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Category: ICF 07 Direct Communication

3D Ideas 905: Don’t Bottle it

Claire writes: “This morning was the final module of Transforming Conversations. It’s the moment when people start to see everything they are unlearning come together and they grasp their courage in both hands.  Twice this morning, even more courage would have looked like saying half a sentence as a question and leaving it with the thinker to respond.

Stuart emailed to ask if I have ever noticed a moment when you almost bottled it, but instead held your nerve and it paid off?  Here’s his example:

Thinker: “x is something I suppose we’ll need to come on and talk about.” 

Stuart: “Shall we go straight there?” 

Thinker: “I suppose so.” [Launches into X] 

Courage pays off!”

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3D Ideas 899: Challenging

Claire writes: “I’ve been listening to some great conversations this week – coaches coaching and thinkers thinking. Whatever your profession or craft, if you have conversations with people there is much to be learned from listening to recordings from time to time. Don’t focus on what you say or do – listen to them responding to what you say or do.

What I notice is that the facilitator of the conversation is always doing a great job… and then they use too many words. In conversations, challenge increases as we say less. Imagine walking with someone to the window and as we look out together, they see something that is significant and uncomfortable. Noticing that and remaining silent enables us to keep them company in the discomfort as they stand with it. Too many words means we pull them away from what they saw, the challenge decreases and the moment of insight can quickly be lost. Discomfort and discovery are important parts of learning.”

“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” Mark Twain

Ⓒ 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 822: Challenging not Scary

Claire writes: “Rapport is an important part of conversations – enough rapport – because too much rapport building, I think, can set a tone to a conversation where it’s more difficult to get the work done. Pre-conversations can help here. What I mean by that is that we chat first and then ask ‘are we ready to start the work now?

It’s interesting to notice, having just started off a number of Transforming Conversations courses in different organisations over the last few weeks, that many people see rapport-building as good and challenge as bad/difficult/uncomfortable.

Kim Scott, in Radical Candor, talks about caring personally and challenging directly (her definition of radical candour) and she describes high personal care and low direct challenge as ruinous empathy. Sharing this insight in organisations has caused a number of people to ask ‘are we too soft?’. Challenging doesn’t have to be scary especially when it is based on real observable data with no judgement. Saying what you see without judgement is a skill worth refining which makes those difficult conversations much easier to navigate.

You’ll be aware that we work across organisational cultures. A recent conversation with colleagues in the USA has led to us hosting a ‘Are we too soft? How did Jesus challenge?‘ in November for people from churches globally. We hope to run a secular version of ‘Are we too soft?’ in the future.

© 2018 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 812: Enough?

Claire writes: ‘Some of the people who are developing with us were practicing coaching this morning. Stuart began his conversation by saying: ‘I’m looking forward to being useful to you’. Great words, in the light of some of the blogs we have written recently. I’m reading Kim Scott’s book Radical Candor at the moment. She talks about the value of conversations that are supportive and challenging and describes them as ‘radical candor’. Her take on conversations which are supportive and not challenging enough is to describe them as ‘ruinous empathy’. Empathy is a wonderful gift… and it’s not enough on it’s own if the person coming to the conversation would find a bit of challenge even more useful.

It also reminds me that we can get so focussed on the training we deliver, that we forget to say that we are always available if you think a bit of coaching like that would be useful?’

© 2018 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 713: Stroking

horse-798384_1280Claire writes: “Call them Freudian slips, or mistakes, or what you like… but sometimes what slips out can be useful information. At a recent training day, one of the delegates observed that learning about our strokers acronym was really useful.

STOKeRS is about supporting another person to take responsibility. It’s ironic that STROKING is what happens so often in organisations – we fear saying what we see, we want to make someone feel better, and we want to be liked. What emerges may look supportive but in reality what the organisation needs is support and challenge together.”

© 2016 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 705: Observing

binoculars-354623_1280Claire writes: “Another great week observing people having conversations and noticing what works and what doesn’t. I’ve written before about how easy it is to translate what we see into a question or a piece of advice – and how the power of the real data – what was observed – is quickly lost in translation or received as opinion where it loses its impact.

If you notice something, the most powerful thing you can do is to say it. I often say ‘Can I make an observation?’ because it clearly distinguishes that it’s different from the content of what we are talking about. It’s coming from what is heard or seen or sensed. And asking permission means we can be very challenging. The skill then is to ensure it contains no judgement: ‘I’m noticing you say you want to do that – and I’m hearing no energy in your voice…’

Try it!”

© 2015 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com Register here to receive our blog posts every Monday by email

 

3D Juggling 700: Scale the Challenge

810455_82316663Nick writes “Often when we are using a coaching style, we challenge how a person is thinking, feeling, behaving or making sense of their world. Sometimes, this can feel exciting and liberating. At other times, it can feel uncomfortable and disorientating.

In order to gauge what level of challenge the person is open to, what level they can cope with healthily without it evoking defensiveness, it’s good to ask the person what they would find most useful from you in that conversation.

‘On a scale of 1-10, how challenging would you like me to be today?’
‘What would that look like?’

These questions invite the person to be honest about where they are at, what they want from you and what would
achieve the best outcome for them.”

© 2015 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com Register here to receive our blog posts every Monday by email

 

3D Juggling 677: Eye to Eye

Claire writes: “We got a call the other day from someone who had decided to apply for a new role and wanted some support in thinking about what skills and experience he brings so that he could make a useful application.

Two days later he rang back and cancelled. By looking the opportunity in the eye, and committing to apply, he had recognised that this was not for him at the moment.

It’s easy to wonder from a distance. It’s easier to decide if you look it in the eye. So a useful coaching question can be ‘Go on then’ … ‘How does that feel?’ It is a way of looking a choice in the eye in the room (as long as you work to look an opposite choice in the eye as well!)

© 2015 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com Register here to receive our blog posts every Monday by email

 

3D Juggling 668: Elephants

Thanks to Christine who reminded us that last week’s reference should have been to Listen with Mother. Apologies.

Claire writes: ‘The conversation when neither of us is naming the elephant. That one. The learning from coaching is to name it… even if we then decide this is neither the time nor place to talk about it.

Principle 12: Name it

© 2015 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com 
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3D Juggling 662: Say what you see

What a privilege to have sponsored the Emerging Leader awards for the NHS London Leadership Academy last week. Congratulations to Durka Dougall and Charlotte Hazelton who were joint winners.

Claire writes: ‘There’s a lot happening in a conversation – the words, the tone, the pace, the silence. One of the coaching tools that can be used in any dialogue is to say what we see or hear. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Chris Argyris’ Ladder of Inference reminds us how easy it is to add interpretation and assumptions to what we see so that imagination spirals out of control and we start changing our behaviour based on what we assume and not what actually happened.

What we can learn from coaching is to work on what is seen – the video – rather than the commentary. This can be helpful when the person we are talking to is talking about a third party. When they diagnose ‘They were angry’ we can ask ‘What did you see?’

This takes practice because when a conversation is transformed we will be saying what we see without judgement, interpretation or performance anxiety. Try it!

Principle 6: Say what you see without judgement’

© 2014 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com
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