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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Developing Self-Directed Leaders and Learners – Mediation at Work

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


July 20, 2015

The third edition of the Cognitive CoachingSM text is scheduled for publication in July. This week, Sustaining the Journey will offer a third sneak peak into Cognitive Coaching: Developing Self-Directed Leaders and Learners.

An important goal for this work is to develop an identity as a mediator of thinking. Mediators understand the importance of intervening rather than directing. In Chapter 4, Costa and Garmston provide some important insights regarding the process of mediation.

Why Mediation Works

Four theorems guide the Cognitive Coach’s beliefs and actions and

explain why mediation works:

1. The sum of an individual’s constructed meanings resides

internally at conscious and unconscious levels and serves as the criterion for perceptions, decisions, and behavior.

2. When these meanings are given form in language, they become accessible to both parties in a verbal transaction.

3. Through verbal transaction (mediation), these meanings and the perceptions, decisions, and behaviors related to them can be refined, enriched, and modified.

4. Through Cognitive Coaching, not only are an individual’s meanings, decisions, and behaviors refined and modified, with related results in improved performance, but also refined is the individual’s capacity to self-mediate and to become more proactive in continuing self-directedness.*

Consider rereading each theorem and paraphrasing the meaning. After each one, think carefully about how the theorem provides a guide for interacting with others. Which theorems might be most important to your work? How will you remain conscious in your application of these theorems?

* Excerpted with permission from Chapter 4, “Mediation for Self-Directed Learning

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