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Category: ICF 02 Establishing The Coaching Agreement

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

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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 903: Zooming Forwards

Claire writes: “Learning about Zoom and other platforms has been an essential part of lockdown life for many. We have been hosting training there for many years, and there’s still lots to learn!

Hiding self-view when you’re coaching means there’s one of you and one of them. Much better than two of you! Sitting back in the chair with your feet on the ground avoids zoom neck!

But perhaps the most useful learning is how to return to the work when the line gets disconnected.  If you apologise and talk about it, you’ll be going backwards. Much better is a ‘where are we now?’ question followed by ‘and what do we need to do in the time we have left?’. While they were busy reconnecting, they may well have been moving forward in their thinking.

It reminds me of the documentary Race Around The World. We can only move forwards!

Ⓒ 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!

 

Making the most of broken connections #virtualmeetings #coaching

3D Ideas 884: Rightsizing

All our ethics training will now be available free on our podcast The Coaching Inn. Find our first recording on iTunes, TuneIn and Stitcher. You can also listen through the website

Claire writes: “A couple of weeks ago I was in my favourite coffee shop. It was the final day of writing my chapter on partnership and power and I was feeling seriously disempowered. On the phone, one of my coaching buddies said ‘Maybe this is about rightsizing?’. That’s a new word to me. So I rightsized my anxiety, by screwing up a sticky note to represent it – and popped it in a convenient hole in the brick next to my table. What had felt enormous was, when rightsized, quite a manageable thing to overcome. If I may invent a new word, my overthinking had wrongsized it!

Now I am back on the road training, I notice that contracting in conversations is an opportunity to rightsize the question. Which means that you can do good thinking around a situation – as long as the question we are exploring is the right size for the time we have.

We use these questions to rightsize. The first letters form the word STOKeRS: 

  • SUBJECT – what do we need to think about today?
  • TIME – given that we have x minutes, what about that do we need to focus on?
  • OUTCOME – what would you like to be different by the end of our time?
  • KNOW – how will you know you have got what you need out of this time?
  • e
  • ROLE – how are we going to do this?
  • START – where shall we start?”

Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2020

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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!

3D Ideas 868: Mentoring

It’s interesting to notice how much work we are doing teaching some simple coaching principles in organisations – to mentors – and also to managers doing appraisal/review.  It makes a difference. Claire is off to Prague this week to share some of the learning at the ICF Global Conference. This weeks blog comes from Dora Carlos who attended Transforming Conversations in Cape Town in June.

Dora writes: “How can you advocate for coaching in a continent wide mentoring launch event of your organisation when you are only given 4 sessions during the whole week (and are not very experienced either)?

With trembling, Joy and I started with an Active Listening exercise we had learned from Claire. Session two was Powerful Questions where we already started practising in triads – mentor, mentee and observer. Then a short introduction to STOKeRS and feedback in session 3 and from there more practice in triads with the Noticer as third person. If I still had doubts about the Noticer as a useful tool for teaching the art of Active Listening, those disappeared into thin air. The participants were fascinated that it actually worked to observe when someone is thinking and how different everyone’s body language is. Thank you, Claire, for this simple, but powerful tool for learning! We won over the majority of the participants in the short time we were given. I hope, you will find a few of them, who want more, in one of your courses soon.”

It only takes a few tweaks to what we do to change everything. Create a container for a conversation, don’t start doing the work until you know what you’re doing, and notice don’t diagnose.  Simple not simplistic. #transformational!

Ⓒ 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 866 Who Does The Work? 2

Claire writes: “Partnership is the area where I am doing most learning this year.  There will be a whole chapter about it in the book (Simplifying Coaching [McGraw Hill] – coming out December 2020).

In a one to one, the concept of partnership brings great insights into who does the work in the room.  If I do all the work and lead the conversation my way, why would you do much? Moving to a coaching style that’s in partnership means that the thinker will need to go and process in a coffee shop afterwards.  Although deep listening takes energy, I’d love you to be skipping off down the corridor! That learning can be applied in any kind of one to one – even review and appraisal!

The first step? Contract together in every conversation – what are we doing? how shall we do it? how will we know we have done it?  If your colleague is reluctant to be there – how will we know at the end that this has been a productive use of our time? Or even – how will we know at the end that this hasn’t been a waste of time.

Making the conversation work is a shared responsibility!”

 Ⓒ 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 852: What is the E?

It’s brilliant, when we are out and about, to hear feedback from people who are applying some of  what they have learned with us. I met Cara Moore at the UK ICF conference and we had an interesting conversation about the e in STOKeRS.  There was a blog about it in 2015.  

Cara writes: “I have been using STOKeRS for a while now for my contracting at the start of a coaching session, and found it to be immensely useful as a reminder about what to include. However the STOKeRS questions didn’t cover a couple of questions that I also like to ask at the contracting stage. Furthermore it always niggled me that there was no ‘E’!

So the additional questions I like to ask to expand a bit on the Subject and Outcome that the client brings are:

  • What is important to you about this?
  • How important is achieving the goal for you?
  • What difference will achieving it make to you?

So to remind me of these questions, and to resolve the niggle I have about there not being an ‘E’, my suggestion is that ‘E’ is for Emphasis!!

What do you think?”

© 2019 Cara Moore cara@caramoore.co.uk.  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 851: The Pre-Conversation

Claire writes: “We know, rationally, that trying to talk well to two different people about two different things at the same time means that we don’t have either conversation well.  The privilege I have of listening to people having conversations, is that I have noticed that’s also true when we are talking to one person.

 

It’s not unusual to have someone come who is angry, or upset, or overwhelmed, someone where we need to do some arriving or greetings before we can do the work.  So one day I came up with the idea of a pre-conversation, and drew it on the flipchart

If you’re the facilitator of the conversation, what’s useful about being clear that this is separate means that you can give good attention to the bit that needs to be done before we start doing the work of the conversation.  I am noticing more and more that putting a time boundary around that can make it even more effective.

That might sound like moving from

‘I’m going to tell you how much I have going on for so long that we never get any thinking done here and I get even more overwhelmed’ to ‘would it be useful to download for 5/10 minutes and then we will work out what we need to do today?’

or

‘Let me catch up on everything that’s happened since we last met that there is almost no time to move forward today’ to ‘would it be useful to take 5 minutes to talk about the actions you have taken/what you have thought about/ insights you have had since we last met?’

When we put time boundaries in, people still talk about feeling heard – and they know to give the ten minute version, and not the two hour version.  So there is plenty of time remaining to look forwards”

© 2019 3D Coaching Ltd

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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