Linda recently completed Transforming Conversations and made it her own. She emailed us to say: “I just wanted to let you know how useful I’ve found the learning from the course… it does just what it says on the tin and has transformed the recent conversations I’ve been having.
The last few weeks I’ve spent visiting my mum in hospital. She has been terminally ill for some time and died at the end of April. Not an easy time, but I found myself remembering and making good use of all that I have discovered on the course
And in the hospice the ‘moving while talking’ thing was so useful with my family – getting out of the room helped us when we felt stuck and had no answers.
Yesterday I had a particularly awful meeting with a so-called personal banker at <a bank> to release some money from my mum’s account to pay for her funeral. The man I met with didn’t use my name, didn’t introduce himself, didn’t refer to my mum or her death at all during our time together. It was really bad – but while he was away photocopying the paperwork I had time to frame my question for him. At the end I stayed sitting in my seat and he turned back to his computer screen. He looked a bit surprised that I was still there and said ‘right – that’s it, we’re done now’ – ie you can go. No end to the conversation, no goodbye. So I told him that my Mum had worked for <the bank> for thirty-five years and asked him how he might rate his compassion towards me on a scale of one to ten – and if he had another meeting like this maybe he’d try to do a bit better? As I walked away he shouted ‘sorry’ to me.
It felt very good not to get angry so thank you for all the wisdom you have shared and for the change that it brings about – maybe in an unexpected way.”
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Claire writes: “Continuing professional development (CPD) is useful, and in some organisations ongoing training is mandatory. In the coaching world, we are required to evidence 40 hours CPD every 3 years in order to retain our credentials. As people progress through organisations, management and leadership development programmes and other training are available. Some even include coaching. This can easily become a tick box exercise coming out of appraisals – ‘what training would you like to go on?‘
The results of the training can be more transformational when we stretch the frame. Instead of ‘this would be good to do‘, a longer time frame and a co-created contract can make a significant difference. ‘Begin with the end in mind‘, said Covey. We expand that by asking questions like – What’s the training for? How will you (and the organisation) know it has been useful?
Think a year beyond the end of the programme and have a co-created conversation:
This stretched frame is also useful for probation or training agreements:
Not only is this useful because it looks beyond the obvious end point – it also makes revisiting the contract much more normal. ‘We are three months into… how are you getting on towards [that end point]. What do we need to explore to make sure you get to that [original goal for the training/probation]’.
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Claire writes: “It’s great to get feedback from people on our courses. Listen to what happened in someone’s 10 minute conversation. This was in church. It could equally have been at the GP’s surgery or with a neighbour.
‘You may think that the end of a church service when there is still more to come and the vicar has to rush onwards is not the best time to coach someone. However, a 10 minute conversation was clearly life-changing for someone recently diagnosed with Dementia. Caught between family pressures, choices of medication and the consequences of both, and in the confusing, frightening shock of the diagnosis, she wanted to talk about this. My immediate offer was “Yes we can talk – either now for 10 minutes or next week for half an hour at some point”.
Her choice of time and place and my setting a clear contract from the start. In 10 minutes of quiet, stood up, with direct questions, the nutshell problem and feelings were articulated and so she felt clearer about her feelings, her dilemma and was able to put aside the feeling of being caught and not knowing how to proceed. Just articulating the problem of her choices gave her back a sense of control. She was then able to talk clearly to her family later and they together resolved the problems at that point. I suspect half an hour would have been her invitation to me to join her in her pit, but 10 minutes gave us a sense of purpose in how this conversation needed to change something for her now. I was sure there were more conversations to follow and some sympathy needed, but at that point she needed not sympathy but clarity and control, and a quick to-the-point, coaching conversation was the best way forward.’
© 2018 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to firstname.lastname@example.org