Original Research

The drivers of reflection in arts-based coaching

Salome van Coller-Peter, Hanno N. Olinger
South African Journal of Business Management | Vol 53, No 1 | a2765 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajbm.v53i1.2765 | © 2022 Salome van Coller-Peter, Hanno N. Olinger | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 June 2021 | Published: 30 August 2022

About the author(s)

Salome van Coller-Peter, Department of Management Coaching, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Stellenbosch Business School, Bellville, South Africa
Hanno N. Olinger, Department of Management Coaching, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Stellenbosch Business School, Bellville, South Africa


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Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this study was to explore the use of art in coaching and to determine how art contributes to the ability of clients/coaches to reflect critically.

Design and methodology: This qualitative study used in-depth interviews with coaches who make regular use of a visual art form as a coaching tool. The sample focused on the diversity of coaches and the coaching context. A phenomenological approach was used as the focus was to gather the experiences of the participating coaches on their practices of art in coaching.

Findings/results: The views of participant coaches on outcomes have been gathered, which includes better insight (aha-moments), a stronger focus on goals, willingness to use their creativity and changes in perception. Five key drivers of critical reflection have been identified, and it was found that the experience of creating art, as opposed to viewing art, produces these results more often.

Practical implications: The findings of this research provide coaches with an additional mechanism to foster critical reflection with their clients, the educators of coaches with food for thought when developing coaching curricular.

Originality/value: This study contributes empirical evidence to the body of knowledge on reflective practices, transformation and coaching as well as key drivers that enhance critical reflection in clients.

Limitations of the study: Information was gathered from coaches only. For ethical reasons, the coaches could not reveal the identity of their clients. So feedback through the lens of the clients was not gathered.


Keywords

critical reflection; art; coaching; self-awareness; transformation; organisational development; creativity

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