Positive Provocation: 25 Questions to Elevate Your Coaching Practice

  • 6h 8s
  • Robert Biswas-Diener
  • Berrett-Koehler Publishers
  • 2023

Hone your skills and strengthen your practice with this series of twenty-five fresh and provocative questions for reflection that challenge the conventional wisdom in the coaching profession.

Like any established profession, coaching is full of unexamined assumptions. These need to be regularly questioned and tested to keep the profession vital and valuable. Coaches need to engage in the same kind of scrutiny and self-examination that offers such powerful benefits to their clients.

In Positive Provocation, coaching thought leader Robert Biswas-Diener asks a series of twenty-five provocative and sometimes playful questions that take a fresh look at some of coaching's most cherished beliefs. What if coaches had agendas? Why are ethics so boring? What's so great about interrupting? Can we trust eureka moments? What if we used less empathy?

This is not an attack on the coaching profession-Biswas-Diener writes with a light, conversational, and often humorous touch. These are positive provocations, meant to stimulate your curiosity, engage you with the latest research, and invite you to see your practice with new eyes.

Biswas-Diener covers philosophies of coaching, communicating with clients, common coaching concepts, coaching interventions, and a big final provocation: should coaching be informed by science? This book will give you a richer understanding of the coaching process, make you more articulate about your own beliefs, and allow you to feel more engaged with the craft.

About the Author

Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener is a leading authority in Positive Psychology on strengths, culture, courage, and happiness and known for his pioneering work in the application of positive psychology to coaching. He is known as the "Indiana Jones of Positive Psychology" because he has researched happiness and other positive topics with groups such as the Amish, the Inuit, and the Maasai. Robert has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed academic articles and chapters, two of which are "citation classics" (cited more than 1,000 times each) and has authored seven books, including The Courage Quotient, the 2007 PROSE Award winner, Happiness, and The Upside of Your Dark Side.

In this Audiobook

  • Introduction to the Positive Provocation Framework
  • Provocation 1 - Why Is It So Hard to Be a Great Coach?
  • Provocation 2 - Is Coaching Nondirective?
  • Provocation 3 - What If Coaches Had Agendas?
  • Provocation 4 - Are We Solving Problems or Improving?
  • Provocation 5 - Why Are Ethics So Boring?
  • Provocation 6 - Should Coaches Study Learning Theory?
  • Provocation 7 - Why Ask Why?
  • Provocation 8 - What’s So Great about Interrupting?
  • Provocation 9 - Whose Language Is It, Anyway?
  • Provocation 10 - What Are Symmetries in Questioning?
  • Provocation 11 - Why Do We Need More Small Talk in Coaching?
  • Provocation 12 - What If We Didn’t Say Anything at All?
  • Provocation 13 - Why Aren’t We Better at Observing Coaching?
  • Provocation 14 - Can We Trust Eureka Moments?
  • Provocation 15 - How Curious Should We Be?
  • Provocation 16 - What If We Used Less Empathy?
  • Provocation 17 - Can Assumptions Be a Coaching Tool?
  • Provocation 18 - Why Do We Dislike Self-Disclosure?
  • Provocation 19 - What Are Metainterventions?
  • Provocation 20 - Should Coaches Address Emotions?
  • Provocation 21 - Why Shouldn’t Clients Have Homework?
  • Provocation 22 - What If You Didn’t Send Your Client into Battle?
  • Provocation 23 - What Are Attentional Interventions?
  • Provocation 24 - What Is Crux-Focused Coaching?
  • Bonus Provocation: Should Coaching Be Informed by Science?