The Progress-Focused Approach
► The progress-focused approach was originated by Coert Visser and Gwenda Schlundt Bodien in 2012. This approach is a set of principles and techniques which help individuals and teams make achieved and desired meaningful progress visible and to get ideas about next steps forward. It is used by many coaches, trainers, managers, teachers and employees.
► The progress-focused approach relies mainly on findings from scientific psychology. Examples are:
- self-determination theory (by Richard Ryan, Edward Deci, Maarten Vansteenkiste, Johnmarshall Reeve, Bart Soenens, Richard Koestner, Kennon Sheldon, Netta Weinstein, Anja Van den Broeck, and others);
- mindset theory (by Carol Dweck, David Yeager, Jeni L. Burnette, Alia Crum, Elizabeth A. Canning, Crystal L. Hoyt, Michael M. Barger, Mary Murphy, Kyla Haimovitz, Paul A. O'Keefe, and others;
- the science of wisdom (by Igor Grossmann, Judith Glück, Robert Sternberg, Nic M. Weststrate, Ursula M. Staudinger, and others);
- the science of brief psychological interventions (by Greg Walton, Timothy Wilson, Claude Steele, Geoffrey Cohen, Jessica L. Schleider, Shannon Brady, and others);
- deliberate practice (by Anders Ericsson);
- cognitive psychology (by Daniel Kahneman, Amos Tversky, Richard Nisbett, Keith Stanovich, David Dunning, Gordon Pennycook, and others).
► Examples of practical progress-focused techniques are
► The progress-focused approach aims to bridge two gaps: the gap between psychological theory and practice and the gap between different psychological theories.
- The motivation to bridge the gap between theory and practice stems from our belief that scientific psychological theory can be useful in virtually everything people do. While everyone can benefit from knowledge about psychology, the majority of people have little access to scientifically based psychological knowledge.
- The motivation to bridge the gap between different robust psychological theories has to do with the following. Many scholars produce (mini)theories which they then keep building on. What they seem less inclined to do is to build bridges between their own theories and those generated by others. We attempt to bridge some of those gaps.
► This model of meaningful progress shows some relations of key progress-oriented concepts:
► Coert Visser (1963), psychologist, studied at the University of Groningen and at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He is co-founder of the progress-focused approach, together with Gwenda Schlundt Bodien. They have been working together for over 25 years, most recently under the name Center for Progress-focused Work (cpwportal.nl/). CPW provides training to hundreds of coaches, managers, trainers and teachers per year.
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