we can mitigate the risk of this is about how individuals set up their environment. So I still come across people who look as though they are silhouettes, but they have the window behind them. And all you see is the blackout around the shape of the individual, I see no facial expression, I see no body language movement. But you in this call, I can see not only your face, I can see how you're smiling, you're well lit. And I can also see your hand. So your hand gestures are part of this conversation. So I'm picking up a lot of the body language that I would get if you and I were sitting across the table, because you've thought about, and many people have done the same? How do I want to appear? How do I ensure that I'm nicely lit, that the sound quality is good that the camera is sufficiently far away, and I'm able to give an eye contact in a way that it's feels like a face to face conversation. So we can mitigate some of the risks that we have in digital spaces with a little bit of think thinking and planning and setup of their environment. Let me move on then to the benefits. So the first benefit of operating in digital spaces is the ability to combine digital tools. So we could for example, if we wanted to think hey, why don't we blend our coaching session with mirror or mural or a whiteboard. And oh, I didn't bring if it was a face to face at all. I didn't bring those strength cards, but it doesn't matter. Actually, I've set up my mural boards to have 100 different coaching tools there, I don't need to bring a rucksack with me to the meeting, I've got my strengths cards that are there, I've got the opportunity to do a whiteboard, I've got some other stimuli that could be part of our conversation, if it was appropriate to bring that in. So in other words, I brought my whole suitcase of coaching tools with me, they're available on these whiteboards that are preset. And I can use them or not use them as is appropriate for the client conversation. The second thing is scalability. So the opportunity to deliver coaching not just to one person, but to many, and in global organizations will be sore in 2005, or in 2010 was organizations that were delivering coaching to the executives, this was a C suite, senior person privilege for those people had access to it because it was expensive. And the reason why I was expensive and going to those coaching conversations is that I had to go and get on a train, I would drive to the railway station, 20 minutes, I had an hour drive our journey into London on a train, and then had half an hour journey on a tube to get to their offices. So I've got two hours getting to the venue, I'll then say to the client more to make it worthwhile, we've got to have two hours together. And then I'm thinking about a two hour journey home. If I could put two clients together on a day, that was a good outcome. But my fee rates would reflect the amount of time that I was spending. And so for the one coaching session, I'm thinking about how do I recover the cost per six hours. Now, when I'm coaching on Zoom, or a digital platform, such as coach hub, in that six hours, I can do six sessions, I could do a 45 minute or a 50 minute session with a client, I can go and have a cup of tea, a bit of a stretch break back for the next client. And so the cost base has been driven down. And secondly, that enables that service to be provided not just to people in London, but to people in Lithuania, or in Lisbon, or in China or Australia. Basically anywhere in the world. I can be coaching and that liberates coaching, reduces cost. Third factor is about measurability on a digital platform, if I'm delivering coaching to 300 employees, the organization. So how many coaching sessions have happened this month? Well, we can tell you that sort of data, we can flick a button and that data is there, we can have a look at a whole dashboard of statistical information not at a personal level, but a 300 coachees level about how coaching is going in the organization. And that accessibility to statistical tracking information is invaluable for a large scale coaching project and can only happen when You have a digital platform that individuals have connecting into. And I think the final aspect that's worthwhile paying attention to beyond that scalability. And the measurability that I've talked about is the security and security of platforms. Always you're thinking about in coaching, how do we maintain confidentiality. And let me tell you a little story and then compare it to the digital spaces. Back in around about 2004, I was leading a team of coaches in a consultancy in London. And on a Friday afternoon, colleague and I, before we went home, we went to the pub to have a beer. And we went into the pub Friday afternoon, a pub in London, pretty crowded, got to the counter, got some beers, went back was standing there, drink, drink, drink, chat for about 14 minutes, the end of the conversation. He said, Okay, I'm gonna go and catch my train now. Bye bye, went to get his bag is bag had gone. Someone had picked up his bag, picked up his notepad that was in the bag, containing all the notes of all the coaching conversations. Now in my bag was also my notebook. And that month, I had been coaching members of the UK Government who were in the cabinet about their challenges and issues. Now, it was lucky that he wasn't involved on that project. But he'd be think about both the security of those pieces of paper. And I if I had written down just because it was my personal notebook. Boris Johnson doesn't really think that supporting the Ukraine in the war is a good idea, when really commit vicious troops is worried about what the impact will be on his electoral success or the next election, I could have captured some notes, that is a front page news story that has international implications. I was taking care of my bag. But I can't guarantee the security of those notes. in a digital space. In my locked office on a secure platform, we have much more security and control over that data in a way that's quite different to what we found ourselves in a petition position in 2004. So thinking about the security features, compliance with GDPR, is really important. But let me close with one other aspect, which worries me. And this isn't something I'm just to make clear. This isn't something that we do at coach up. And in fact, we are coachable. committed not to do this. So we're fully GDPR compliant. But I am aware of coaching platforms outside of the European Union, who are not committed to GDPR standards, will recording every coaching conversation. Yep, so that isn't to the best of my knowledge declared to the client. There, I guess, thinking, Well, how could we use that data to build an AI app that replaces coaches, but you're also gonna have to ask the question, How secure is that data? And what is the ethics of secretly recording such conversations with a long term business intent, so why digital can be misused. And I think it's really important that we, as a coaching industry, professional bodies, and the reputable players in the digital coaching spaces, commit to GDPR commit to the standards about confidentiality, and that placing at the very center of the work that we do, the individual client, and that we manage out some of the poor practices in some of the other players who are outside of the European Union, to ensure that we get a an industry that really sets the very highest standards in ethics and practices, and protects individual clients and individual client data. So there are risks, there are potential downsides, some can be mitigated some advantages, but it's in our hands as an industry, how we shape the future of digital coaching, and whether it turns out to be an advantage for us, or whether it turns out to be a disadvantage for coaches and a disadvantage for clients. Thank you.

