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Category: ICF 08 Creating Awareness

3D Ideas 934: It Only Takes a Word

Claire writes: “Half a dozen people last week recommended that I read The Advice Trap by Michael Bungay Stainer. It’s just come out and they wanted to see if I agreed with what he says, and if it’s similar to Simplifying Coaching.

Well, I love its simplicity, agree with much, disagree with some and have enjoyed the way it has stimulated my thinking.  If the advice monster jumps in and you stop listening in conversations, the people you talk to will be glad you read this one!

One thing we agree on is the importance of interrupting when people are going round in circles or telling you a lot of story they already know.  In our training, we talk about future focussed interrupting. That means instead of saying: ‘Let’s go back to what we agreed at the beginning of the conversation’ which takes us backwards and feels a bit telling off like, that we can say ‘so, today?’ which keeps us moving forward and gets the focus back on what matters today. I love MBS’s question ‘and you?’ which is also future focussed and moves us to what’s in someone’s gift and away from what I call wavy people and he calls ghosts.

It’s amazing that it only takes one or two words: ‘today?’ or ‘you?’ to refocus a conversation that is lost.”

You can now listen to this blog through our podcast The Coaching Inn Subscribe on iTunes or podbean.  We had our first virtual drinks at The Coaching Inn last night which was great fun – thanks to everyone who came!

Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2021

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 924: The Same Chair

Claire writes: “So England is in lockdown again.  Version 3.0. For various complicated reasons, we have found ourselves living in a different house in each lockdown. On one level that’s annoying because in our in-between home we don’t have access to most of our books – and there aren’t many jobs that need doing hanging about. On the whole this is a huge advantage because we aren’t feeling stuck. There are new places to explore on daily walks and new views from the window.

Many people – all over the world – have spent much of the last 9 months in the same chair looking at the same screen.. I have many conversations with people who are talking about feeling stuck in some way. They are feeling stuck and the chair that they are sitting in and the screen they are looking at is compounding that. They have probably talked about those feelings – or thought about them – while sitting in the same chair talking to people through the same screen. Fitness instructors talk about muscle memory.  Your eyes and your backside will have developed muscle memory around this chair and this screen. 

If we want to facilitate people to think differently – or even just be a good friend to someone, it’s probably useful to get out of that chair and away from that screen. The movement in itself will begin to unlock the stuckness. That might look like taking through Zoom while standing up and leaving against the wall. Or it might be that you both pop on a phone headset and go for a walk and talk. You’re both going to have to work really hard if you’re talking about stuckness and sitting in those chairs looking at those screens. Move!”

Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2021

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 920: Everything is Normal

Claire’s book came out last Monday and they are having to print some more already! The independent bookshops have sold out. The publisher tells us Amazon have a few left and will take orders once they run out. 

Printers are closed over Christmas so there may be a slight delay. It’s also available on Kindle. If the book is useful, we would love you to write a review on Amazon.

Claire writes: “One of the gifts that coaching brings to a world in the grip of the pandemic, I think, is that every conversation is future-focussed and optimistic.  That’s not about being simplistic or weird. Asking what someone hopes to be different by the end of our conversation demonstrates that they have some control over how they think about things. Everyone can move forward in their thinking a bit – even in the midst of any kind of physical lockdown or stuckness.

It is my privilege to listen to other people having conversations all the time.  And I notice two things: we maximise the thing and minimise the time. That sounds like:

Them ‘I’d like to talk about restructuring my organisation’

You ‘That’s too big to do it justice (maximising) in the short time we have (minimising)’

 

When we come from a place where everything is normal it sounds like:

Them: ‘’I’d like to talk about restructuring my organisation’

You: What’s the question about restructuring that we can explore in the five minutes we have?’

It’s a mindshift. And it works.  It is a fantasy to believe that anyone can solve someone else’s problem. What we can do is keep them company while they move their question forward a bit. And as Amabile and Kramer discovered: Any progress is progress.”

Ⓒ 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 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 907: Connection

Claire writes: “There’s lots to learn in training events. Delegates make observations or ask questions that get me thinking.  I have a sheet on my desk to catch them so that I can process them later without forgetting.

We were talking about staying in connection with someone as they are thinking, and the importance of looking as well as listening. A. used to be a translator and shared with us that you can only translate if you have your eyes on the speaker all the time. As soon as you look away, you lose connection.  (I’m smiling now because I ran a session on active listening on Friday where I was being translated into Russian and forgot to share that insight with them!)

In conversations where the purpose is that we are keeping someone company while they do useful thinking, connection is everything. Connection is different from control. It can look like this. How can you keep in connection in conversations?”

Ⓒ 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 904: Woods and Trees

Claire writes: “It’s interesting, I think, that the closer we are to something the less we see. People often talk about coaching as being a place to see the wood (or in the USA,  the forest) for the trees. It’s the ability to facilitate someone else getting a different perspective that makes it work.

To facilitate their thinking well, we need to leave our opinions out – in our heads as well as what we say… or we both get too close to the trees.”

Ⓒ 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 902: Fishing

Ruth writes: “The other day, as I was listening to a conversation, I started thinking about fishing. It sounded like the ‘professional’ in the situation was fishing for an answer, constantly casting their bait into the water, again and again trying to find a question that would catch the ‘fish’. 

I don’t fish. And I imagine that casting the line in quick succession won’t get the desired result. The water would be constantly stirred up, not allowing the fish to come towards the hook. 

I was left wondering how often we do that in conversations. When we ask repeated questions in quick succession – How will you know? Do you think that…? What might you need to do? and other brilliant questions I have in my stash to ask – we are constantly stirring the water, scaring away the fish. Scaring away the thought process. 

I wonder if we are like fish, needing the bait and hook to be cast and for the water to settle so that we can think more clearly. As I coach I want to learn to be like a patient fisherman.”

Ⓒ 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 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!

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