eistruttore@example.com +04 77 333 454 221
Delivering & developing great coaching across the world

3D Ideas 945: Which Version?

Claire writes: “Asking someone a question like ‘How was your holiday?’  can bring a variety of responses from:

  1. Great thanks
  2. We went camping
  3. We went camping to the New Forest and also got to the beach. It was great to read and relax…
  4. We went camping to the New Forest.  My grandparents used to live there and my Mum loves the area.  As children, we used to go every school holiday.  I love horses.  In fact that childhood love gave me a lifelong interest in horses… and so on…

Questions can evoke many versions of the same answer.  And questions are at the heart of coaching.  Unboundaried, people don’t know which version to go for. Or indeed some people will always opt for the longest or shortest!

We need to talk more about time. It enables our companion to work out how much to say. On Monday I coached someone and she said ‘I need to blurb.’ ‘How long do you need to blurb for?’ I asked. It worked

Time boundaries on the end of a conversation matter too.  Listen to the difference between ‘We only have 5 minutes left’ and ‘In the 5 minutes we have left, what do we need to do?’.  When you don’t mention time, and you’re coming to the end, they probably have no idea what time it is and may well go for version 4 … which opens up just at the time you need to be ending well.  It’s a particular issue for people who are very good at building trust. That’s when the thinker totally loses track of time. You’ll see the outcome of your unboundaried question as a need in to run over. And yet it is unlikely to happen when you share responsibility and talk about time. As long as you are always unconditionally positive about time.”

Check out our exclusive masterclasses for experienced coaches.

You can now listen to this blog through our podcast The Coaching Inn Become a regular by signing up on iTunes or podbean.  

Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2021

May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com If you would like to get this by email every week, you can do that here!

 

3D Ideas 944: Check In

Claire writes: “It’s a fantasy, I think, that we can start having a one hour (or even 5 minute) conversation about you and that I will know whether it’s serving you or not. I have to ask you.  Checking in is the only way to manage the time and the focus of a conversation in partnership.  When I don’t do this, we can get lost, and I can easily start to lead.

Checking in is at the heart of great conversations and starts with creating a great boundary about

  • What we are doing today?
  • How we are doing it?
  • How we will know we have done it by the end of the conversation?

I’ve talked before that STOKeRS questions are one way of doing this. They work because they get the thinker thinking before we dive into the heart of the work we need to do.  Whether what we are doing is coaching, review, mentoring or line management.

A group I am mentoring asked today: When do I check in?

  • Often! In an hour, I probably check in 10 or more times.
  • Every time I see the thinker has moved in their thinking (words or body). This is because there may have been some internal movement or insight as well, so we need to keep in sync – me, the thinker and their internal dialogue. Check in: Where are we now?
  • When there’s an energy dip
  • When we’re half way through
  • When there’s been a change of direction away from what we agreed we were doing
  • When we’re beginning to land (and then every 5 minutes or so). “We have 20 (or 5) minutes left, what’s the most important thing we need to do between now and the end?” 
  • When I don’t know what to do
  • Before I panic that I don’t know what to do

And how? You’ll find your own way – just keep it future focussed. Some that I use are

  • Is this useful?
  • Are we on track?
  • And the insight?
  • What do you know now that you didn’t know when we started?
  • What do we need to do now?
  • Where are we?

Checking in makes the conversation more effective for the thinker – and easier for you! Just make sure you avoid any intonation that suggests Is this working? or Am I any good? Try it!”

We will be covering this and more in our exclusive Advanced Masterclass for coaches in July 2021

You can now listen to this blog through our podcast The Coaching Inn Become a regular by signing up on iTunes or podbean.  

Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2021

May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com If you would like to get this by email every week, you can do that here!

 

3D Ideas 943: Superheroes

Claire writes: “Wherever did we get the idea that our roles require us to be superheroes? Superhero-ing looks like line managers feeling they need to fix the problems they perceive colleagues bring to them. It looks like coaches feeling like they need to attain changed lives by the end of a series of conversations. Superhero-itis shows up everywhere.

The challenge with the superhero style is that, although it can be seductive, it can skew our power relationship by disempowering our colleagues.  Think about superheroes.  In fiction they are larger than life characters.  In comparison, an ordinary human seems to have a much lower status than a hero.  When we want to develop people, we need to enable them to grow. And for that to happen, they need to believe they can do this. That’s why coaching is a great leadership style. Paul Kasimu, a leader in East African Telecoms giant Safaricom says: “We need a portfolio without power. To feel comfortable leading when it’s not with power and authority – taking a back seat and allowing teams to find solutions for themselves”

Lighten up! Stop trying to be a superhero! It’s not all down to you to fix in the time available for a conversation.  Coach out the unfinished stuff at the end of a conversation: “Do you know where/when  you’re going to keep thinking about that?” is a much more empowering end than “We can’t possibly give credit to this enormous problem  in the short time we have now.. Come back next week”. 

Because when we are working in partnership enough, and when we end a conversation well rather than closing it down, the best learning happens after our conversation is over!”

