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Category: ICF Coaching Competencies

3D Ideas 917: I Was There

Claire writes: “Welsh comedian Max Boyce was famous for the phrase ‘I Know ‘Cos I Was There’. Which brings me to the subject of asking questions.

I notice that in conversation, the question-asker will often take time to explain their question to make sure that the thinker understands it.  This can make questions grammatically correct, yes. And also very long! If, like the best questions, yours comes from what you hear or see or sense, then a few words will be enough to provoke more thinking.  Use too many words, and the question loses its impact.  They’ll understand. After all they were there! (And if they don’t understand, they can ask you!)”

Ⓒ 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 916: The River

We are delighted that you can now pre-order Claire’s new book Simplifying Coaching from the independent retailer Bookshop.org. Comes out 7th December.

Claire writes: “For this lockdown, we have formed a household with my brother.  He knows this area well.  We are simply beginning to explore.

Every day last week he told me how to get to the river.  Everything felt so unfamiliar that his instructions were overwhelming…until we broke them down into bite sized pieces.  The first day I found the park. Then each day, I would ask him one additional step.   Sure enough by the end of the week I had done the whole walk down to the river – and beyond.  And can remember the way and make my own walks  – because I learned the route my way. 

Too many actions from one conversation can be too much. Sometimes knowing the next step is enough.”

Ⓒ 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 915: A Tap

Claire writes: “I’ve been thinking about the start of conversations for a few months now. And noticed that when it’s not clear to both parties in a conversation when the work is starting that it can get messy. One of us thinks we are doing some work – the other one is just chatting. It’s clear boundaries that make transformation more likely to happen. 

This reminds me of an orchestra. They gather, they greet one another and they tune up. When it’s time to start the piece, the conductor taps their music stand and everyone knows that the work is beginning. 

The arriving matters. I like to call it a pre-conversation. What do you need to do to mark the transition from the arriving to the work?

(It’s interesting to recognise that the music emerges in the space between the conductor and the orchestra…because in coaching it emerges in the space between us, too)

Ⓒ 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 914: Art or Algorithm

Claire writes: “I love working with people from around the world. Insights come from the way we all use language slightly differently.

(Virtually) in Russia the other day, someone said: ‘I thought that coaching was an algorithm – and now I realise it’s an algorithm and it’s an art.’

In order for the thinker to get into new thinking, we need an algorithm. This is a bit of structure which will enable us to co-create the work we are going to do today.  I call this creating the coaching container – working out together what are we doing today? how shall we do it? how will we know we have done it? Unless we do that together every time we meet, we cannot work in partnership.

After that, coaching is an art – the art of noticing, listening, provoking… and doing the least we need to do in order for the thinker to do great work!”

“Learn your theories as well as you can, but put them aside when you touch the miracle of the living soul.” Jung

Ⓒ 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 913: Is this useful?

Thanks to Richard who emailed to say how a recent session hadn’t gone brilliantly until he asked them ‘is this useful?’.

Richard writes: “I have just come off a 1-hour coaching session, session 2 of 5 + a review with a guy looking to change career.

He loves detail and is very analytical, and I have noticed that he seems to need to do the detail to feel he has addressed any question that arises. Today, he was indeed doing the detail, despite my ‘tell me the headlines on….’ questions. I began to wonder if it was really moving him forward, but was torn by his need to do detail. So, I just ran with it and we did move slowly forward. Then in the last 6-7 minutes, we got into some really big questions for him and he really started to think. I agreed with him to run over time to land the session well, and also to review.

His review feedback was, ‘I was thinking quite a lot today that maybe we weren’t really moving forward and that I was going over stuff I already knew, and I would like more of the time to be like the last few minutes and less of it to be like the first 40 minutes.’

Oh! So, I said, ‘me too’ and we had a really good discussion about how coaching works, the value of me interrupting and asking ‘is this useful?’. We fleshed out the purpose and value of the question so he really gets the concept. And we have contracted for future that I will regularly ask ‘is this useful?’ or ‘is this breaking new ground?’ and he has permission to confirm it is or to say no, so I can then ask ‘so what will be useful for you to think about?’.

 Observations:

  • I could have done this, and would have been better to, anyway. Indeed, he instinctively knew it was not as effective as the previous session (& other previous coaching I have done with him) so I can be braver.
  • The review is really useful as it allowed us to uncover this and work better together in future. Having gone over contracted time, it would have been easy to skip over, so it was good to have asked to continue and do it properly.
  • By naming the issue between us, it has allowed us to learn and be more effective.
  • Training the thinker in how to be coached is also very powerful.

