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Category: ICF 04 Coaching Presence

3D Ideas 933: Building Bricks

Claire writes: “I’ve been thinking a lot about tone these last few weeks and have come to the conclusion that pace, tone and timing can either facilitate conversations to be effective, or indeed make them feel like a car bumping down the road in the wrong gear.  Timing requires a combination of having a question pop up and at the same time watching to see whether it’s still timely or if it has missed it’s moment. That requires a great deal of humility.

The learning came, as you’d expect, from listening with someone to their coaching conversation. Early on the thinker said a word that was dropped when the processing moved on.  Later it became relevant again and the coach asked: ‘What about X?’ It was a bit jumpy because it felt like the coach was leading him off at a tangent. Even though the word came from the thinker, it felt new and out of place.  That was about tone. A more invitational ‘… and x…?’ would have had a different impact. Which got me thinking about Lego and other building bricks for children. When I used to sit with my small friends building lego models, the skill was to notice the bit they had found earlier and were now missing, and just to push it towards them.  A more direct “What about this red brick?” would make them think I wanted to redesign their model.”

You can now listen to this blog through our podcast The Coaching Inn Subscribe on iTunes or podbean.

Ⓒ 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 932: Hyde Park Corner

If you missed the launch part for Simplifying Coaching, you can watch it here

Claire writes: “When we drive from this village into the local town, it’s pretty much straight all the way.  I know how to drive, I pay attention. And I get there.  I only need to pay attention to driving – and to the space around the car. When I drive to London to our daughter’s flat and go round Hyde Park Corner, it’s a different skill. Not all the drivers in our house are confident enough to do Hyde Park Corner.  There’s a lot more vehicles coming and going that need attention.

We train people to have better conversations one to one.  They are skilled and able to do great work.  Those skills translate easily to working with groups – that’s one person facilitating the thinking of a group of others – or one to many coaching.  This is like driving on a road with more cars and is an easy stretch from one to one, if you take a bit of time to think through how it works.

Some work with groups is more like Hyde Park Corner – complex, noisy and with lots of things to notice all at the same time.  That’s where team coaching comes in and that’s what Alan and Alex do in their work with 3D Team.

We have decided to focus on offering training in 1-1 and give you the opportunity to work out how this might work for groups you’re part of.  If the work you do is like Hyde Park Corner, there are some great providers of Team Coaching training and we recommend you talk with them.”

Alan and Claire will be talking about group and team coaching and noticing what we are learning over drinks at The Coaching Inn on Thursday 18th March 18.00-19.00 (UK). It’s worth listening to some podcasts in advance which might provoke your thinking.  Alan on team coaching; Keith and Juliet Johnson talking about couples coaching and Kirsty and Andy Elderton from Australia on soccer and organisations. Also Episode 1 of The Coaching Inn was all about working with groups in churches. Access these through the links here or subscribe free to The Coaching Inn on iTunes.

Hope you can come?

You can now listen to this blog through  The Coaching Inn. Subscribe on iTunes or podbean.

Ⓒ 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 930: Is There Anyone There? (aka Zoom Hygiene)

You are invited to a bit of a do! Open University Press are hosting a launch for Simplifying Coaching on Monday 1st March 13.00 2021 (UK) for an hour.  We would love you to come. Register here.

Claire writes: “It’s funny how something leads to new learning.  The YouTube sensation that was the Handforth Parish Council meeting got me thinking about Zoom meetings.  And Zoom hygiene.  

With everyone who can working from home, some people assume their full power confidently sitting in comfort in front of their professional screen in a well-equipped home office.  Others zoom perched on the kitchen table or even the bed – in places where they may not be at their best. This morning I ran a session on receiving feedback for the staff of an organisation around the world. Some were in the office, and some in the bedroom.  So in advance of a work meeting (or parish council), some useful things to think about are

  • where can I sit so that I can walk away after the meeting if this gets tricky because if you are sat on the bed the feelings that were evoked may stay with you
  • if I have to be in a bedroom and there is more than one, can I be in someone else’s room so I can walk away?
  • sitting in the middle of the screen feels quite powerful to others. If that’s not your intention, sitting slightly to the side is less formal (“I have experimented with slightly more sideways postures, and being off centre on the screen. It has made a huge difference! I find myself slightly more relaxed and at ease with leading a meeting, coaching or training session and, over time, it will be interesting to see what effects it has on those I meet with”.)
  • use a headset (even simple audio – no need for a microphone) – otherwise your colleague thinks they are having a confidential conversation with you when they are in fact talking to your household.  It also makes for extra background noise
  • and if you’re having a conversation with a colleague ask them: ‘Is there anyone else there?’ You might think it’s you and them. It’s useful to know if the children are there. Or a partner who might be judging what they are saying.

And finally, you can hide yourself.  After all it’s odd to have a 1-1 conversation when you’re watching yourself! Two of you and one of them also impacts the dynamics as well as being a nightmare if you’re self conscious!”

We will be running a couple of sessions for coaches who want to get more confident at working online. Email us at info@3dcoaching.com and we will give you priority booking when we get the dates.

You can now listen to this blog through our podcast The Coaching Inn. Subscribe on iTunes or podbean.

Ⓒ 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 927: Don’t be a Robot

Claire writes: ‘“If you call someone a thinker and ask them what they want to think about, does that mean that coaching is more about facts than feelings?” I have been asked this question a few times over the last few weeks.  

Thinker is an imperfect description of the person with whom we find ourselves in conversation. They are a wonderful human who brings all of themselves to this future focussed conversation. The STOKeRS questions that we use to rightsize the conversation together are a way of partnering to work out what we are doing today, how we are going to do it, and how we will know we have done it.

This might take a few minutes, and it might take most of the conversation. It requires a balance between being deeply human, and acknowledging that we are here to do some good work together.  So when someone says something – like ‘my job is at risk and life feels overwhelming’ we need to acknowledge that without affixing meaning to it.  That might sound like ‘that sounds a lot to hold’.  Great coaching comes from creating good boundaries around the work we are doing today and not diving into the work until we know what we are doing… and that doesn’t require us to be a robot!’

Next week I’ll be talking about how to avoid working too hard when you slip into feeling you have to help too much.

 

You can now listen to this blog through our podcast The Coaching Inn. Subscribe on iTunes or podbean.

 

Ⓒ 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 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 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 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

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 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 906: Ella Fitzgerald

Claire writes: “It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it sang Ella Fitzgerald. You can try hard, Don’t mean a thing, Take it easy Then your jive will swing.

Try too hard in coaching and it becomes all about you.  Take it easy, ask questions with a less is more mindset and you’re on the way to getting them to do the work.  One way of doing that is to ask questions about what we are doing (process questions) unless a more wordy one really is going to be useful. Which it usually isn’t!”  

Ⓒ 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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