More coaching kicking from the Washington Times

November 16, 2006

More depressing coverage on coaching from the Washington Times. The piece offers some tips for the newly elected Democrats.

Whoever wins, they’re all going to need to find some way to work together, because nobody’s going anywhere soon. They will need some kind of referee — the sort of pragmatic, dark- suited creature you find gliding through the halls of massive
American corporations. They’ll need a workplace coach.
“I’d get them in the room and say, ‘Okay, people, we’ve got a bad situation,’ ” says one of these workplace coaches, Douglas LaBier. ” ‘Let’s take a step back.’ “Imagine it: Nancy, Steny and Jack in what LaBier calls a “safe environment.” We see a room with lots of couches. There might be some talk about common goals and “trust,” LaBier says. There might be a little yelling. We imagine one of them might, in a fit of frustration, bite a corduroy pillow. This may sound fanciful, but consider that Fortune 500 types are sometimes reduced to this sort of thing. Just because one has a brisk, professional appearance does not mean one is immune from the uglier human emotions. Heather Bradley, who co-founded something called the Flourishing Company, said she once had a “four-hour discovery session” with two feuding top-level executives. (Workplace coaches are fond of a particular sort of lingo; they talk about “discovery sessions” and about “sub-optimizing” and being “change-agnostic.”)