Category: ICF 08 Creating Awareness

3D Ideas 895: Connections

Claire writes: “One of the interesting things about lockdown is that we have been asked to make decisions in service of our communities.  Whether we like it or not, we have stayed at home for a common cause that is bigger than we are.

‘Everything is in connection’ says Senge. Many of the connections, or systems, around us are invisible – how we connect to family and friends, teams at work or in the community, to our organisations and to society.

This morning, we ran a module of Transforming Conversations online and we were mapping out the systems in which we live and work. The process of looking at something differently brought insights and clarity to many of us.

Lockdown is, for many, an opportunity to review and reflect on how, what, where and even why or when we do what we do. If it’s time for you to review, mapping it out with stuff (coins, coffee cups, tic tacs – anything that moves) might give you some new insights, if it’s useful?” 

Ⓒ 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 891: We can’t make it OK

Claire writes: “Over the last few weeks it’s been a privilege to spend a little time with Systemic Teacher, Lynn Stoney to talk about with trauma.  One of those conversations has informed this blog post.

Hellinger wrote that war, natural disasters and pandemics are ‘the greater forces that shape us’. We aren’t used to this level of not being in control. It’s a shock and our normal coping strategies may or may not work for us. Naming out loud what we can influence and what we can’t influence can be liberating. In systemic work, this is described as agreeing to something exactly as it is. The world won’t be the same again is about naming the truth of what is. 

Inviting ourselves, or someone else, to say out loud I am feeling trapped in my home, if that is what they are expressing, is very different from reassuring them that lots of other people are, too. Reassurance minimises when we try and make something better.

Agreeing to what is is very different from trying to make something OK.”

[In coaching this is a skill to evoke awareness. This will be part of Wednesday’s masterclass for trained coaches which will be available as a recording from Thursday]

Ⓒ 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 885: Take a Picture

Claire writes: “The best book I have read so far in 2020 is Somebody I Used to Know by Wendy Mitchell. Wendy was diagnosed with dementia young and this is her story.  It wasn’t an easy read but there was much to learn. At the end of the book, I wanted to know what happened next, so I looked her up. Wendy is alive and well and tweeting and blogging.

Last week, Wendy posted a photo of her bedroom wall.  She had gone in and seen something huge which worried and confused her.  She took a photo and left the room. Outside the room, she looked at it from a different place, and recognised the shadow of the pot plants on her window. I love that the concept of looking from a different place has such wide value.

In the last 48 hours, we have been thinking about what questions we need to be asking over the next few days and weeks about behaving responsibly and working in service of the greater good? As a result of this we have decided for the time being to stop all on site group and team events so that we can respect the UK government guidelines about social distancing. We will be focusing on offering online training, coaching and mentor coaching – so we are available to talk whenever that’s useful.

So this morning has been busy with logistics and phone calls.  Now that’s all done, and I can take a step back, I am reminded of Wendy and the photograph.  What I see from a distance is the opportunity to go more slowly, to focus on some useful and important developments, and to experience a different way of being. That’s exciting.”

Ⓒ 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 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

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 872: Blindspots

Claire writes: “We all have blindspots.  Last week, Ruth texted me this picture. Instantly I recognised a blindspot and connected the insights I have about our work being like the stoker on the back of a bike with the learning we share about moving forward.  I had never made the connection that bicycles can’t easily go backwards! That connection has changed my teaching from this week onwards.

There many ways Ruth could have communicated what she had seen:

  • “I think you (or we) we are missing the connection between the bike and moving forward”
  • “You/we ought to think about the fact that the bike doesn’t go backwards”

or any other form of words that made the meaning for me.  

Leaving me to make my own meaning was the most powerful thing she could do.”

Ⓒ 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 870: Edible Worms

Claire writes: “People tell us what to say, or how to work with them!  We teach that all the time, and it’s always great to be emailed some feedback with one of your examples.  Thank you Claire Banham:

The lady I was coaching yesterday decided that, as we were in the final 10 mins of our session, she didn’t “want to open the whole can of worms today.”  Then she paused and said “so to finish I’d like a bite-sized worm please!”

That picture (and luckily we were both picturing the sweet kind, rather than the wriggly garden variety!) was so useful, and helped her choose how we closed the session, I thought I’d share it with you!”

I am looking for examples of where you have used a coaching approach at work and it has been useful.  Four sentences would be great – your context, what was happening, what you did together and what was different/useful about the outcome. These are for a book to be published in late 2020.  Please email claire@3dcoaching.com and be clear that you give permission for it to be used.  Let us know if you would prefer your name/organisation to be anonymised. Thank 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!

3D Ideas 867: Big Red Ball

Claire writes: “Last week in training, we invited people to do a quick picture/diagram to review the last year for an appraisal/review conversation.  Their colleague was invited to say what they noticed. It’s so tempting to describe what you see. The most value comes from saying what you see as a question: ‘that line has a gap?’, ‘that’s solid’, ‘that person has no mouth?’. 

Since the Teflon blog two weeks ago, I have been thinking a lot about how easy it is for us to affix meaning to someone else’s stuff. I was looking for a way of saying that simply, and was reminded of Joyce Grenfell’s monologue ‘Free Activity Period’. Here’s the whole thing if you want five minutes of laughter! Of course we aren’t treating our colleague as a child. Nevertheless, she has some useful insight: “And this is my friend Caroline, and Caroline is painting such a lovely red picture, aren’t you, Caroline? I wonder what it is? Perhaps it’s a lovely red sunset, is it? Or a big red orange? It’s a picture of Mummy! For a moment I thought it was a big red orange, but now you tell me, I can see it is a picture of Mummy. Aren’t you going to give her any nose? No nose.” 

We are not analysts.  Letting someone make their own meaning often leads to transformation. Making meaning for them stops it.”

Ⓒ 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 857: Hope

Claire writes: “Often on Transforming Conversations people say ‘I haven’t got any more problems to bring’.  It’s interesting how quickly we assume that 1-1 conversations are to solve problems.  They are equally useful to grow, develop and build on positive learning!

There are a number of ways that contracting sets an optimistic future focused tone in the conversation

  • What would you like to think about today? (Think rather than talk)
  • What would you like to be different by the end of our conversation? (Because it is our intention together to move this forward)

The hope is in the questions.  And that’s what sets the tone.”

Ⓒ 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 843: The Story I’m Making Up

Arcaion / Pixabay

Claire writes: “What a lot of data flies around organisations

  • anecdotal data – what I tell you about someone else which we pretend originally comes from observable data and may not
  • self reported data – what I tell you about myself
  • imagined data – or as Brene Brown says ‘the story I’m making up about this is’
  • real observable data – what was actually seen

Whether we are simply having a conversation, or are interviewing or coaching, we notice how useful it is to be honest about what kind of data we are discussing. ‘What did you see?‘ is a much better question than ‘what do they think?‘ which leads us to assumptions and stories and more…”

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