You can now listen to this blog through our podcast The Coaching Inn Become a regular by signing up on iTunes or podbean.  

Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2021

May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com If you would like to get this by email every week, you can do that here!

 

3D Ideas 942: Improv Insights

Claire writes: “Loving Twitter and LinkedIn for book recommendations at the moment. That’s how I found myself listening to Pippa Evans new book Improv Your Life

It’s through exploring improv with my friend Stuart Reid that I have done some deep learning about tone.  Improv talks about the ‘yes and’ sphere which keeps people talking.  

Improv is where we do our greatest learning about coaching presence. I remember that the first time we did a workshop, as delegates we were keen to offer clever lines – or were frozen by not knowing what to say.  Both of these stopped our partner continuing – in fact it blocked them and the vignettes broke down.  That can happen in coaching when we offer clever questions or don’t know what to say.  Once someone is in flow and getting new insights, our job is to keep them in flow. It is not to demonstrate how clever we are.

Here’s a book I’ll be re-reading as there’s a lot more to learn about tone and timing and partnership.  And watch the events space as Stuart and I are talking about an on site presence training in the autumn. Location and dates to be set as the world gets a little clearer.

You can now listen to this blog through our podcast The Coaching Inn Become a regular by signing up on iTunes or podbean.  

Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2021

May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com If you would like to get this by email every week, you can do that here!

 

3D Ideas 941: Real Observable Data

Claire writes: “I’m a great advocate of reflective practice, and there is nothing like real observable data to develop our skill fast. One of the coaches I mentor asked me last week what to listen for in a recording of your own conversations – or of someone else’s.

I think we look too much at the beauty of the coaching and not at whether it has an impact. Because great coaching can’t be measured solely on what the coach does. Coaching is great when it facilitates the thinker to think! And as Naomi, a delegate on a recent course said: ‘If the coach is thinking more than the thinker, it’s not coaching.’

If you want to learn fast, record a session of you coaching (or facilitating a conversation you have at work) and listen back – to the thinker. Here are some things to think about

  1. how much are they thinking?
  2. how do you know that?
  3. are they following you, are you following them or are you travelling together?
  4. if they leapt, did you keep up with them?
  5. is the conversation giving new information to them? or to you?
  6. who breaks the silence?
  7. and when you spoke, were they ready… or were they still thinking?
  8. And are they waiting for you to finish speaking?
  9. Is this their conversation – or are they doing it for you?

Listening or looking at real, observable data is where you’ll do your best learning.”

You can now listen to this blog through our podcast The Coaching Inn Become a regular by signing up on iTunes or podbean.  

Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2021

May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com If you would like to get this by email every week, you can do that here!

 

3D Ideas 940: Accidentally Disempowering

Claire writes: “‘Assume good intent’ is a great attitude when it comes to working with people. And ‘first do no harm’ is a philosophy in medicine.  When it comes to any role that requires us to have conversations with others, attitude, philosophy and ethics are important . So I’d like to add my own ethical stance: ‘Beware of accidentally disempowering’.

When I start leading in a conversation, the person I am talking to is likely to start following me.  Suddenly it’s my conversation not theirs.  In some situations that’s fine – but it’s not fine if you did it accidentally when they were meant to be leading, and you overtook.

When I am too empathic, my ‘Oh no/ Oh dear’ tone can break partnership.  If this person is in deep distress, and yet the only thing they have left is their personal power, I need to behave in a way that acknowledges that and enables it to grow. 

And when I jump in with my unsolicited good ideas, I may be accidentally disempowering someone by saying ‘…because I don’t think you can do this without my ideas.’

As Michael Bungay Stanier, author of the Advice Trap says: “There are reasons why your ideas are often not that great. To start with, you don’t have the full picture. You’ve got a few facts, a delightful collection of baggage, a robust serving of opinion, and an ocean of assumption. You think you understand what’s happening. Your brain is designed to find patterns and make connections that reassure you that you know what’s going on. Trust me, you don’t. What you’ve got is one part truth and about six parts conjecture.”

Partnership matters!”

You can now listen to this blog through our podcast The Coaching Inn Become a regular by signing up on iTunes or podbean.  

Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2021

May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com If you would like to get this by email every week, you can do that here!

3D Ideas 939: The Man in the Drain

Last week, we launched the #3DBookGroup with drinks at our virtual pub, The Coaching Inn. Our first book is Simplifying Coaching. If we like it, we will read other books together over time! Every week, we read a chapter.  Ask your questions and share observations in the pinned book group thread on our social media channels or by emailing info@3dcoaching.com  Then once a week, we will share questions, insights and reflections through a podcast on last week’s chapter on The Coaching Inn

Claire writes: “We have been in our new house for just over a month and the builders have been snagging (sorting a few things that weren’t quite right).  One day, I was happily working away in my new home office, and had to explain to Ray, the decorator, that I can’t be disturbed when the door is closed because I am in a meeting.  Ray was here for a few days and eventually asked me what I do. That was the day that Simplifying Coaching was sitting in the top 20 Amazon Business Books – so he shared my celebration!  Two days later, a bloke was in the sewer outside clearing out stones that had fallen into the drain during the groundworks.  All you could see was his head.  I went out to offer coffee and he said ‘I hear you’re a famous author’.  I don’t think I am – but clearly Ray had been talking.  The foreman came over and joined in. ‘What’s the book about?’ Now that’s a test of how much I can practice what I preach!

