Reduce bias in coaching

  • As coaches, we all need to be aware of our own biasses and the impact these  have. Unnoticed bias can lead to judgement and even discrimination.   It’s important  we work to reduce and eliminate our biases. That way we can provide a really professional,  safe and inclusive service. To all our clients.
  •  Mezirow’s model is good reflective way of bringing your own coaching bias to your awareness . Especially when combined with good supervision.

1. Reflectivity:  What do I feel and think about this person (coachee) and how does this affect my behavior? 

  • You could use these questions in a  reflective journalling, or a  peer supervision context.

2. Affective reflectivity: How do I feel about the way I think  and act in relation to them (coachee)

 3. Discriminant reflectivity: Are my perceptions of them correct?

4. Judgemental Reflectivity : what assumptions am I making about people and situations based on my own values?

5. Conceptual reflectivity: Questioning the constructs I  use when I think about other people;  for example ‘just because the person does x will y always for follow’?

6. Psychic reflectivity:  Am I jumping to conclusions? 

7. Theoretical reflectivity: becoming aware of the reasons and quick to make judgements about people based on cultural and psychological assumptions. What are my assumptions about this  person based on?

Write and reflect on your answers. Then bring the topic to your supervision practice.

References: 

Mezirow’s model:  7 Levels of Reflectivity (1978;1981)  cited in Boud, D.  Kough, R and Walker (1985)  Turning Experience into Learning, London, RouteledgeFalmer