One of the core psychological theories at the centre of coaching practice, originating from from Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan’s work on motivation in the 80s, is Self Determination Theory (or SDT for short). It is a theory that our motivation is supercharged when three ingredients are present:
Autonomy: People feeling that they have some control over their own lives, and very specifically their own behaviour.
Competence: Knowing you have the skills, knowledge and previous success which can enable you to navigate a situation or a novel challenge.
Relatedness: Sometimes referred to as connection or belonging and emphasises the importance that feeling like you're part of something with others.
Knowing this theory can often inform the questions a coach asks as we try to dig into your intrinsic motivation for a particular goal. The fundamentals of this theory can also be helpful for managers and leaders during one to ones as they're supporting colleagues to be successful in work. Questions might look like the following:
How much control do you have in this situation?
What parts of this can you affect?
What could you do to create or influence change?
What would be one step you could take towards better?
What skills do you have that can help here?
When have you been successful in this area in the past?
What did you do and how is this relevant to now?
What learning would be helpful for you to be successful?
Who else can help you with this project?
Who can you count on to give you feedback on where things are now?
Who else may have insights that could be helpful?
What is your experience in working with this team?
I offer all of the above as a little foundational knowledge after being a bit mind blown at the power of AI.
There's been lots of discussion over the last few weeks following the November 2022 launch of ChatGPT (GPT standing for Generative Pre-trained Performer). Being a bit of a tech enthusiast, I signed up to play around with openAI tool to see what it could do.
I asked it to write a quick blog on Self Determination Theory to see what it would offer and the results are impressive... My instructions are written in bold, everything in italics is from ChatGPT:
Write a blog about self determination theory
Self-Determination Theory (SDT) is a theory of human motivation and personality that emphasizes the role of autonomy and relatedness in psychological well-being and personal development. Developed by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan in the 1980s, SDT has been applied in a wide range of fields, including education, healthcare, and the workplace.
One of the key concepts in SDT is autonomy, which refers to the feeling of having control over one's own life and actions. Autonomous individuals are more likely to engage in activities that they find meaningful and to persist in the face of challenges. In contrast, individuals who feel controlled or coerced are less likely to be motivated or to experience well-being.
Another important concept in SDT is relatedness, which refers to the sense of connection and belonging to others. According to SDT, people have a fundamental need to feel connected to others, and the fulfillment of this need is essential for psychological well-being.
SDT suggests that individuals who have autonomy and relatedness in their lives have a greater sense of well-being and are more likely to engage in personal growth and self-development.
SDT has been applied in various settings, including education, healthcare, and the workplace. In education, SDT has been used to promote student engagement and motivation in the classroom. In healthcare, SDT has been used to design interventions that promote patient autonomy and self-management. And in the workplace, SDT has been used to create more autonomous and supportive work environments that foster employee engagement and well-being.
Overall, SDT provides a framework for understanding the role of autonomy and relatedness in human motivation and well-being. It has been applied in a wide range of fields and has the potential to improve individuals' lives by promoting autonomy, relatedness, and personal growth.
Write this blog in relation to coaching specifically
Self-Determination Theory (SDT) is a powerful framework for understanding human motivation and behavior, and it has important implications for the practice of coaching. As a coach, understanding and utilizing the concepts of autonomy and relatedness in SDT can help you to create a more effective coaching experience for your clients.
At the core of SDT is the concept of autonomy. Autonomy refers to the feeling of having control over one's own life and actions. According to SDT, individuals who feel autonomous are more likely to engage in activities that they find meaningful and to persist in the face of challenges. As a coach, it is important to recognize the importance of autonomy for your clients, and to create a coaching environment that supports their autonomy. One way to do this is to give them choice and flexibility in the coaching process, allowing them to set goals that are meaningful to them, and to make decisions about how to achieve those goals.
Another key concept in SDT is relatedness, which refers to the sense of connection and belonging to others. According to SDT, people have a fundamental need to feel connected to others, and the fulfillment of this need is essential for psychological well-being. As a coach, it is important to create a sense of relatedness in your coaching relationship. One way to do this is by building rapport with your clients and actively listening to their needs and concerns.
By utilizing the concepts of autonomy and relatedness in SDT, coaches can create a more effective coaching experience for their clients. By fostering autonomy and relatedness, coaches can help their clients to feel more motivated, engaged and confident in achieving their goals.
In conclusion, Self-Determination Theory (SDT) provides a valuable framework for coaches to understand the role of autonomy and relatedness in human motivation and well-being. By incorporating the principles of SDT in their coaching practice, coaches can create a more effective and empowering experience for their clients, and help them to achieve their goals in a more autonomous and meaningful way.
Whilst I would probably emphasise different elements and use UK English spelling, I'm pretty confident that if I had just popped up this blog, none of my readers would be any the wiser!
Knowing how google maps has given me confidence to visit weird and wonderful places in the world, but also inhibited my sense of direction, I am pretty sure that this new tool could open up a huge opportunities, and create some unintended dependencies. Imagine using it to help write an essay or generate course work for assessed learning? Would you have committed the knowledge to memory? How effective will we be in our independent critical evaluation? All questions which I am sure will be answered in good time. For now however, we have a new tool we can play with and who knows, it may just help with my occasional writers block!
As always, thanks for stopping by...