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The Inner Game of Work: Focus, Learning, Pleasure, and Mobility in the Workplace (Anglais) Broché – 11 septembre 2001

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Coaching is an art that must be learned mostly from experience. In the Inner Game approach, coaching can be defined as the facilitation of mobility. It is the art of creating an environment, through conversation and a way of being, that facilitates the process by which a person can move toward desired goals in a fulfilling manner. It requires one essential ingredient that cannot be taught: caring not only for external results but for the person being coached.

The Inner Game was born in the context of coaching, yet it is all about learning. The two go hand in hand. The coach facilitates learning. The role and practices of the coach were first established in the world of sports and have been proven indispensable in getting the best performance out of individuals and teams. Naturally, managers who appreciate the high levels of individual and team performance among athletes want to emulate what coaching provides.

The coach is not the problem solver. In sports, I had to learn how to teach less, so that more could be learned. The same holds true for a coach in business.

Who Owns the Problem?

One of the first exercises I give in coaching seminars for managers addresses this question. Breaking into threes, one manager would play the role of coach, one would play the client, and one would observe the dialogue. The client would be asked to think of some issue, skill, or goal he would like coaching on. The coach would receive no instructions on how to coach. The observer was given a specific variable to observe and report on.

During the first few minutes of the conversation, the person being coached-the client-would be very animated, working hard to present the relevant information about the problem to the coach. The coach would be in the listening mode. Then, at a certain point, an abrupt change in the body posture of the two people would occur. The client would lean back as if relieved of his problem and the coach would start doing the talking, usually working very hard to come up with ideas or solutions to the problem. Typically, the client would let the coach do the work with occasional interjections aimed at showing why the solution being proposed would not work.

The third person had simply been asked to notice when and if the "ownership of the problem" shifted from one person to another. In almost all cases their feedback confirmed that after a few minutes the client had succeeded in handing off the problem to the coach, who had accepted the lion's share of the burden of solving it.

Most of us learned this pattern of problem solving at a very young age. Probably our parents, eager to be "good parents' " solved some of the problems that should have been left to us to solve so that we could gain skill and confidence. We come to expect this kind of help from the coach or parent. We may get an answer, but we don't develop the skill or self-confidence to cope with similar problems in the future. In turn, we tend to try to validate ourselves as parents and coaches by solving the problems of our children or clients.

Coaching as a Conversation for Mobility

It is essential to the Inner Game of coaching that the coach try to see from the point of view of the person being coached. By learning to listen to the client non-judgmentally, the coach learns the most important elements of the craft. Learning to ask questions that help clients reveal more and more to themselves is a natural outcome of such listening. The coach's questions are geared to finding out information not for the purpose of recommending solutions, but for the purpose of helping clients think for themselves and find their own solutions. Ideally, the end result of every coaching conversation is that the client leaves feeling more capable of mobility.

Inner Game coaching can be divided into three conversations: a conversation for awareness (getting the clearest possible picture of current reality), a conversation for choice (getting the clearest possible picture of the desired future outcome), and a conversation for trust (in which the client gains greater access to internal and external resources in order to move from current reality to the de sired future). These principles, awareness, choice, and trust are the same ones that provide the foundation for learning itself as well as for focus of attention. In the course of any conversation, awareness, choice, and trust are all present, though one may be emphasized over the others.

The Conversation for Awareness-The purpose of this conversation is to help the person or team being coached (the client) increase awareness of what is-i.e., the important aspects of the current reality. The coach listens both for what stands out to the client as he views the current situation and for what is not standing out. Using questions or statements that focus the attention of the client, the coach can make current reality become more distinct and clear. It is like turning on the headlights of a vehicle and cleaning the windshield. Remember, awareness itself is curative. The primary tool is focus of attention on the critical variables.

The coach can start with a very broad question, such as "What's happening?" and then narrow the domain of observation. "What are you observing about the customer while you are presenting the benefits of your product/ service?" "Did you observe anything in particular from the expression on his face or from his body language?" "How did you know when he was receptive to what you were saying or when you were hitting some resistance?" "What is your reaction and action when you notice that resistance?" These questions must be asked in a context of non-judgment, or they will provoke defensiveness, not increase awareness.

