Tag: STOKeRS

3D Juggling 713: Stroking

horse-798384_1280Claire writes: “Call them Freudian slips, or mistakes, or what you like… but sometimes what slips out can be useful information. At a recent training day, one of the delegates observed that learning about our strokers acronym was really useful.

STOKeRS is about supporting another person to take responsibility. It’s ironic that STROKING is what happens so often in organisations – we fear saying what we see, we want to make someone feel better, and we want to be liked. What emerges may look supportive but in reality what the organisation needs is support and challenge together.”

© 2016 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 709: Ask First

triathlon-race-805386_1280Accredited ICF coaches who want to renew their ACC need 10 hours mentor coaching over 3 years. Why not make it fun and join our Master Coach Claire and a group of renewing ACCs in a virtual group.  Call or email to say yes!

Nick writes: “A coach friend commented recently that he keeps annoying people he works with and is not sure why. He likes to challenge people’s thinking and they don’t always respond well. I asked, ‘Have you contracted first with them about how you will work together?’ Great questions at the outset can be, ‘What are we here to do?’ and ‘How shall we do this?’ It creates opportunity to discuss and agree what to focus on and what kind of relationship and ways of working will be most useful. These are the S, the O and the R in STOKeRS.”

© 2016 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 688: Negotiating the R

Claire writes: “Who decides what needs to happen in a conversation? Often our style seamlessly moves between a variety of roles. Senge, in the Fifth Discipline, talks about a spectrum of encounters leaders can have

  • telling
  • selling
  • testing
  • consulting
  • co-creating

At the telling end, the leader is fully prepared, knows what they are going to say, and takes responsibility for the conversation. It’s quick but doesn’t lead to much engagement. At the co-creating end, the leader doesn’t have an answer, there are no preconceived ideas about what will happen and the responsibility is shared. It takes much longer – and when it works well, engagement is high. Every stage is useful – especially when we can work well in any of them.

Asking: ‘How are we going to do this today?’ shares responsibility and allows room for negotiation and flexibility – which is a useful way of developing people.’

© 2015 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 675: The e

Claire writes: “Every time we introduce STOKeRS

  • Subject – what shall we talk about?
  • Time – in the time we have, which bit of that?
  • Outcome – what do you want to be different by the end?
  • Know – how will you know (only useful if they haven’t said that in the O)
  • Role – how are we going to do this
  • Start – where shall we start?

as a way to create a great container for a conversation, we are asked what the e is for. The simple answer is that we all have different ideas, so we leave it out. Here are some of them:

  • Everything else (Alan) – Everything else that might be important to the person being coached
  • Exceptional circumstances (Clare) – Are there any exceptional circumstances that I need to know about that are going on for you in life right now?
  • Essence (Claire) – a question to you – what’s the essence of what I am hearing – is it a balance or is it heavily weighted towards facts or towards feelings?
  • Environment (Nicky) – what’s around in the environment eg political, economic, society, technology, legal, environmental or organisational?

And Su doesn’t think it’s necessary to have anything else in there – any more opening questions make it less simple!”

© 2015 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 655: It’s Not Coaching

Claire writes: My big revelation of September is that when we are running Coaching for Excellence, we’re not training people to be coaches.  It’s only about having more effective conversations at work.  Some people will end up being coaches, but everyone ends up being far more effective and supportive as well as challenging in their conversations.

When we go into a conversation with people, we often have a list of things to discuss, or we are so open that we begin with wide open listening.  The risk is that we’re not clear enough about exactly what we are doing, nor how we are going to do it – before we start.  The Chinese proverb ‘The Banks of the Yangtse give it depth, drive and direction’ is right.  Too many conversations at work are more like puddles (or floods) than flowing rivers. That’s where the container we can learn from coaching can be so helpful – with a great start, a great middle and a productive end.  It’s simple.  And it takes some unlearning to get there.  We call a good start a contract – for want of a better word. You could equally well call it making banks!

  • Subject – what do you want to talk about (and can bring in what I want too if not coaching)
  • Time – given that we have 15 monutes, what do we need to do?
  • Outcome – what do we want to be different by the end?
  • Know – how will you/ we know?
  • e
  • Role – how are we going to do this?
  • Start – where shall we start?

It’s simple.  Simple isn’t easy.

© 2014 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 637: Right Here Right Now

It’s not too late to get a last minute space on the coaching skills programme in Milton Keynes beginning on Wednesday.  The next open programme will be 23/24 September and 25/26 November.

Claire writes: “When we talk about a situation with colleagues or volunteers because they want some help to think about it, we often focus on the situation.  we ask questions for clarity and so that we understand: Tell me more about that? What have you done already? Who is involved?

We rarely pin down what we need to do right here right now to help that person find a way forward.  That’s the bit that we can influence!

That’s why, when we are training people to use coaching at work, we concentrate on asking questions about the process and not about the story.  It’s less interesting – and more effective! Questions like

  • In the 10 minutes we have, what do we need to do?
  • How will you know we have moved this on?
  • How shall we do that?
  • Where shall we start?
  • Where are we now?
  • What do we need to do next?

They are all about what we are doing right here right now.  And they move the person beyond retelling the story into doing some genuine exploration into new thinking.

If you want to see it in action, here’s a demonstration:

© 2014 3D Coaching Ltd
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Having an effective conversation using STOKeRS

See a demonstration of what we can learn at work from tandem riders.  Feel free to share: