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Category: ICF 03 Trust and Intimacy

3D Ideas 921: Gapping

Claire writes: “The BBC TV show Strictly Come Dancing is a favourite in our house.  This year, the series started while we were living with my brother.  Watching from a distance with different people helped look at things differently. So I am indebted to Mel, my sister-in-law for explaining – after all these years – what the judges mean when they say gapping. 

In ballroom dances, gapping is when there is a physical gap between the dancers. It comes when they are not quite in flow.  You can see it. That happens in coaching, too. When conversations are in flow they look like a dance.  And sometimes there is a gap of being on slightly different pages.  Or our leading can create a distance between us.  Or our desire to fix or help can impact partnership.  Or indeed we can miss a leap they make and be a bit too far behind. You can see it. And sense it. 

Flow matters. It’s where transformation happens.”

Ⓒ 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 919: Mathematics

We are delighted to tell you that Claire’s book Simplifying Coaching comes out this week.  If it’s for you, we’d love to hear what you think: directly, or on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn

Claire writes: “How we are formed in our first career influences our leadership and conversational style. Doctors and engineers are formed to quickly assess the problem and find solutions, PR people are formed to think about the customer. 

I was formed as a teacher of Mathematics. Even though it was short lived because I discovered coaching and took a different path, it still influences some of the ways I think about what I do now. When we use too many words in conversations that are meant to be about someone else, it makes us too big. That’s simple maths. And it makes us look like the expert. Sometimes we might be the expert and that might be why we are having this conversation. But often – and particularly in coaching – and in mentoring – the conversation is about them.  Less is definitely more.

And on the subject of Mathematics, hope you like the quotes I saw at the back of a classroom when I was running some training for head teachers in a school – both have great insights into what forms great coaches!”

Ⓒ 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 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!

 

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.”

Ⓒ 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?

Ⓒ 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 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.

Ⓒ 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 873: Adulting

Claire writes: “As I write, it is the end of Friday and it’s been a busy week at work, and a tough one personally with stuff going on.  We have a phrase in our family, introduced by the girls now that they work: Adulting is overrated!

At an event a couple of weeks ago, I found myself noticing with someone that the way they spoke to a colleague sounded a bit parent like.  The workplace needs adults and yet even when you like to treat colleagues with respect and belief that they can do things, that may not have been their experience in other roles or with other leaders.  Last week, in a training event, someone managed to stop saying ‘I think you should’ (which can be received as code for ‘because I think you haven’t thought about it’) and change it to ‘I’m thinking about x – is that useful’ at which point her colleague smiled and looked away, clearly thinking.

Adulting matters – it’s what it takes to empower people to be their best.”

This blog was inspired by an article in People Management: It’s time to stop parenting your team

Ⓒ 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!

3D Ideas 860: Permission

Claire writes: “I wrote about partnership a few blog posts ago.  This question is on my mind a lot: what is great partnership in a conversation?

Permission is needed for partnership or else I am doing the leading.  Is it useful to…? is a great question.

More significantly, permission is useful when we offer observations.  Otherwise it is mixed up and unclear about what’s from me and what’s yours.  ‘Can I make an observation… [this is what I notice – you are nodding your head and saying no at the same time] is more powerful than turning it into a question where we might lose the meaning [how motivated are you?].”

Ⓒ 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!

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