3D Ideas 760: Another Way?
March 27, 2017 By Claire Pedrick
Claire writes: “Two great reminders this week. The first is that either/or doesn’t always help us decide. Considering options as either this or that or something else (that I haven’t thought of yet) can enable more creative thinking.
Secondly I am still overwhelmed by the power of moving when someone is stuck and lacking ideas or energy or both. Thanks to an insight from John Whittington about place markers, someone on last week’s Transforming Conversations made a significant shift from combining these two simple insights
I don’t actually know what they were talking about, but the thinker was so stuck that the coach moved in her chair to try and unstick thinking. He was still stuck. So she invited the thinker to draw what he was thinking – and what emerged was an either/or line. She looked at me with a ‘what on earth do I do now look’. I picked up three cushions from the sofa where they were sitting and threw them on the ground in a triangle saying ‘if this represents either and this represents or… and (placing the third cushion) this represents something else you haven’t thought of yet…’ Before I had finished, her thinker had dismissed going near either of the first two cushions and placed himself firmly on the third. As I walked away and left them to do the work I heard him say: ‘So THIS is my question – what is this?’.
Getting people to move and stand can move thinking forward significantly and quickly. And this experience underlines the value, I think, of learning by doing even more than from theory.”
3D Ideas 759: Exploring – for who?
March 20, 2017 By Claire Pedrick
Claire writes: “Curiosity and exploration are key features of a coaching style. But if I am curious and exploring your stuff for me, it can turn into an investigation and simply end up with me acquiring information
A much more effective way of being curious and exploring is for us to explore together – so that you learn new things about your situation and possibilities. That way you grow and develop. That’s coaching!
3D Ideas 758: Why Not Why?
March 13, 2017 By Claire Pedrick
Claire writes: “I wonder what you think about the question why? I love Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why that uses why to get to core purpose fast. And yet in almost every other context, why can lead to speculation, explanation or justification. That is all backwards. If it’s useful, what can be even more useful is to ask: ‘You’re doing/thinking that because it will…?’ That’s forward looking. It’s worth a try!”
3D Ideas 757: A bar at a time
March 3, 2017 By Claire Pedrick
Claire writes: “Continuing on last week’s musical theme, I was developing some NHS leaders yesterday to have better conversations. There were plenty of questions about good books to read.
I remember someone once saying ‘What have you done with what you know already?’
Skill in conversation comes from applying what we are learning one thing at a time. For me, that may be taking a few months or longer to integrate one thing into how I do what I already do. Musicians who play beautiful pieces have learned their skill through scales and through practicing one bar at a time.
What do you know already – and forgotten – that could be integrated one bar at a time?”
There is a new Practicum starting on Mondays 11.30-13.30 in our Zoom room if you want to come?
3D Ideas 756: Jazz
February 27, 2017 By Claire Pedrick
Claire writes: “It’s going to take time to process everything I learned about presence from our time learning musical conducting last week, but here is a start:
To be a great Jazz musician, you need to be a technically great musician. To be a great modern artist, Picasso first needed to be technically a great artist. To be a great coach, we need to, as Jung said ‘Learn our theories as well as we can and set them aside when we touch the miracle of the living soul’. Mastery in jazz, art and coaching is about improvisation. A famous Jazz Band leader used to sack anyone who did the same improvisation twice.
Sitting here reflecting this afternoon, I also recognise that all of that takes hours of practice and lots of mistakes from which we can learn. That’s why we encourage people developing better conversations to practice, practice, practice. There is a new Practicum starting on Mondays 11.30-13.30 in our online Zoom room
if you want to come?
3D Ideas 755: Who does the work?
February 20, 2017 By Claire Pedrick
Claire writes: “I’ve just come off a phone call with a former conductor who is going to help run our Train the Trainer course tomorrow. We were talking about over-conducting and under-conducting. In conversations, we can be over present or under present – which is why he is coming to teach us.
