Archives: April 2014

Why coaching is effective – presenting options but not advising

by Anna
Published on: April 12, 2014
Categories: Coaching
Comments: Comments Off on Why coaching is effective – presenting options but not advising

This week’s BBC Radio 4 “Inside Health” Programme covered the topic of effective weight loss and touched on how the interaction between doctor and patient can influence a patient’s success in losing weight.  The programme referred to research conducted in 2012 (Aveyard at el., 2012) on how the way in which a doctor presents support to a patient can influence the chances of a patient being successful in changing behaviours.

Research has demonstrated that doctors are better able to enable patients to change behaviours to improve their health by inquiring whether the patient would like support first, rather than jumping into an advising approach of telling the patient why the fact that they smoke , or are overweight etc., is bad for them, telling them to quit, and then offering support.

In other words, placing the patient in a situation where they can consider the right option for himself or herself first, is more effective than starting with a one-way “telling” or advising approach.

Coaching is effective for the same reason: An individual can be more successful at achieving positive behavioural change in a coaching context because the coach helps the coachee see the options available but does not advise. This means that the coachee remains in control of choosing the option that works best for him or herself throughout the process.



BBC Radio 4 “Inside Health” 9 April 2014:

Aveyard, P., Begh, R., Parsons, A. & West, R. (June 2012). Brief opportunistic smoking cessation interventions: a systematic review and meta-analysis to compare advice to quit and offer of assistance. Addiction 107 (6),  1066–1073.



(Autumn colours from Kita-no-maru Park in Tokyo)

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