Awareness questions do not require answers to be effective. The clients express their awareness as it is. The degree of awareness indicates whether more attention should be paid to that variable or not. As a result of this conversation, both the client and the coach become more aware of the awareness of the client. The seed of each question is usually embedded in the previous response. In the process, the client automatically becomes more conscious about how to direct attention in the next experience. As in all coaching conversations, the point is simply that both client and coach become more conscious and more mobile.

Revue de presse

"Tim Gallwey is one of the great teachers of our time.  His aspiration is the realization of genuine potential, not miracles, but the gap between that potential and our current performance is often so great that the results are nothing short of miraculous. In this day, when many talk of accelerating learning in organizations but few have actually done it, the words of a master are timely indeed."

--Peter M. Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization

From the Hardcover edition.

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très bon livre, je le recommande à tous ceux qui s'intéressent à la communication entre les êtres humains...
dommage qu'il ne soit pas traduit en français
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards) 4.3 étoiles sur 5 41 commentaires
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Inner Game of Work works for me ... and for people I've coached 29 août 2015
Par Hondo - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
As someone who coaches leaders in a Fortune 500 company, I've found this book helpful in numerous ways and have been able to help others implement things presented in this book. Gallwey's insights on "Voice 1" and "Voice 2" are important for understanding how we lose focus and for determining how to regain focus, and Gallwey also explains how the culture around us in our workplaces may interfere with or support our ability to focus. Elements of mindfulness and how to be aware without being self-judgmental are also presented here in ways that make sense and can be put into practice.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Everything improves once you change your inner voice 3 mars 2017
Par ProfRice - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Unlike some books that give you concrete, step by step advice, this is just as the title's the inner game. Gallway observed students of tennis improved more when he stopped telling them what to do and asked them to observe specific things. You have to put on a new pair of glasses so to speak. You step away from worries about performance and put on curiosity, asking yourself new questions about what you are doing.
I am not yet through, but reading with a highlighter so I can review it more quickly in subsequent readings, which I would think will be necessary as we tend to slip back to old habits. And not just us. Many athletes and world class performers lose their edge and succumb to pressures about performance. But if we adopt different mindsets, we can get back into the flow where things happen easily and without thought.
34 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting new approach to learning and performing 8 février 2001
Par Coert Visser - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This book presents a fundamentally different view on working and learning. This other view leads to more pleasure, better performance and more effective learning in work. The ideas in this book are so powerful and relevant and Gallwey describes them so clearly that it seems virtually impossible nót to apply them. Gallwey's core message is: the traditional way in which we try to improve ourselves and our performance -through (self-)instruction and supervision- blocks what we try to achieve. To be more specific: an instructive, controlling approach to performance improvement does not lead to better but to worse performance!
After Gallwey finished his English study at Harvard University in the nineteen seventies, he went to work as a tennis coach. Doing that, he discovered that nearly all his pupils tried very hard to improve one aspect of there play that they did not like, for instance their backhand. They expected Gallwey to give them the remedy for their problem. First, this was exactly what he did: "hold your racket like this, stand there, hit the ball then", etc. He instructed pupils but noticed that they showed resistance to his instructions and that their learning did not go well. Then he noticed, to his surprise, that the performance suddenly was better when pupils stopped trying so hard to correct their mistakes but instead just played tennis for fun. Based on this observation that the 'forced mode' of learning was less effective than the `natural' mode Gallwey built his approach. His book `The Inner Game of Tennis' became a bestseller.
