Transformational narrative coaching
Our advanced narrative course is for those in leadership positions, people at significant points of transition, in fact people at every stage in their career journey, from every background and organisational setting.
The course focuses on the way narratives create and constrain the possibilities for individuals, teams and organisations. It’s designed to complement your existing way of working, extending your repertoire to help clients reflect and renew their sense of authenticity and agency.
It introduces coaches to a proven, practical and powerful method of working with client narratives, something we call Transformational Narrative Coaching. It draws on the ideas covered in The Story So Far: Introduction to Transformational Narrative Coaching by Nick Isbister & Jude Elliman.
Two powerful training methods
We all make sense of our experiences via narratives, everything from the small things in life to the bigger, more significant things that colour and frame who we are. That’s why this way of working feels natural, feels intuitive, feels right.
We’ve created two ways of being trained, Small Group and Solo Training. Both deliver an empowering set of frameworks that give you the confidence to work with your clients’ stories in transformative ways.
We’ll introduce you to new ways of working with story that are natural, relevant and accessible, all of which have the potential to help you understand change at a personal, team and organisational level.
The course explores how people make sense of their lives, interpret their experiences to find meaning, construct and reconstruct their identities through the stories they tell. We help people integrate aspects of what they’ve done and who they are, align the disparate elements that matter to them, and create a dynamic understanding that helps them become much more effective communicators, better leaders, more purposeful individuals.
Theory and practical application
Combining theory with practical application, the roots of Transformational Narrative Coaching reach deep into the advanced psychology of personhood. They acknowledge and affirm people’s sense of inner sameness and continuity, and the sense of important difference and discontinuity we often experience as we navigate life in all its complexity.
We’ll build on and develop the core ideas of narrative identity, as revealed by American social psychologists Dan McAdams and Michael Bamberg, the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur in his work on narrative and time, Canadian Philosopher Charles Taylor in his work on the sources of the self and French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of habitus. The integrated coaching framework we’ve created draws on all these sources.
Invaluable understanding and insight
You’ll leave with a clear image of how:
- Narrative happens on many levels, individually and organisationally
- Clients make sense of their world through stories, positive and negative
- Narratives help define identity, creating meaning, generate feelings of belonging
- Stories show us what comes across to others, what matters to them, how people make things happen and get things done, and why they do what they do
- The listener’s presence opens the way for clients to really hear themselves
- Listening attentively to people’s stories releases their resourcefulness
- Narratives are expressed through actions and words, and also through what is ignored
- An awareness of negative, recycled self-stories opens new ways for learning
- Significant stories reveal underlying patterns of purpose, values and habits
- Stories highlight the conditions in which people thrive, and the opposite
- Narrative helps people understand their possible selves and their best self
- Leaders’ stories are told through their presence, daily actions and words
Enjoy multiple perspectives
This course will enhance your coaching practice by integrating multiple perspectives and different time frames for your clients. It will build your capability to connect the immediate and the personal with wider relational and organisational matters.
Transformational Narrative Coaching builds upon and taps into thirty years’ experience. Executive coaches Nick Isbister and Jude Elliman have used story throughout their careers and have found it an invaluable approach to better coaching. Please get in touch if you would like to talk things through or ask questions.
Coaching training for small groups
If you are an experienced coach or have already used stories in your work, you’ll find this approach a positive addition to your repertoire. It’ll help you build on your existing knowledge and truly understand the role of narrative.
What small group training involves
The training consists of:
- Three one-to-one sessions with a course leader, two before the course and one after the group experience
- Two days working together in a group training setting in Oxford or London
The one-on-one sessions give you experience of the process, and the group sessions build on that through experiential learning.
Your individual sessions take place before the group session, then there’s a third one-on-one session afterwards to embed the learning. The one-on-one work usually takes six hours, and we often combine sessions into a single morning or afternoon.
Our book The Story So Far: Introduction to Transformational Narrative Coaching is an integral part of the course.
Join our network
After the course, we hope you’ll become part of our extended network. As Transformational Narrative Coaching Practitioners we can provide General Executive Coaching Supervision and more specific Narrative Coaching Supervision as well. And for those of you who enjoy formalising their learning, we offer LP Narrative Coach certification. Members of our network often attend our popular Development Days as well.
How to apply
We don’t take online bookings because we believe it’s really important to speak with you first. So contact us to arrange an exploratory phone or video conferencing conversation. We’ll be delighted to hear from you
If you can’t make London or Oxford, we’re always happy to build a programme for a group of coaches in another location – just ask.
Solo coaching training
This course builds on what you know already about the role narrative plays in people’s lives. If you are an experienced coach, or if you have already been working in a field or discipline that involves stories, the approach provides an exciting, impactful and positive addition to your practice.
The key benefit of our solo training is flexibility. If you’re really busy, we can schedule the training to fit around your responsibilities. Because the training takes place online, location isn’t an issue. It can all be completed virtually or some face-to-face meetings can be built into the training arrangements if appropriate.
What is involved in solo training?
Our solo programme is designed for coaches whose work schedules lend more easily to this method of training. It is also for those who prefer a more one-to-one individualised and focused course approach. The training can be an individual face-to-face session or at a distance, combining powerful internet coaching, online videos, and one-on-one tutorials. The training focuses on helping you personally integrate this way of working into your coaching practice every step of the way.
