A coaching journey
Wright, N. (2020), 'A Coaching Journey - An Interview with Nick Wright', Coaching & Life, 21 July.
C&L: Welcome, Nick. How did you get into coaching?
Nick: My background was in community development and human rights work before moving into learning and development then organisation development (OD). I saw the great difference it could make to enable people, teams and organisations to fulfil their potential. I studied and trained in theology, non-managerial supervision and human resource development/OD then, later, in psychological coaching.
C&L: Who do you work with?
Nick: Mostly with leaders and organisations with a social purpose, particularly in the beyond-profit charity and international non-governmental organisation (INGO) sectors. I’ve conducted people and culture assignments in 14 countries to date, which have included individual and leadership team coaching and training. I’ve also worked with e.g. churches, local authorities and the UK National Health Service (NHS).
C&L: What are the main influences on your coaching?
Nick: My coaching theory of change and practice draws on diverse fields, including: spiritual-existential; psychological-constructionist; cultural-systemic. It means helping people, teams and organisations to grow in insight, fulfil their potential and achieve their goals; bearing in mind e.g. who or what is most important to them and influences their values, thinking, behaviour and relationships.
C&L: You mention ‘spiritual’. Can you say more?
Nick: Yes, I am a follower of Jesus. My personal core principle is this: 'Jesus is a Person. Christianity is a religion. We are called to follow Jesus. (We are not called to follow Christianity).' I’ve written various articles on how my beliefs, faith and stance influence and shape my coaching, OD and leadership ethics, thinking and practice, e.g. Spirituality in Coaching; Word to the Wise; A Radical Heart.
C&L: What is main focus of your coaching?
Nick: My goal is to enable people, teams and organisations to be as inspiring, resourceful, resilient and effective as possible. This entails helping clients to grow in ‘critical reflexivity’ (e.g. awareness of subconscious and systemic influences on noticing and behaviour) and ‘critical reflective practice’ (e.g. learning for transformation: through experience, reflection, sense-making and experimentation).
C&L: What advice would you give to new coaches?
Nick: Decide what’s important to you. For instance, I want to support people who are the poorest and most vulnerable in the world. (I have no interest in helping the rich get richer). Study, research, network and train in different ideas and approaches to coaching. Practise with as diverse a group of clients as possible. Work with a supervisor to help you develop your talent and contribute your best. Pray!
C&L: Thank you, Nick Wright.