Bloom, Wisdom and Business Coaching

"Knowledge is not the same as wisdom."
"Yeah, what's the difference?"
"You know how to clean a windshield, right?"
"Wisdom is doing it."

--Peaceful Warrior

As Brian Tracy certified Business Coaches we teach wisdom. Most of our clients are already very knowledgeable about their business. But often what they don’t know is how to put the knowledge to effective use. It might even be that the extent of their knowledge has reached the point where they are paralyzed.

When we come into a coaching situation we get the client to tell us what they know. Then we get them to tell us what that means to them. Then, hopefully, they can tell us how they are using the knowledge. And we ask them how that’s working for them. Hopefully they can tell us. And then we work together with the client to make things better, faster, easier more effective and/or more efficient.

What we are doing is applying Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning to help our clients achieve wisdom. Who knew?

I think it all comes down to Brian Tracy’s concept of “Clarity,” as we see time and again, but it’s always worth at look at the steps that can bring clarity.

Bloom’s taxonomy was first published in 1956 by Benjamin Bloom and his associates. He described three domains of learning: knowledge, skills and attitudes. Although it’s original intention was for education and teaching, it’s obvious that this “Taxonomy” is also a logical approach to coaching.

I’m look specifically at the domain of “Knowledge” – or the “Cognitive” domain as it was originally called – and how it fits into our coaching.

The Cognitive domain is divided into six levels: knowledge (collecting data), comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

Let’s take that step by step into a coaching session and see the different levels where we can come in and start coaching.

      Knowledge – This is the first level – and yes, there is a chance we can be called in to help here. The client will know about their own business, but maybe they realized they haven’t kept up some aspect and they need a business coach to help them figure out where to focus their knowledge collection. The knowledge a business coach can help bring in include:

  • Market position
  • Competition
  • Technology

      Comprehension – Knowing something is one thing, knowing what it means is a different thing altogether. A great example of this is with metrics. We, as FocalPoint Business Coaches, work with this concept all the time. So many of our clients have numbers they work with – sales, productivity, turnover – whatever the numbers they are, they all mean something and often it’s the business coach’s job to show the client which numbers are the most important.

      Application – One of the classic blunders with the application of new ideas is not taking the time to do a risk analysis. A business coach is there to guide a client through the integration of new concepts into their current business model. Applying knowledge is strategic planning, it’s process development and the creation of systems.

The other three levels, are a bit more abstract and I will lump them into tomorrow’s blog – stay tuned!

Do you have some examples of those first three learning levels that you have encountered as a Business Performance Coach? It would be great to hear about them – and, as always, any other comments about this post are more than welcome.


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