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” is a quote attributed to Einstein. Whoever said it was right.  I asked the foreman what he did when Drain Bloke had a problem. ‘I tell him all the things he should do’, he said.  ‘That means yadayada’ said Drain Bloke. I suggested he ask Drain Bloke ‘What’s your question about what you’ve found?’  They got it! I shared the quote … and they said I passed the test!”

Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2021

May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com If you would like to get this by email every week, you can do that here!

3D Ideas 938: Making Meaning from Eggs

Claire writes: “It’s been on my mind for a while that as much as we might try to make meaning for someone else, we can’t. They can only make meaning for themselves.

Alex is reading, at the moment, Accelerating Performance by Price and Toye. This is fabulous, I think:

As David Rock and Jeffrey Schwarz write: “For insights to be useful, they need to be generated from within, not given to individuals as conclusions.” Like an egg, if it’s broken from the outside by others, life doesn’t survive, but if it’s broken from within, life starts.”

Which is why facilitating someone else to make their own meaning is such a gift.

You can now listen to this blog through our podcast The Coaching Inn Subscribe on iTunes or podbean.  

Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2021

May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com If you would like to get this by email every week, you can do that here!

 

3D Ideas 937: Networks – energising or unspeakable?

Claire writes: “This morning, it was a privilege to be part of the launch of a network. But when the request came in a couple of weeks ago to talk about The Power of Networks, my immediate reaction was to scream inside – I don’t like networking!  There was a season in my life when I tried a few networking meetings.  That’s some time I’ll never get back.  It felt like blind dating and selling – and elevator pitches aren’t my thing.

So I have just come off the call where I shared some more personal stuff – and the energy from the group has energised me. So here’s a bit of what I said

  1. Everyone has a story – you’re never ‘the only one’. Your story has good bits and challenging bits
  2. A network can stand with us in solidarity. We are not alone. This is about connections. They can be our cloud of witnesses and travel with us for a season
  3. As we get to know a small number of people more deeply, we can strengthen and resource one another.  I’ve been part of what I call my wisdom circle to get that
  4. Friends who will sympathise and empathise are important.  And so is a group who will offer challenge as well as support
  5. A network outside the echo chamber of your team, department or organisation can offer a different perspective that is safe and brings a diversity and creativity to our thinking
  6. It’s great to be heard. In a group of 6-8 people we are heard 6-8 more times than in a 1-1… as well as getting new insights
  7. Networks contain people who know things we don’t know. Asking ‘who do you know who knows about jobs in XYZ’ opens up a huge community. (I am directly connected to 1700 people on LinkedIn – they are directly connected to 346000!)
  8. Know why you’re there and remember this is about giving and receiving

We are not alone – there is strength in having a tribe where we can navigate our journeys with others who travel with us for a season.  (Now I have my standing desk and more space, it also felt liberating to be able to do a talk with a standing up voice!)

My part in this network has been to train hosts to use action learning to support small groups to do good work together.  Happy to talk more about how you can do this – if that’s useful?

You can now listen to this blog through our podcast The Coaching Inn Subscribe on iTunes or podbean.  

Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2021

May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com If you would like to get this by email every week, you can do that here!

3D Ideas 936: Crossroads

Claire writes: “Mike & I have been in our new home for a week. You can have enough of unpacking, though!

In my walk to work (round the block and back to my home office) this morning, I decided that each time there was a crossroads in the path, I would test out every option. Starting with the first on the left. The first path was too muddy for my shoes, so I returned at lunchtime. It  took me into a huge open field with the new shoots of spring planting.  That’s one to go to and explore another day for a whole walk.  The next one was a dead end – but interesting to look.  And the one after that that turned out to be a driveway. Anyway, it was fun making choices and finding out what lay beyond the obvious.

In conversations, we hit crossroads or see new pathways all the time. Often the person with the perceived power sees them coming up and decides which will be the most useful one to follow. When this happens they say that the crossroads is there only after they have already taken the decision on direction. Working in partnership means noticing the crossroads as it’s coming up and asking ‘which way shall we go?’ even if you have a preference or believe it to be a dead end.

I am sitting with an insight from Nigel Wellings: ‘Never know first. Never know better. Never think you know.’   Coaching isn’t about forming hypotheses and testing out whether we were right. It is about keeping someone else company while they explore for themselves.”

You can now listen to this blog through our podcast The Coaching Inn Subscribe on iTunes or podbean.  

Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2021

May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3d

Our Clients Say It Best

Subscribe to Our Newsletter !