The Science of Coaching

There is relatively little psychological or neuroscientific research on methods, exercises, and tools that are routinely applied in coaching. In the context of the Wharton Neuroscience Initiative, we have been exploring how neuroscience may explain why and how certain coaching methods (e.g., team building exercises) work. We hope that our work will lead to greater accessibility of these methods, a greater motivation for people to actually use them, and to new discoveries on how to further improve existing methods.

One example is our work on exercises to strengthen perspective taking skills, as used by trainer Per Hugander from the Swedish bank SEB. We describe the neuroscientific basis of this method here and give a step-by-step instruction on how to use it here. Another example is our article on methods that are useful to facilitate group discussions in order to facilitate innovative idea generation.