Tag: meetings

3D Juggling 710: What’s My Contribution To What I’m Experiencing?

eyeglasses-366446_1280Nick writes: “‘This person is defensive.’ ‘That person is disruptive.’ What do we notice in others? What could we be evoking – albeit without realising it? Jonathan warned me about resistive people in his team. He felt frustrated as leader that they didn’t engage with him or blocked his ideas. I joined the team as observer and team coach. He looked genuinely surprised when I commented afterwards on his provocative, critical style.

We agreed to try an experiment. At the following meeting, I opened with a role play: ‘Let’s imagine ourselves at the end of this meeting today and that it has been…brilliant! It has been inspiring and engaging throughout – the best meeting you’ve ever had. Now let’s have a quick conversation about what you noticed yourself and others doing during the meeting – as if it had really happened. What, practically, made the difference?’

The team stepped in, hesitantly at first but then opened up. ‘We had a clear purpose for what we were doing.’ ‘We all shared our best ideas.’ ‘We were willing to challenge each other, but it still felt supportive.’ ‘Jonathan listened…he really listened, and we felt heard.’ ‘I spoke up when I had something to say – instead of staying silent.’ ‘We had donuts – we’ve never done that before!’ I could feel the energy lift in the room.

We shifted from role play to real play as they worked on their agenda. ‘OK – we have a choice. We’ve looked at what works for you. Now let’s do it. When it feels inspiring and effective – say it. When it gets stuck or loses energy – call it.’ It felt shaky at first. It takes practice and commitment to establish new patterns of relating and working. By the end of the meeting, however, there were smiles around the room. ‘We did it!’”

© 2016 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com Register here to receive our blog posts every Monday by email

 

3D Juggling 704: Purposeful Conversations

tacks-949144_1280Nick writes: “When did you last have a great conversation at work? I’ve noticed that frustration and fatigue often arise from conversations and meetings that lack focus, that feel pointless, that lack purpose. It’s one of the main reasons why there is so much cynicism about meetings in organisations.

Now while different types of conversation are appropriate for different relationships and situations, questions that tease out purpose can be very powerful. They surface assumptions and create opportunity to discuss and agree on what would be worthwhile.

Here are some purpose-focused questions: Why are we here? What are we here to do? What would make this time useful? What is the goal we’re trying to achieve? What would a great outcome look and feel like? What do we want to be different by the end of this conversation?

We can use purpose-focused questions at the start of a meeting or mid-way through if we start to notice drift or confusion. ‘Let’s just remind ourselves what we’re here to do…where we’re trying to get to.’ Focusing and re-focusing can energise our conversations and ensure great results. (And it’s a coaching approach: people feel heard, something is known at the end that was known at the beginning that will make a (positive) difference to what is done or known or felt.)”

© 2015 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com Register here to receive our blog posts every Monday by email

 

3D Juggling 680: Confession Time

There are still a couple of spaces on 9th June’s Action Learning Facilitator Training.  If your organisation is geographically spread, we will also be doing a taster about Virtual Action Learning at 10am on 25th June for an hour – via webinar.

The next open Transforming Conversations course starts in September  If you book in May, we are offering organisations 4 places for the price of 3.

Claire writes: “After all the positive feedback from last week’s blog, I think we must have hit a chord.  So it’s time to come out and say it: ‘My name is Claire and sometimes I feel like an imposter’.

That inner critic and I have many conversations with each other – and we have even gone to supervision together!  I am learning that there is value in a bit of imposter syndrome.  Learning to manage it well takes time… but imagine how unbearable we would all be if we thought we were brilliant at everything! Do you feel like an imposter?”

© 2015 3D Coaching Ltd

May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 654: What is a wheel?

Most of the 3D team have had a change of pace over the summer – and it’s good to be back into the new season.  Congratulations to Peronel who has just been awarded the Associate Certified Coach credential.

Claire writes: “We went for the slow static break this summer – on a campsite in Suffolk.  After the American gap-year-in-a fortnight with one of my daughters earlier in the year, it was great to park the wheels and to be in the same place and to allow the mind and the body to slow down in sync.  Time and space often get out of alignment.  In May we went to Philadelphia twice within three days – but so much had changed in my thinking and perceptions during the time we were upstate, that it felt like a very different place.  That’s why the ‘Where are we now? What do we need to do next?’ questions from the coaching toolkit are so useful at work.

[Wheels allow us to move where where we need to go physically. Which is interesting to notice when so many organisations have a reporting structure that looks like a wheel – and where board or trustee meetings are spokes reporting into a hub.  One of my summer thinkings has been t notice how that can make an organisation quite static.  Because wheels are meant to be a moving part that allows the vehicle to travel where the organisation/ stakeholders need it to go.]

