Advanced Coaching Programme
Leadership and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS)
Assessment Title: Observation Report
Submission Date: 22nd July 2010
Name: Ndenko Asong
Word count: 1,386
Table of Content
Casual Attributions in Conversation
Body Language and Rapport
Summary & Conclusion
Much about conversation depends on the rapport between the two parties. As Clutterback explains in his title; “Creating a Coaching Culture,” the quality of a relationship is determined by the rapport between the two parties in it. A good rapport implies a healthy relationship and therefore a learning conversation. Observations of people in conversation can reveal a great deal about the rapport between them and therefore an insight into the relationship they share. The tell-tell signs will be the body language of the parties in conversation as well as the brief moments of silence they share as part of their conversation. After all 55% of communication is done via our body language and facial expression (Albert Mehrabian – Best Practice in Performance Coaching). Though this task required the observation of the conversation of just a group, I must admit that I had to observer a number of groups in a number of settings before focusing on one. As I carried out these observations, the variations coupled with the literature on the subject brought out very many insights into the power of conversation and the enormity of the focus necessary, as a coach, to execute successfully, a learning dialogue. Staying in control is the ultimate goal and even when going down a slippery slope it is you who would have to determine how far down the slide goes.
In my observations, I discovered that social environment in which the conversation takes place can have a great deal to do with the nature of the conversation. Cafés make for very fast light hearted conversations without much pause or reflection from either parties whilst parks and restaurants allowed for a slower pace of conversation with lots of moments of silence presumably accompanied by deep thought and reflection. The setting also shows disposition to certain types of body language expressed by the parties in conversation. Perhaps it is to do with the pace of the conversation or perhaps the social attributes of the environment. People I observe in parks and restaurants tend to demonstrate more closeness and rapport through their body language than those in cafés would. There were longer moments of eye contact, heavier body contact and more varied facial expressions. This is by no means a scientific conclusion on the impact of the conversational setting on the conversation we have as people but however a cue to pay greater attention to the setting of a coaching session with a coachee. I would imagine, the first step in taking control of the conversation is allowing the setting to be conducive to the objective of the coaching session. As I have noticed in the brief observations I have had, the right setting will allow for the right expressions from both parties and therefore facilitate the depth of the conversation. The danger however is to ignore the casual attributions which may then arise from the cultural dispositions of me as a coach and from the coachee as an individual towards their actions in relation to the environment. Casual Attributions in Conversation
The reason why I would like to discuss this at this point is because it plays a lot in our reading, perception and judgement of conversation and particularly body language. The casual attribution theory discusses the reason for the judgement we make on why a person behaves or behaved the way they did. Psychological research on attribution has primarily studied the cause of another person’s behaviour. Attributions are ubiquitous in everyday life and as such are easily overlooked in our everyday...
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