Exploration of the effect of acquiring neuroscience knowledge in, and integrating such knowledge into, leadership coaching
Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.
ENGLISH SUMMARY : This study was motivated by the researcher’s curiosity around coaching and how it can assist leaders in the workplace to transcend their roles as technical experts and become agents of transformation. The role of neuroscience in leadership coaching was of interest to the researcher because of her science background. The research aim was to explore the effect of acquiring neuroscience underpinnings in, and their integration into, leadership coaching, and then to recommend how such knowledge of neuroscience could potentially enhance the effectiveness of leadership coaching interventions. The study was conducted in the form of a case in which ten leadership coaches were interviewed to explore whether neuroscience knowledge could be integrated into leadership coaching and, if so, how this could be achieved. The sample of leadership coaches was purposively selected because finding such professionals with considerable experience in neuroscience coaching was difficult. The study confirmed that neuroscience knowledge could be integrated into leadership coaching, but that care should be taken to ensure coaches received proper training in how the brain works, and that due neuroscience research was undertaken, before embarking on integrating such knowledge into coaching. Adequate knowledge of neuroscience is required by leadership coaches who wish to apply it because the topic is a difficult one to understand. Only with this proficiency can trust in the coaching relationship and ethical standards in the coaching profession be maintained. The study also found that, despite the vast number of neuroscience research papers available, there was still scope for further investigation into how the working of the brain relates to leadership development.
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