3D Ideas 902: Fishing

Ruth writes: “The other day, as I was listening to a conversation, I started thinking about fishing. It sounded like the ‘professional’ in the situation was fishing for an answer, constantly casting their bait into the water, again and again trying to find a question that would catch the ‘fish’. 

I don’t fish. And I imagine that casting the line in quick succession won’t get the desired result. The water would be constantly stirred up, not allowing the fish to come towards the hook. 

I was left wondering how often we do that in conversations. When we ask repeated questions in quick succession – How will you know? Do you think that…? What might you need to do? and other brilliant questions I have in my stash to ask – we are constantly stirring the water, scaring away the fish. Scaring away the thought process. 

I wonder if we are like fish, needing the bait and hook to be cast and for the water to settle so that we can think more clearly. As I coach I want to learn to be like a patient fisherman.”

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3D Ideas 901: The Problem with Problems

Claire writes: “The problem with using the language of problems or issues in conversations is that there is a hidden assumption that someone has to find a solution.  And that someone is often the person who is perceived to have more power.

What’s your question for today?’ or even ‘what’s our question for today?’ has many benefits. It enables us to get to the heart of the matter more quickly.

I want to talk about having a holiday’ turns into ‘How can I have a week off that gives me enough rest?’

It also takes the pressure off the end. ‘Have we moved this forward?’ is less anxiety inducing than ‘Have we (in any way) solved your problem?’.  And as Amabile and Kramer say in The Progress Principleany progress is progress.”

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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 our blog by email every week, you can do that here!

3D Ideas 900: Nailing Things

Claire writes: “The difference between a whimsical thought and an action is nailing it so that something happens. I love asking people what they are learning?  A more effective question is to ask what difference the learning is making: What’s different in your conversations as a result of what you’re learning?”

Kolb, in his learning cycle had wisdom to recognise that adults learn by moving through a cycle of doing, reviewing, learning and applying/ putting into practice.

Some of my favourite nailing questions include:

  • “And now you know that…?”
  • “When you share that with your people, what will you say?”

What are your favourite nailing questions?”

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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 899: Challenging

Claire writes: “I’ve been listening to some great conversations this week – coaches coaching and thinkers thinking. Whatever your profession or craft, if you have conversations with people there is much to be learned from listening to recordings from time to time. Don’t focus on what you say or do – listen to them responding to what you say or do.

What I notice is that the facilitator of the conversation is always doing a great job… and then they use too many words. In conversations, challenge increases as we say less. Imagine walking with someone to the window and as we look out together, they see something that is significant and uncomfortable. Noticing that and remaining silent enables us to keep them company in the discomfort as they stand with it. Too many words means we pull them away from what they saw, the challenge decreases and the moment of insight can quickly be lost. Discomfort and discovery are important parts of learning.”

“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” Mark Twain

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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 898: Diving Deep

Claire writes: “It’s not unusual for the conversations we have to dive deep – but who decides whether we dive or not? A few years ago, we were in Paxos on a family holiday and the girls and I went for a scuba diving lesson. They loved it. I wasn’t ready when we did the deep (for beginners) dive. I hated it – even when the rather gorgeous instructor guided me by the hand along the sea floor.  Everyone else saw amazing things. I just wanted to go home! We had, for me, dived too early.

In coaching, we need to have agreed what we are doing together today before we dive at all – and then only with permission. Otherwise we risk taking them places where we want to go that may be at best not useful and at worst resemble my scuba lesson. While we are working out together what to do today – or rightsizing, they may choose to go deep. That’s great – but I need to hold back on depth until we are clear what we are doing today.  Otherwise I go to the deep coral because that interests me – and if I had waited I would have heard that today they’d like to look at the old shipwreck in the next bay.”

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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 897: Whose job?

