Examining the Life, Legacy, & Research of Professor Anthony (Tony) Grant, Ph.D.

Episode #1090: In this episode of the Arete Coach Podcast, Severin Sorensen, Host and Curator of the Arete Coach Podcast, takes us through the life, legacy, and contributions of the late Professor Anthony (Tony) Grant Ph.D., the father of evidence-based coaching. The episode explores Professor Grant's life contributions and a new article written by Severin Sorensen, M.Phil., and Nathalie Lerotic Pavlik, MSc, MBPsS, "Towards Evidence-Based Coaching Practice: Taking Out the Sham, and Putting in the Wham – Honoring the Life, Legacy, and Research of Professor Anthony Grant, Ph.D."


During the episode, Severin reviews Dr. Grant’s research and explores themes like when is coaching best practice actually bad practice? and how can coaching research inform coaching practice?



About Severin Sorensen

Severin Sorensen is a serial entrepreneur and lifetime learner with a passionate curiosity for people and businesses. Severin is the CEO of ePraxis LLC, a premier level retained search firm that provides executive headhunting, talent selection, and executive coaching. In addition to finding top talent, Severin has provided over 7,500+ hours of paid executive coaching to entrepreneurs, CEOs, Presidents, and C-level executives. Severin is an ICF ACSTH Certified Executive Coach, Certified Organizational Development Coach, Certified Life Coach, and Certified Positive Intelligence® Coach. Severin is the founder/producer of a new podcast, Arete Coach, that explores the art and science of executive coaching with some of the industry's best coaches.


From 2010-2018 Severin was also a Vistage Chair where he coached three CEO and key executive groups. In 2011, Severin received the "Rookie of the Year Chair Award" from Vistage. Since 2013, Severin has added international speaking for Vistage, CEO conferences, executive peer groups, and corporations on the topic of identifying and hiring difference-making top talent.


After graduate school, Severin moved to Washington, DC, where he worked on security-related economic and public policy issues that included a brief stint in The White House, as a Special Assistant to the President, for George H. Bush (POTUS 41). In 1994, Severin founded Sparta Consulting Corp., and Sparta provided world-class physical security and safety related management consulting services for public and private sector entities. From 1994-2002, Severin managed HUD's Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design technical assistance and training program. In 2005, Severin sold Sparta to Westec Interactive (Digital Witness), which was subsequently acquired by Interface Security.


Severin, a native Californian, grew up in Salt Lake City, UT and graduated with honors from the University of Utah with Economics and Political Science degrees. He completed graduate studies in economics at King's College, Cambridge University (England), where he earned a M.Phil. degree in Economics. Severin has a great love and appreciation for sports, and while overseas, Severin rowed for the King's College Boat Club, and played basketball for the Cambridge University Basketball Team (1986-87).


Key highlights


Memoriam of Professor Anthony (Tony) Grant

Timestamp 10:16


Severin Sorensen shares a memoriam of Professor Anthony Grant, his life, and his journey to coaching research. Before his great success in the coaching profession, Professor Grant left school at 15 years old as a carpenter and guitarist. At the age of 38, Professor Grant enrolled at the University of Sydney. He graduated first in his class and received a variety of awards upon graduation. In 1999, he created the world’s first coaching psychology unit at the University of Sydney with his colleague Michael Cavanagh. Throughout his career, Professor Grant displayed a great passion for helping people and supporting the development of evidence-based coaching. Today, Professor Grant is considered to be the father of evidence-based coaching.


Evidence-based coaching research contributions

Timestamp 14:18


In this section of the podcast, Severin reviews evidence-based coaching contributions from Processor Grant’s research. His contributions include insights on the value and benefits of coaching, coaching’s effects on engagement levels, coaching with students, and coaching’s effects on goal attainment. Professor Grant was also passionate about setting the standard for coaching research and identifying what studies were “valid, reliable, and relevant.”


Solution and goal-focused coaching

Timestamp 28:20


Much of Professor Grant’s research was focused on solution and goal-focused coaching. Severin reviews his research which examines the effectiveness of solution-focused coaching when compared to self-insight approaches. Severin also reviews Professor Grant’s research on the mechanisms behind solution-focused coaching and how to implement solution-focused principles into coaching.


Methodology insights

Timestamp 37:20


Professor Grant’s research also brought insights into a variety of methodologies within coaching. His research supported the concept of note-taking in coaching, the power of difficult conversations, and insight on self-coaching concepts. Severin reviews a variety of Professor Grant’s research on the coaching methodologies that are supported by Professor Grant’s research.


Positive psychology and coaching

Timestamp 42:51


Another passion of Professor Grant’s was the connection between positive psychology and coaching. Severin reviews his research insights that connect the benefits of positive psychology to coaching. Professor Grant’s research connects the benefits of coaching with positive psychology insights to well-being and the workplace.

Download the research paper

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