3D Ideas 883: The Pale Blue Dot

Alan writes: “Scientists at NASA have unveiled a re-worked picture entitled ‘The Pale Blue Dot’, first captured 30 years ago on Friday by the Voyager 1 probe. What does it show? Well, us – the earth – seen from a distance of about 4 billion miles. The iconic view was made famous by Carl Sagan in his 1994 book ‘Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space.’ He described the planet Earth as “a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam”. The image has now been re-worked using modern techniques and software. To me it is charming and disturbing in equal measure.

One of the skills of helping people to think differently is to get them – metaphorically – to ‘stand in a different place’; if we stand in the same place we will usually see things in broadly the same way. A new view of life and its options normally follows when we are invited to make an internal shift in our standpoint. Technically we call this ‘reframing’ – and it can involve a positional shift, or a temporal shift. ‘What would it look like if you stood here?’ ‘What might it look like from the viewpoint of another person?’ ‘What might you notice if, in your imagination, you were to stand 12 months down the line and look back?’ These imaginative shifts open up new possibilities and new ways of seeing.

 

The NASA image has that impact on me. Thoughts turn… Smallness and greatness. Though I’m writing this gazing out of the window at the reassuring solidity of Belgravia’s elegant tree-lined streets and townhouses, and the vastness of this great city in which they are set, caught up in the seeming importance of life here (and my obsession with my life within that life), the view from 4 billion miles away moves things into a new perspective. The big things are suddenly very small indeed – and the things I suddenly need to be aware of come into focus. This tiny dot is us: and it is all we have. It is, within the ambit of the whole immensity of creation, entrusted to our care. We aren’t doing such a great job, are we? As Lent approaches, time perhaps for us to re-work our picture of life as a gift.”

Ⓒ 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 882: The Least

We are launching a podcast! It’s called The Coaching Inn. In the first one, Su explores using coaching with groups in churches. Claire will be recording the next one later this week on coaching and safeguarding with Nicky Brownjohn, a coach and safeguarding adviser. You can read the blog post that started the safeguarding discussion here.

Claire writes: “We spent the weekend with friends who are downsizing to live on a narrow boat for a year. They are thinking about the least they need to keep to allow them to enjoy life. That is different from the most they can fit on the boat. It got me thinking about how often we try and fit the most in, rather than exploring what the least would look like.

Someone called on Friday to talk about Action Learning Set Facilitator Training.  He wanted to know if we offer accredited courses or qualifications. Although all our training can be used as part of ICF accreditation, we teach the least people need to know in order to be able to do a good job as facilitators. We could offer qualifications but it would cost more, they would have to come for longer and it might not add the equivalent extra value.

When I am listening to others coaching or mentoring, we regularly wonder together: What’s the least you need to say for them to move forward in their thinking?

Less is more is at the heart of 3D Coaching’s philosophy.”

Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2020

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Video – Don’t Talk to The Wavy People

Coaches: We need to talk about safeguarding

This is the text from an article posted on LinkedIn February 2020

This morning I was listening to a recording of someone coaching, as part of their professional development. The person who was being coached made a disclosure of historic abuse.

This is the second time that I have seen this in my role as a mentor coach/supervisor. But as much as we speak about standards and ethics in the coaching community, I have never heard conversations about safeguarding. And yet ethical practice is about what we do in the room when the rubber hits the road.

Our profession depends on confidentiality. And you if you caveat everything at the beginning of your first conversation with someone it could be perceived as being legalistic in tone. I say ‘this conversation is confidential unless there is a risk to self or to others’. The field in which we operate is working with people in their lives, teams and organisations and in the world. I need to be clearer ‘this conversation is confidential unless there is a risk to self, to others or by others’. When we over focus on the individual, I think that we are blind to the needs of others in the wider system. It is possible that there are children at risk today from the person mentioned in passing in a coaching conversation about something else altogether.

Do we know what to do when someone discloses to us? Is the coaching community wilfully blind to safeguarding? Are we reluctant to look at safeguarding to protect the confidentiality of those with whom we work. Does thinking about it make us anxious? I may not be looking in the right place, but if we really aren’t talking about safeguarding, is what we are doing safe enough? Might the feeling “It’s not for me to do anything because that was confidential” actually be an action taken in service of our own anxiety?

As a volunteer in a church, I am trained in safeguarding. The Church of England is accused of being late to the party and of having been blind to many small pieces of information heard in conversations that could have protected vulnerable children and adults. I am learning that it is not for me to decide what to do – or indeed not do. If I hear a disclosure it is my responsibility to the wider system to report to someone who knows more about this than I do. In service of the wider world.

When this first came up, I consulted with other people I perceive to be leaders in the coaching community and was told that we work with adults who we believe have agency. Yes we do. And how I engage with someone believing they are robust enough to deal with their own stuff is critical. Focusing on that alone misses the point. We know something that we did not know before. And we need to decide what to do with that – in service of the individual and others in the wider system who may still be at risk.

