Why journalling helps us grow, develop, improve – An interview with David Lowe

Hi David – you are the author of four books, the host of the very popular podcast “The Coach’s Backpack”,  the co-lead of the Advanced Agile Team Coach Cohort Program and Agile Team Coach and Agile Team Facilitator courses, and you are just about to release your fourth book.

What do you enjoy most about the work that you do?

It’s a cliché, but it has to be the people. Working with people who want to go from where they are now to a better state is very rewarding, whether that’s an individual, team or organisation.

We generally have fun when doing it, which I learned is a core value of mine.

You have recently published another book called “Coaching Journal: A guide and journal” –  what inspired you to write this book?

I have a strong belief in the value of journalling. As I say in the book:

A beginner learns the theory.

A practitioner puts theory into effect.

An expert regularly reflects upon their performance.

I’m in the business of helping coaches (agile or not) become experts so I encourage journalling as a regular practice. Many people ask for direction about journalling so I thought I’d create a short guide and provide a structure to help get people started. Then I thought it would be cool to add in some curveballs throughout to challenge people.

What surprised you in creating this book?

Having been through the book-writing process a few times now, I know that nothing is ever as easy as you expect so am prepared for many of the challenges. As a result I have a team of people I can pull on for help and assistance. What surprised me was how quickly and effectively everyone jumped in this time. I owe them all a huge ‘thank you’.

In what ways has journalling helped you? Can you share a specific example?

There are quite a few but the ones that stand out for me are around congruence: the real me. Journalling helped me in the realisation that, in coaching, I often strip away the humour that is evident in my other work. I have now spent time inspecting that, taking it to mentoring and supervision sessions, which has led to my current research at Oxford Brookes University.

Creating a journal is one of the key assets the cohort create on our Agile Team Coach Cohort Program. How does this practice help coaches grow?

I’m going to take a quote from a great book by Rolfe, Freshwater and Jasper for this: “When we reflect on a situation, we do not merely see more; we see differently.”

In short, it helps us grow, develop, improve. Any coach who isn’t interested in that should question whether they are in the correct profession.

Where can our readers get a copy of the Coaching Journal?

Amazon. Here is a link

This is your 4th book! What are you planning to create next?

Well, there’s a beta release already out for the next book (on having fun facilitating online). But next will be the output from my doctorate: its research on the use of humour in dyadic coaching. I’m having a lot of fun in the research so have high hopes for whatever is generated from that.

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