Uncertainty Reduction Through Everyday Performative Language Work

Natalia Nikolova, Stewart Clegg, Stephen Fox, Kjersti Bjørkeng, Tyrone Pitsis
2013 International Studies of Management and Organization  
In this study we focus on coaching in the context of small and medium enterprises in the creative industries. We draw on data collected from five business coaching organizations over numerous coaching encounters with their clients. Using detailed conversational data drawn from these coaching encounters we analyze the ways in which business coaches practice 'active listening' and 'reflective questioning' in order to reduce the uncertainties they and their clients face when working together. We
more » ... king together. We show that they do so through the strategy of positioning 'performance' as central to their practice. Successful performances depend on the ability to convince clients that one's performance is what it represents itself as being, a performance that is brought off by detailed everyday language work, mimicking the client's language back on to the client. As such, coaches demonstrate themselves to be skilled analysts of everyday life and listening. __________________________________ Natalia Nikolova is a Senior Lecturer at
doi:10.2753/imo0020-8825430305 fatcat:cv5t4nbu7zhudin6cvqfnwrbcu