Coaching and Mentoring Tip Sheet

Perceptions and beliefs influence behaviour.

Disadvantage can result where perceptions and beliefs limit a person’s opportunities.

As such, we need to ensure that perceptions and beliefs are evidence based and valid, not built upon inaccuracies and/or subjective bias.

Questions that promote validation of perceptions and beliefs can assist in testing their accuracy, for example:

  • What gives you the confidence this is the case?
  • Where have you seen evidence to support this view?
  • What benefit do you derive from holding this view?
  • What risks are associated with holding this view?
  • What could be possible if you were to change this view?

By objectively challenging perceptions, we create an opportunity for them to be reframed.

Reframing can promote objective consideration of the evidence upon which perceptions are based, resulting in modified or changed perceptions. Ultimately, this can lead to changes in their related behaviours.

The reframing process can used effectively to challenge Behavioural Confirmation. This is where social expectations influence the demonstration of behaviours that become self-fulfilling.

A coach/mentor should also be conscious of the bias he/she brings to interpreting and understanding the complexity of circumstances impacting upon a person with whom they may be working.

Here is a tip – when working with people, it may not be possible to reduce complexity to a simple cause and effect relationship. Nonetheless, as a coach/mentor, we should always demonstrate evidence-based practice and work towards achieving objectivity.