Gallwey proposed that the ineffective, instructive dialogue between coach and pupil also existed within the head of the pupil. While playing, the pupil continuously gave himself instructions and comments: "that was really bad, hold your racket like this, do this, don't do that" etc. Gallwey called the coach inside the pupils head SELF-1. In Gallwey's words: SELF-1 is the collection of internalised voices from the outside world. To whom then did this internal coach speak? According to Gallwey it spoke to the person him or herself. He called this spoken-to self the SELF-2. The best learning took place when SELF-1 was turned off. How is this possible? Gallwey's answer: While SELF-1 is busy giving vague and (too) simple instructions, SELF-2 is doing something infinitely more complex and precise: computing the curve of the ball, instructing muscle groups, taking into account the wind speed, the speed of the ball, etc.
Gallwey concluded that SELF-1 was a from of interference that led to nothing else than an underutilization of the person's potential. In other words: Performance = Potential - Interference. In still other words: don't let SELF-1 distract you from your task and goal!
Gallwey formulated a different, more effective and more elegant way of coaching aimed at achieving three things: 1) Awareness: by letting SELF-2 do its work the pupil can focus on collecting information on the critical variables in the task (where is the ball landing? How fast is it going? How is it influenced by the wind? etc) which leads to a greater awareness of the task; 2) Choice: it is essential that the pupil determines what he or she wants to achieve. Without this choice there is no direction and focused attention is impossible; 3) Trust: trust yourself. This goes for both the coach and the pupil. This refers to the confidence that SELF-2 will be capable of fulfilling the task.
Galwey gradually started to apply his approach to others field that tennis: golf, skiing, music and He noticed that the effects were the same. For instance: a salesman who stopped instructing and commenting himself became more effective. In seminars Gallwey draws a triangle with on the corners the words: performance, learning en enjoyment. Gallwey claims that each of these are of great importance in work and that they are dependent on each other. When you neglect enjoyment, this will eventually also lead to performance problems. What Gallwey says about the relationship between performance and learning is interesting. Performance leads to an observable change in the external world. Learning, however, establishes a change within the person who learns. It is precisely because of this that learning results are hard to measure. Enjoymentis important according to Gallwey because it refers to the relationship the person has to him or herself. If you appreciate yourself, you won't deny yourself enjoyment for a prolongued period.
Since his discovery Gallwey's most important ambition has been to let himself and others enjoy the freedom to express in their work who they really are and what they really want. He says that human freedom is nowhere more constrained than in the world of work. Nowadays, the most prevailing experience of work even seems to be: someting I'd rather not be doing if I had a choice. Gallwey says that striving for freedom at work is not the same as wanting to avoid responsibility or bosses. It is about choosing a way of working which shows responsibility to oneself. A way which is aligned with your choices and values. Gallwey uses the word 'conformity' to describe the situation when an individual gives priority to extranl demands above his internal fire. Doing this brings the security of doing and being like others but it puts out our internal fire and it diminishes our chance of satisfaction. If life decisions are based on external demands instead of internal demands, someting of the greatest value can be lost. The conflict between external and internal voices seems unfair. There is constant pressure from the outside world to conform. Sanctions, corrections, instructions, rewards, etc. are everywhere. The external world is so large and the internal so small. But the internal has one advantage: it is always there. An important step would be to understand why conformity is so attractive to us and how it affects our way of working. As an alternative to conformity Gallwey names its opposite 'mobility': the freedom to move in any direction without self-restriction.
The central idea in this book is that there is a better way of thinking about working and learning that comes down to giving more priority to our inner capacities and whishes and less to external expectations, norms and instructions. I think this is a valuable book. The author gives good and convincing examples of the inner game, for instance applied to the field of sales. In this time of extreme change good and new ideas about how people can learn and perform are wellcome. Gallwey delivers this.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This is a great book for anyone that has a very loud self ... 2 août 2015
Par Justin W - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This is a great book for anyone that has a very loud self talk. My self talk was out of control, I needed to understand by self 1 and self 2, understanding both voices; I was able to quiet my self talk and learn to listen to the voice that I learned to know and trust. Anyone and everyone can learn from this logic, at work and in life.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Five Stars 14 juillet 2016
Par Dante - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Very practical and inspiring lessons from a sports coach, applied to the business world.
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