© 2014 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com
Subscribe to 3D Juggling

3D Juggling 626: Containers

Claire writes: “We’ve been out and about a lot in the last few weeks – and delivering training is a place where we also sharpen our thoughts and develop new ideas.

Lots of our events are about having effective conversations at work – whether that’s called coaching or review or a meeting or something else.  Peter Senge (in Presence) talks about transformation in chemistry happening in a container – often a test tube or a conical flask.  You put in the ingredients and add heat or a catalyst.  A delegate who is a former chemistry teacher loved this analogy and said that catalysts help reactions to happer faster and at a lower temperature than you’d expect.

We think that effective conversations need a container to think in.  It’s useful to open up the conversation and decide what we are doing and how we will do it, to take time listening, exploring and doing the work, and then ending well with something useful to be taken away.  When we do this, we are likely to think differently and more will be known at the end of our time than at the beginning.  In coaching, it’s the coachee who will know more.  Not the coach! They are the catalyst.

3D Coaching STOKERS LozengeAs the Chinese proverb says: ‘The Banks of the Yangtse give it depth, drive and direction.‘  Conversations that are like puddles don’t serve anyone.

(And it is fine on occasion to meander through a conversation and go wherever we end up… as long as that’s what we have both agreed to do!)”

© 2013 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com
Subscribe to 3D Juggling

3D Juggling 623: How Long is a Piece of String?

Claire writes: “When I was a child, we had a Spike Milligan poetry book which included a poem about String: “String is a very important thing. Rope is thicker but string is quicker…”

How long is a piece of string is about as easy to answer as how long is a 1-1 at work, or how long is a coaching conversation?  It’s as long as it needs to be – and some handy closing questions are

  • Have we done what we need to do?
  • Is this a good place to stop?

It’s simple.

© 2013 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 606: We’re both right

Claire writes: “Clare wrote about receiving feedback the other day, which got me thinking.  Sometimes we receive feedback supportively and choose to see it as a learning experience.  And sometimes it seems to push our buttons and we struggle to make sense of it – and probably take time and energy defending it.  It may be inappropriate, but often it’s just hard to receive and we want to be right.  To do that we feel that we need to make the other person wrong.

The concept of both being right is useful here. You’re right that you have one perception.  And your colleague is right that they have a very different perception. So the most important question is that if I am right and you are right, how do we take this forward?  It’s also great where there is conflict in meetings.”

© 2013 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com
Subscribe to 3D Juggling

3D Juggling 595: Takeaways

Claire writes: “Wrapping up a meeting to check on who will be doing what is vital.  Who wraps up after a one to one?  Managers often summarise for their colleague.  Coaches often say the equivalent of ‘What did I do today that worked or didn’t work for you?’.

David Clutterbuck wraps up sessions with his 4Is

  • Issues discussed
  • Ideas created
  • Insights had
  • Intentions made

Might that be a useful takeaway in one to ones or meetings where you are?  Think about it…?”

© 2012 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 589: Pear Shaped Meetings

If this is Juggling number 589, we have been writing it for over 11 years, which is about the length of time it has taken for Claire to acquire the necessary hours and expertise to finally be awarded the Master Certified Coach credential from the International Coach Federation.  There are only 20 MCCs in the UK and she was not able to carry into the process the ten years of 1-1s she did when neither she nor her clients knew she was coaching.  She has also gained formal accreditation as a Coaching Supervisor in the last few weeks. Congratulations!

Claire writes: “Every day someone tells us about a meeting which hasn’t been as productive as it could be, or which has just been a way to fill time.  We notice that when meetings go pear shaped, people often don’t feel confident to raise that because they don’t know what to do next.  What a huge responsibility!

Actually, if the meeting is to be in service of the organisation and respectful of its’ members time, surely that responsibility can be shared?  What will you do now if you really understand that your role is to notice and say what you see… and that the responsibility for what to do next lies with the group?

Get it and don’t know what to say?  Try this – I notice that we have gone off track here/ I am wondering what we are really thinking/ etc.  What needs to happen now?

Think about it…”

© 2012 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 575: Being Right

Claire writes:  How much tension do we experience when people need to make someone else wrong in order for them to be right?  And how much time do we waste?

Next time you are in a meeting or in conversation with colleagues and there are strong opinions on both sides , try explicitly telling them they are both right and then share responsibility together to decide what to do next. You will stop wasting time and energy on making something wrong. And start focussing on a way forward.

You’re right that from your perspective our customer service is excellent and you are right that from your perspective it needs attention.  So how can we understand those insights enough to help us find a way forward?

“Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right” Laurens Van der Post

If it would be useful to talk this through, call us to talk more.  And if you have a 3D Juggling idea, we’d love to hear from you.

© 2012 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com