If I want to increase the value of my conversations, it’s useful to move from
- diagnostic questions where I see, interpret and ask sophisticated questions TO saying what I notice and letting you make the sense
- listen to what I hear TO listening with my eyes to what I see and hear and sense
- listening and asking questions with my head TO listening and asking questions with my body
Being fully present and getting someone else to do the work is much more likely to lead to transformation than when I work hard to try and make it happen.”
3D Ideas 754: We’ve Always Done It This Way
February 10, 2017 By Claire Pedrick
Claire writes: “I was with a group of NHS Managers the other day and we were thinking about colleagues who have worked in the same way for many years and ‘have always done it this way’ and see no need to change. It reminds me of the words of Marshall McLuhan (born over 100 years ago): “Our Age of Anxiety is, in great part, the result of trying to do today’s job with yesterday’s tools and yesterday’s concepts.”
Change is weird sometimes. On courses we invite delegates to suspend disbelief and try a different way of working. Only when you have experienced it can you really decide whether it’s for you. In that group of managers, we were wondering what will happen if you invite a colleague to work in a different way for a contained amount of time and then review to see whether it’s useful?”
3D Ideas 753: We do what we normally do
February 3, 2017 By Claire Pedrick
Claire writes: ‘We know that people are using STOKeRS
to ensure that appraisal or review conversations are useful. Too often those conversations become the live version of the paperwork when they could be so much more if only we asked before we start:
- What do you know now you have done the paperwork that you didn’t know before?
- What do we need to do in this review conversation to make sure that it will be useful to you in your role over the next year/ 2 years?
What we are realising now is that all of us do what we normally do when we are asked to do something we normally do. Many of us are skilled and experienced in reading individual’s paperwork. Application forms. Review paperwork is different. Reading review/appraisal paperwork like an application form may not be the most useful way to engage. Transferring what we know about listening – listening to the themes/ headlines/ strands and to the underbelly (feelings) can be valuable in review and appraisal. If review is to be truly developmental for the individual we need to remember TS Eliot’s words “You are not here to verify, instruct yourself, or inform curiosity or carry report.” Report maybe, if that’s what the organisation needs but the only way to be truly developmental is to ask them how we need to make that happen!”
3D Ideas 752: Getting Clearer
January 30, 2017 By Claire Pedrick
Claire writes: “Sometimes we need to be creative at the beginning of a conversation to make sure we are clear on what we are here to do today. Even for the most experienced coach or facilitator, some conversations simply feel cluttered or foggy.
Useful questions to clarify include:
- “What’s your most important question for today?”
- “So we’re here to…?’
- “How can I…?” (I being the person who is thinking)”
3D Ideas 751: Do it now!
January 23, 2017 By Claire Pedrick
Claire writes: “I’ve written about real play before and am returning to it again because it is so powerful. Moving from ‘I would say’, ‘I might say’, ‘I wish I could say’, ‘I don’t want to say’ or ‘I ought to say’ to real play works. Trying out a conversation in real time is more effective than talking about talking about something to someone.
The rules are simple
- Invite them to stand up or move (because it’s hard to think differently when they’re physically in the same position they were when they said they were stuck)
- Invite them to speak to you as if you were the person they need to speak with – saying anything at all – no matter how incoherent it is
- If there is any level of emotion or difficult stuff, place your hand where you were standing and move aside so they are speaking to your ‘cataleptic hand’ (because it keeps you from absorbing stuff and if they are in flow it won’t stop them!)
- Ask how that felt – and if they would like to try it again in a more (or less) challenging way
- Invite them to move a little between each go (same reason as #1)
- Repeat 2-5 as many times as needed (ask if it’s useful – this is a working together not you doing something to them)
- Use your intuition and theirs to know how far to go with this
- This is not role play. You are not representing and acting the part of their colleague. So don’t join in!
If you like the idea of helping others to get out of their head and think differently, talk to us about what the next step might be for your learning.