H Armstrong International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring 2013
This paper considers dialogue as the central motif of coaching. Taking a social constructionist perspective it proposes that dialogue is the flow of meaning between human beings as they interact. Dialogue is explored from the stance of different forms of conversational practice. It is contrasted with the practice of monologue which is “talking at” or “talking about” rather than “talking with”. This paper compares the practices of a coach-expert who specialises in “aboutness” talk with a coach-custodian who specialises in “within-ness” talk. The essential difference is that the coach-expert role focuses on the situation/world and a coach-custodian role focuses on coachees (as meaning-makers of their own situation/experience). By employing within-ness talk, a coach maintains the focus on the coachee and his/her situation as well as demonstrating a strength-based philosophy, that is, the philosophy that a coachee has the capacity to find their own solutions.