Category: ICF Coaching Competencies

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

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Video – Don’t Talk to The Wavy People

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

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 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

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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!

3D Ideas 875: Backwards and Forwards

Claire writes: “Every December, our family writes an A to Z of the year remembering, with some prompting of the alphabet, the highlights of what we have done.  This year will be no different, albeit tinged with a deep sadness of the two close friends who have died during the year. One of them, Lydia, had been our companion in A-to-Z-ing  since we met about 3 years ago. So the year’s review has been on my mind. In coaching we often ask the question ‘what do you know now that you didn’t know when we started talking today?’

I like that as a review question.  Which has made today be thinking more about what have we learned this year, than what have we done?

What have we learned this year at 3D?

  • generosity matters
  • future-proofing may be hard work and it’s the way to create sustainability
  • you can do the same training twice and learn new or different stuff
  • disruptive thinking helps us see things in a new way
  • when people make their own meaning, the learning is even deeper

What do you know now that you didn’t know at the beginning of the year?”

Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2019

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!

874: Pilots

Claire writes: “Alex and I were running some online mentor training last week.  The group was talking about taking off and landing conversations where people move forward in their thinking.  The insight was that the pilot on a plane is most noticeable during take off and landing.  

During the flight the pilot is fully there… and will be silent most of the time, and speak when it’s useful.

Whether speaking or silent, they are doing what is necessary to enable us get from A to B.”

Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2019

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!