What will you do when you hear a disclosure in a coaching conversation about abuse by a third party? Choosing to do nothing is a decision which you are making. Margaret Hefferman might describe that as wilful blindness. The first place to start is to ask the person what do we need to think about together in relation to the disclosure? Are they safe?

This is not only about their safety. It is also about the safety of vulnerable children or adults in the wider system. Do you know where you can get good advice? In the UK, you can get advice from the NSPCC hotline 0808 800 5000. The reality is that we don’t know what to do. And when that happens, we need to seek advice from someone with more experience than our own.

Claire Pedrick MCC

3D Coaching

February 2020

3D Ideas 881: Horses

Claire writes: “Horses, I am reliably informed, occupy space all by themselves. And when nearby humans do or say too much, the horses get physically stuck and their bodies lock up. The more the person tries to get them to do what they want, the more locked the horse becomes.

In conversations, when we do or say too much, the person we are talking to also gets stuck. Slowing down the pace so that we are fully working in partnership is an art that takes practice. 

If you are trained with 3D or another coaching provider, our practicum is a great place to work on your pace. If you’re not a coach, see if you can get permission to record a conversation from with whom you have a 1-1. When you listen back, you’re not listening to yourself – you are noticing whether the pace of what you see is freeing or locking the processing of your colleague.

Working too much doesn’t work.”

Ⓒ 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 880: Disruption

Claire writes: “I’m reading a couple of books about disruptive thinking – Matthew Syed’s Rebel Ideas and Franz Johansen’s Medici Effect. Disruptive thinking is a way to look at things radically differently. One of the ideas I love is listening to insights from someone from an entirely different discipline to your own. One example that is quoted is about a hospital learning from motor racing.

This way of looking from a tangent is useful. It enables people to make their own meaning. Instead of being an adviser, the visitor can tell the story of how they do what they do and what they notice – and the organisation can make their own sense of it. I love how honouring that is, and how very different it feels from ‘you should do it this way’.

This is also a great stance to use in mentoring.”

Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2020

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3D Ideas 879: Talk to the person

Claire writes: “We were watching, BBC Drama Call the Midwife last night. It’s a historical drama about a group of midwives in London in the 1960s.  In yesterday’s episode they were training young medics to deliver a baby. Several things struck me that connected with the work we do at 3D.

  • the midwives worked in partnership, engaging with the mothers-to-be and calling them by name.  They kept reminding the doctors that they were working with people and to look at them when they were speaking
  • the medics wanted to intervene while the midwives kept calm and navigated some complex deliveries. The midwives trusted the mothers to be, and the process of birth, and held their nerve. In one scene, the midwife got her contingency ambulance in place – and it was not needed because the mother managed without

In conversations, it’s easy to turn to tools and techniques, when in fact the person we are with almost always has all the resources they need. They need company. That only works when we can be brave and stay with the process. Coaching is about two people working in partnership in service of the thinking of one of us. 

I am struck again by a comment made by Brene Brown in a 2016 interview because coaching and faith have some connections. Neither are an epidural. Both are about companionship on a journey. “I went back to church thinking that it would be like an epidural, like it would take the pain away… that church would make the pain go away. Faith and church was not an epidural for me at all; it was like a midwife who just stood next to me saying, ‘Push. It’s supposed to hurt a little bit.'”

Ⓒ 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 878: Who is it for?

Claire writes: “Do you like advice? It’s easy to slip into offering good ideas without asking whether that’s useful.

Artist Andy Leek leaves handwritten posters around London called #notestostrangers. One note reads: ‘Think of the last bit of advice you gave and see if it’s useful to you’.

When it is asked for, and when it addresses someone else’s specific question, advice can be useful.  Sometimes what we offer to others is what we need to be hearing ourselves. And sometimes offering to listen might be even more of a gift than offering solutions.

PS If the advice is framed as a question it’s still advice!”

Ⓒ 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!

877: All About Who?

Claire writes: “Thanks to Stuart Reid for sharing this short video from BBC Hardtalk.  It is an interview with Alan Rickman about acting and listening. You only speak because you wish to respond to something you’ve heard… What you have to say is completely incidental” 

Three minutes full of gold and great insights we can apply in coaching!”

Claire has released a brand new masterclass on listening – available now on the website

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 876: Backwards and Forwards 2

Claire writes: “Not only is this a new year, it is also a new decade!  In the last blog we looked back – this one is about looking forward.

Although I am not one to do deep and meaningful planning, having a sense of what we would like to be different by the end of this year, or indeed the twenties (2020s) might produce some interesting insight as to what is important.

For example, I would like my book to be published, as planned, this December. That means that I need to crack on!  By the end of the twenties, a number of our 3D Team will have changed how they engage with us. So what do we need to do now that will make that possible for them.  And who do we need to be developing so that we have a sustainable future.

What would you like to be different by the end of this year, or indeed the twenties (2020s)?” 

Ⓒ 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!