Claire writes: “Under pressure, with the best of intentions, many leaders end up taking too much responsibility.  Emma is a Head Teacher and describes this better than I can:

“A year after participating in the inspirational Transforming Conversations training led by Claire, I can truly say the school I lead and manage has been transformed! A year ago there was an overwhelming dependency on me as headteacher to solve everyone’s problems and find solutions. Since applying the STOKeRS approach there is a greater sense of shared responsibility for identifying and overcoming barriers to school improvement. Today staff unwittingly find themselves using the approach to support one another other more effectively – and I no longer feel overwhelmed by shouldering the burden of others. I cannot recommend this training highly enough!”

This is a great example of how you can create a coaching culture by starting to have conversations differently.  When that works well, and it’s simple, others can easily engage differently themselves – as Emma says, unwittingly.  STOKeRS is simply a few questions to ask to ensure that we don’t start a conversation until we know what we are talking about today, how we will do that and how, today, we will know that we have done what we needed to do.”

If you want to learn more, join me for the next online training starting in September on Thursday afternoons.

Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2020

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 896: What am I carrying?

Claire writes: “I’ve been thinking a lot about how important it is to go into conversations with empty pockets. Coaching mastery is about integration not accumulation of tools and techniques. 

And yet we  do go into every conversation with the privilege we do or don’t carry – our education, our gender, our colour or race. I’m grateful to a friend of colour who challenged me to think more deeply about this. Several months ago, when I was writing the book, she told me: ‘You have to talk about it in a way we can’t.’ This took me to listening to some challenging books including Akala’s Natives.

This video is another way of looking at privilege. We can’t get rid of our privilege. But acknowledging it is there is an important step forward if we are going to work in partnership as much as possible. What’s your privilege?

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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 895: Connections

Claire writes: “One of the interesting things about lockdown is that we have been asked to make decisions in service of our communities.  Whether we like it or not, we have stayed at home for a common cause that is bigger than we are.

‘Everything is in connection’ says Senge. Many of the connections, or systems, around us are invisible – how we connect to family and friends, teams at work or in the community, to our organisations and to society.

This morning, we ran a module of Transforming Conversations online and we were mapping out the systems in which we live and work. The process of looking at something differently brought insights and clarity to many of us.

Lockdown is, for many, an opportunity to review and reflect on how, what, where and even why or when we do what we do. If it’s time for you to review, mapping it out with stuff (coins, coffee cups, tic tacs – anything that moves) might give you some new insights, if it’s useful?” 

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3D Ideas 894: Deerstalker

Claire writes: “On yesterday’s walk I saw a tiny muntjac deer pop his head out from behind some bushes.  It was tempting to follow him quietly into the woods by stalking him. In the moment, I chose to continue with the walk I was on. I know that deer live in that wood.  I can return to exploring that another day, if I choose.

 

In conversations, it can be easy to form a hypothesis from an observation or intuition, and follow it to see if we were right or wrong. When we are trying to work in partnership that causes an imbalance of power.  Nigel Wellings said ‘Never know first, never know better, never think you know.’ 

In conversation, partnership means don’t stalk the deer – ask them: Is that a deer – what shall we do now?

If you want to learn about coaching in partnership, talk to us about how we can help you.

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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 893: Punctuation

Claire writes: “On our kitchen cupboard is a sticky note that says Is this a bracket? Sometime ago, after some coaching, I put that up to remind me to stop, take stop and reflect.

It feels like Covid19 has forced a break and given us the opportunity for a new paragraph. What I love about a new paragraph is that there is empty space in the gap. You can choose to carry on and write about the same subject or you can change the subject if you want to.  I wonder what that means for me, for you?

Punctuation is also key to great conversations. When we catch what the other person is saying with phrases like OK or yes, they act like full stops. Great coaching conversations pay attention to pauses and the space in the words between us. It makes a significant difference to the thinking space we offer. I’ll be exploring Punctuation: Silence in Coaching in a special one hour masterclass on Wednesday 8th July 16.00 (UK). Places limited. £30 inc VAT. Register your interest by emailing info@3dcoaching.com”  

Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2020

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!