My aim is to read through all 15 chapters of Cognitive Coaching
before Days 1-4 of the Cognitive Coaching seminar being held at ASB at the end of this month. Chapter 2 is about identity and I'm going to start with a quote right from the beginning of the chapter:
Identity is the mental model each of us constructs of who we are as a unique self. This is an important concept because identity informs decisions and behaviours. The most sustainable way to change behaviours is to change identity ... The self is fluid. It is not a thing; rather it is a process. One's identity is in a constant and imperceptible gradual state of transformation. We create meaning from our interactions with others and with the environment. Identity emerges from the web of those interactions.
I was interested to read that there are actually 3 forms of identity. Personal identity is a person's expression of his or her individuality. Cognitive Coaching deals with how the personal identity shapes perceptions, values, beliefs and behaviours. In other words, "identity is the story we tell ourselves of who we are". Then there's the social identity - people have several of these such as ethnicity, nationality, age, gender and so on. Social identities can also influence behaviour, especially when with a group that you identify with. Finally there's role identity which is relational, for example husband, grandchild, boss, student. These are temporary, situational personas. The interesting thing is that what starts as role identity may grow into personal identity - and this has been found to be true for those who develop their sense of self as a mediator - the identity associated with Cognitive Coaching.
The Cognitive Coach, having an identity as a mediator, forms and applies values (fostering the intellectual development of others), beliefs (resources for growth lie within a person being coached), capabilities (mental maps to guide conversations and knowing when and how to use certain skills), and finally the application of coaching behaviours (developing rapport, pausing, paraphrasing, posing questions), the use of which is conditioned by environment.
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