Just thought I’d capture it for myself and share with you.”

We need to check in if any conversation is going to be a real partnership!’

Ⓒ 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 912: Models and Meaning Making

Useful info: If you want to practice listening for themes and emotion, and listen to the impact of the tone with which you offer back (diagnostic or as a question) listen to this – there are loads of episodes so lots of practice! 

Claire writes: “Great coaching is about people having insights that enable them to make meaning.  And we can’t make meaning for someone else! They have to do that themselves.

Thank goodness for Maeterlink’s insight: “It is far more important that one’s life should be perceived than that it should be transformed; for no sooner has it been perceived, than it transforms itself of its own accord.”

Teaching someone something in a coaching conversation can turn into an attempt to get them to make meaning.  Lightly offering a model might be much more useful. For example, we meet a lot of people in transition.  We could ask lots of questions to find out where they are in William Bridge’s transition model. When this happens we might draw his diagram quickly and say ‘does this give you some insight?’”

Ⓒ 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 911: She Did It!

News: Sue Appleton, our stalwart administrator will be leaving 3D Coaching at the end of October after 14 wonderful years. Our gratitude is immeasurable and we wish her happiness in her new life. Ness Callis is taking up the reins! Meanwhile, you’ll need to wait for the third blog on transformation because we have some of our own to share. Ruth has just completed a virtual marathon. If you’d like to donate to her chosen charity VICTA you can do that here. 

Ruth writes: “10 years ago I couldn’t imagine running for more than 30 seconds at a time.  Yesterday I ran my first ever marathon.

When I think of that, I still can’t quite believe what I have just done! I’m not the ‘right’ build for running and yet I made a decision that I would try it and bit by bit my perseverance has paid off. 

My brother bought me a medal rack for my birthday that says “She believed she could and so she did”, I look at that and wonder what else I can do? We all achieve things in life we once didn’t think was possible. I never thought I could run, I never thought I could earn a living as a coach, I never thought I could raise (as of today) 2 teenagers on my own: we are so much stronger get than we give ourselves credit for.

So today, I am choosing to believe that I can. And my hope is that that will inspire my kids to grow up believing they can too.”

Ⓒ 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 910: Insights

Claire writes: ‘So this week’s insight about transformation also builds on Maurice Maeterlink’s comment that: “It is far more important that one’s life should be perceived than that it should be transformed; for no sooner has it been perceived, than it transforms itself of its own accord.” 

If coaching is about people getting new insights into their own stuff, the simplest thing to do is to ask them:

  • ‘And the insight?’
  • or ‘Now you know that…?’

And of course not everyone has insights while they are talking to us. I work with someone who is a really pacy thinker.  She does all the work the day before we meet because she can see we have a meeting scheduled.  Our conversation simply lands the insights she had yesterday.  For many people, the most significant learning or insights happen after the conversation is over… when we land the conversation well (and that is still part of the process!)’

This is part of 3D’s philosophy of coaching. You can get them all as a postcard set from our shop.  

Ⓒ 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 909: You’ve said it now

Claire writes: “If we aspire to work transformationally, how do we do that? I’ll be sharing some ideas over the next three weeks.  They are all built on Maurice Maeterlink’s perceptive comment that: “It is far more important that one’s life should be perceived than that it should be transformed; for no sooner has it been perceived, than it transforms itself of its own accord.”

Saying something out loud might be enough to catalyse transformation. That is why I often say to people ‘You’ve said it now – that might be enough’. Optimistic, realistic and demonstrating that I believe they can do this. If more work or deeper work needs to be done to reach more significant change we can talk about that later. Let’s see what happens first.”

Ⓒ 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 908: My favourite

Claire writes: “I don’t know about you, but the combination of covid and on-demand TV this year has provided me an opportunity to indulge my love of forensic pathology.  I have watched every episode of BBC’s Silent Witness over the last few months. Only two series to go! Our daughter has been living with us for some of this time. She hates it! When we are together in the evening, we have to find entertainment that works for us all.

We all have preferences.  In conversations, some of us love exploring. Others enjoy pinning down actions, or indeed creating numerous ideas and possibilities. A coaching style – whether you call it coaching or something else – is about having a conversation that is in service of the other person. It needs to work for them. If we stay in our preferred part of the conversation, that’s not partnership!”

Ⓒ 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!

 

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