Zoltán Csigás:

I'm just checking your time. And as I have a number of follow up questions, from all the things you have said and I can just stop for a quiet time, how much time do we have?

Jonathan Passmore:

So it probably is beginning to draw things towards a close.

Zoltán Csigás:

Okay. I just phased out from wandering. Okay. Sorry for that. So, all these sounds very interesting and they will see the content you were raising, and from a coach's perspective. Even from the researchers perspective, I would have questions around. How is the presence of these digital platforms affect trust, for example, or the relationship between coach and coachee? How can I know as a coachee, that my coach is not using some other tools to engage with me, let's say, an AI that would analyze my emotional status at any given moment, or, or vocabulary or something, have a cheat sheet on, you know, on how to communicate with me, or what could be my keywords based on whatever profiling the other party has done. So I do have a lot of questions on how these technologies affect the relationship besides being enablers. Because what you are saying and what we are all experiencing that being connected with whoever we want to be connected in the world is a fantastic thing. It leads to the, to the democratization of coaching, I think we can say that it is more scalable and reach and there's more available for everyone. But I do see a number of aspects that challenge the Akuti challenge the fundamental nature of coaching relationships. So trust presents touch. And I would be interested to hear research on how this goes forward. But I think these are just questions, let's say for our next conversation. So I was very happy to have you. Thank you for all your insights and comment. And is there anything else you would like to say the closing remarks, things from you that we should share with your listeners.

Jonathan Passmore:

So I'm Thank you very much for the invitation to join you. As always, Zoltan, it was a pleasure having a conversation, I'm really happy to come back and carry on our conversation in another time. And I guess my one appeal to colleagues who are listening into the call is a an invitation to participate and to collaborate and research. Third, academics in institutions need to connect with professional bodies need to connect with Coach service providers like Coach up and need to connect with individual coaches. And only when all of those parties come together, can we build the scale and scope of the research that we as an industry need to take us in our next step in the developmental journey of our industry?

Zoltán Csigás:

Thank you. And here is Ross, one question for that, to make things very practical. What could be the one step that any coach out there could do to engage with research? What would be your recommendation how to connect to this world of academics and knowledge creation?

Jonathan Passmore:

So I think there are I can never get away with one. So there are two. So number one, number one is to make a commitment to engaging in reading and thinking about coaching research, so practice stays up to date. And the second piece is to collaborate with professional bodies or with a local university to help the students who are there work with academics who are there or work with a professional body as they carry out research studies. So when those opportunities come along, that coaches volunteer, they give a little bit of their time to invest back in the profession to help us to take the knowledge of coaching forward.

Zoltán Csigás:

Thank you. Thank you for listening to on coaching podcast, where I have curious conversations with virginal coaches and researchers. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to rate us and subscribe. I also invite you to visit Zolt educational comm where you can access more resources regarding the coaching industry very well.




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