The Black Box of Coaching: Psychosocial Resonance in Becoming a Coach


The metaphor of the black box refers to what is not conscious for an individual about their trajectory, and which influences their relationship to the world, especially work and coaching practice. In this case, the reader will play a maieutic role (of questioning) to understand the process of becoming a coach, to open the black box of coaching. For that, the student will “meet” Leo, former president of a national association and an experienced managerial coach with 14 years as a manager in positions of responsibility and 17 years of coaching practice. In this case, Leo tells the story of his career transition to coaching. Analyzing the stakes of his career path in resonance to his position of coaching is key to understanding and appraising the practice of a coach.

This case was prepared for inclusion in Sage Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

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