Our book The Story So Far: Introduction to Transformational Narrative Coaching forms the backbone of the course.
Looking to the future
After the course, you can choose to become a member of our network. As TNC Practitioners we provide:
- General Executive Coaching Supervision
- Specific Narrative Coaching Supervision
- LP Narrative Coach certification
During the training course, both supervision options and the opportunity to become certified by the Listening Partnership as a Transformational Narrative Coach can be explored in more detail on request.
How to apply for this course
Rather than taking online bookings, we much prefer to have a conversation with you first. Contact us and arrange an exploratory phone or video conference call – we’ll be pleased to hear from you
Transformational narrative coaching course book
The story so far: Introduction to Transformational Narrative Coaching is our Transformational Narrative Coaching Coursebook.
This book combines all the relevant narrative theory behind Transformational Narrative Coaching with practical coaching applications. It distills a proven methodology drawn from the many years of coaching experience Nick Isbister and Jude Ellimans have under their belts, reflecting on their work with a blend of narratives across organisational and one-to-one contexts.
Understanding the power of story
The book both compliments and underpins the coaching approach we’ve introduced through the course itself. It provides you with exciting practical ways to understand and harness the power of story with your clients. It’s a great resource for the course itself, but it’s also the kind of book you’ll want to pick up and refer to long after you’ve finished your training.
What other people say about the book
“I love this book! It brings a unique combination of a synthesis of the academic theory underpinning Transformational Narrative Coaching, interwoven with a clear and easy to understand explanation of how to practice coaching, blending theory while being accessible and practical. It is easy to read as well as challenging and thought-provoking. It is reassuring and profoundly encouraging, as Nick and Jude share their belief in the potential of each of us to become effective actors, agents and authors of our lives. Most of all the warmth, generosity and positivity of Jude and Nick shines through, as they share a lifetime of experience drawn from myriad coaching conversations. I am delighted to have so much of Jude and Nick’s wisdom in one book.”
Alison Coulter, former Director of Artesian Transformational Leadership and now Director of Thrive Worldwide
“In the fast-growing world of executive coaching, it is rare to find a truly robust, credible and deep approach that is both refreshing and practical. Transformational Narrative Coaching is one such approach. Moreover, Nick and Jude’s work has been proven to work for countless individuals and organisations, and with their authentic generosity of spirit, they have produced here a book and training programme that takes important theory and distills it into accessible tools and techniques for aspirant and experienced coaches. Their approach to training coaches over the years has been delightfully hands-on, and I can say wholeheartedly from my personal experience and that of my teams they have trained, has been both stretching and joyful in equal measure which makes for a powerful experience for the eventual client.”
Tim Richardson, Director Waverley Learning and formerly Director of Leadership and Talent at PwC
If you’d like to know more about our Transformational Narrative Coaching courses, please get in touch. We will be delighted to have a conversation with you.
Narrative coaching training follow-up
Once you have attended our Transformational Narrative Coaching course, there are several ways to extend your practice and continue your professional development with us via a strong, positive community of Transformational Narrative Coaches. Here’s what we offer:
General Coaching Supervision – Keep yourself sharp by using our supervisor services. We provide executive coaches with two types of supervision. One is general supervision, where we review any or all aspects of your work. The other is a specific form of support created around your clients and their organisational contexts.
Specific Transformational Narrative Coaching Supervision – We explore your clients’ stories to help you make sense of what’s being said. This supervision harnesses models you’ll find familiar from our training days. We work with you apply the narrative approach to your client sessions effectively, offering fresh ideas and building your coaching skill base, particularly around working with different types of narrative.
Certification – If you want to validate your work using Transformational Narrative Coaching we provide an exciting process through which you can become Listening Partnership certified. The certification covers our own proven methodology and involves both client hours and your time in supervision with us.
We’ll celebrate your successes and note your key learning points, the places where you struggle, and any potential blind-spots. And we’ll explore the next steps in your development as a coach. Using the Transformational Narrative Coaching process, we will support you while challenging you to become the best coach you can be: fresh, innovative and effective in your narrative practice.
More detailed information about being certified by us to use this programme will be made available during the training. Should you wish to work towards certification with the Listening Partnership, please speak to one of the course leaders.
Network of Practitioners – Twice a year we run development days for coaches who have attended our courses. These popular, useful one day events give you the opportunity to join us and your fellow coaches in a relaxed, informal atmosphere where we examine both the theoretical and experiential aspects of being an executive coach.
These development days are directly related to narrative coaching and also branch out into adjacent areas that’ll interest you as an executive coach. We’ll be delighted to welcome you back on a regular basis to enjoy quality time together, time designed to boost your confidence, your skills and your career.
Do contact us if you would like more information about any of these exciting ‘next step’ options.
“Nick and Jude’s Advanced Narrative Coaching Course is simply amazing. They are inspiring and expert coaches (and trainers) who have drawn on advanced psychology theory and their years of successful coaching experience to create a powerful new coaching process. Not only did their course teach me this exciting new process that I will I use with my clients, but it also helped fast forward my personal development journey. It re-energised my coaching practice.”