Category: Coaching Supervision

3D Ideas 817: Peer Review

Claire writes: “We are back at our desks after a slow summer and time to think. I’ve been thinking a lot about how professionals grow and develop – whatever their area of work. Professional Development can be about skill or knowledge or a combination of the two. Some questions I find useful are:

  • What (or who) am I developing for?
  • Therefore – what is the most useful thing I can do that will serve that?

In coaching, I hope that we are developing so that we can better serve the people who come to us to think and explore and be challenged and to serve the organisations, communities and societies where they work. That’s why we value professional accreditation where people are willing to work on their skills, be heard having real conversations, and receive robust and supportive feedback.

Any development we do is ultimately in service of those with whom we work and the value of working with real observable data is enormous. So much so that I am wondering about inviting those who come for supervision to also bring a recording of a live session they have had. Recording real conversations with real people has ethical implications that need to be managed carefully. And whatever our profession – doctor, manager, supervisor, leader, priest… it is a very useful way of becoming more effective. It’s scary too… but there is a limit to the effectiveness that comes from only bringing self-reported data to our professional development.

I’m not the only one who has been thinking about this over the summer – congratulations to 3D’s Sam Walker, and to Mandy and Jenny who have also trained with 3D and been awarded the Associate Certified Coach credential from the International Coach Federation during the last few weeks.

© 2018 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 777: A Good Cry

StockSnap / Pixabay

Claire writes: “I have learned many things from Don Eisenhauer at Coaching at End of Life. The most useful at the moment is the value of having a good cry. Don told me that when much of your work is dealing with heightened levels of emotion in others and yourself, that watching a tearjerker and having a good cry is a good and healthy way to release some emotion.

Whatever your organisation, there will be emotions around and this is particularly true in the caring professions. I have a day off this week, and my plan is to watch a tearjerker.

Don will be running 8 hours online training for us on Mondays 18.00-21.00 UK time starting 25th September for anyone who has done our 4 day programme or equivalent.”

© 2017 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 609: Going Round in Triangles

Claire writes: “It’s not often that a day goes by without hearing someone talking about what has been done to them or hasn’t been done for them.  Whether it’s about parents or children, partners, colleagues, volunteers or bosses, it happens.  It can sabotage adult to adult relationships. We hear it in organisations all the time.  People perceive that others have power over them and are ‘doing to’ them (persecutor). Others feel that they have less power than others and experience feelings of being victims.  And often managers or leaders or vicars or parents or friends or coaches want to or are invited to take the role of rescuer and we end up going round in circles.

Karpman drew from his experience in transactional analysis and noticed that when these three positions are taken, it’s not long before people change roles.  The victim becomes the persecutor, the persecutor is invited to rescue, and so on.  Karpman called it the Drama Triangle.

If you are a manager or leader or vicar or parent or friend or coach and are asked to – or tempted to – step into the rescuer role, remember that you could make the situation worse by taking that power.  It’s not that complex to make a difference because instead of doing that, you can share the power:

  • How can I help you work out what to do now?
  • What can I do now to help you think through that conversation you need to have?

In some teams and organisations, there are many victims, persecutors and rescuers and it is costly in time and money and relationships.  You can begin to shift that one conversation at a time.  In fact, that’s not too difficult.  What is harder is to do that consistently. That’s where culture changes.  But some of us rather like being rescuers.  And in the short term, it is quicker.

© 2013 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 586: Knowledge Junkies

Claire writes: “This week has held all kinds of connections and crossovers.  On Monday I was staying in a Premier Inn in Nottingham and preparing for an event talking to parents about employabilty.  The customer service was brilliant.  Often I feel as though I am listening to a recorded message when I check in to a hotel, but the service there was outstanding – including us being given a breakfast for free because ‘you didn’t have much’. They had absorbed the rules and applied them with humanity. That’s one of the skills employers are looking for in new recruits out of school or university

That emotionally intelligent customer service reminded me of the Jung quotation I had heard that morning in a conversation about coaching: “Learn your theories as well as you can, but put them aside when you touch the miracle of the living soul“. That’s what we wrote on the flip chart for the coaching skills training the next day as we encouraged our delegates to trust themselves and the process.

Where do you need to learn theories?  And where does the learning junkie in you need to trust the process? Think about it…”

© 2012 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 502: Swiss Balls

Claire writes: “Now that I have got back into a routine at the gym, I am back using Swiss Gym Balls.  Yesterday there were no 55cm diameter balls and the only ones I could find were overblown enormous things which were too wide to lift. I’d like us to have one in the office because they’re meant to be a healthy way of sitting at a desk – but they do take up rather a lot of room!

Do you ever have conversations or meetings and come away wondering why all the responsibility or actions are left with you?

Think of the Swiss Ball – if you hold one during a conversation, you will
* be unable to see anyone else in the room
* feel slightly overwhelmed
* ache quite quickly
And you won’t have much idea of what the other person is doing!

Responsibility is like a Swiss Ball. If you hold it all during a conversation, you will feel overburdened. And if you have to take it all away…. Responsibility needs to take its rightful place – in the space in between you and your companion.  Or – in a meeting – on the table.  Then you can decide between you who does what and take away a manageable amount of responsibility.

A useful question is: How are WE going to take this forward?

If you work with people who don’t like to take responsibility and to give you their swiss ball, and you are a person who likes to fix things quickly and will solve things for them, you can quickly found yourself swamped.  It’s still supportive to acknowledge the problem and help them find out how they might solve it.  But picking it up is like picking up a swiss ball!

Although it can be tempting to grab all of the responsibility, remember how difficult it would be to take a swiss ball home in the car – or on the bus.  They’re even difficult to get through a door! Maybe you could turn it into a spacehopper!”

© 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 467: Avatar insights – “I see you”

Jane writes: ‘If you have seen the film Avatar you may recognise this statement. It’s what the Na’vi say when they greet each other. “I see you” is an acknowledgement of the other person, recognition that they are part of a bigger whole – something that they are only a part of and to which everything is connected. A bit like The Force in Star Wars, although the Na’vi call it Eywa.

“I see you” is empathy. It acknowledges the other as one like you. The ‘I’ and the ‘You’ are the same – parts of a bigger whole. This awareness makes the individual recognise their place in the world. It makes her humble, and it makes her care for the world around her.

I recently read some notes that I made while attending a course about supervising in teams and organisations, and noticed a parallel between “I see you” and the supervision of coaches. Here are some of things I had noted:

  • It’s all there – you just need to see it
  • We can tap into more than we think we know
  • We reveal ourselves to ourselves through other’s eyes
  • Get out of your own way

All of these insights acknowledge that we do nothing in isolation, that every decision we take to act or not to act, and how to act, is influenced by where we are, how we came to be there and what is going on around us. The way that we are connected, through experience, knowledge and beliefs to those we seek to support impacts on what we do. Being aware of this is critical for the coach, and the supervisor has a responsibility to help the coach to “see” this.

A series of questions that I sometimes ask when supervising a coach is ‘What did you nearly do, what would have happened if you’d done it, why didn’t you?’ These questions can help the coach to “see” themselves more clearly – their preferences, blockages, habits and impact. By seeing themselves more clearly, and recognising the wider systems within which their actions impact, and within which their clients are working, coaches can become more confident and effective in their craft.

Others can see things for us that we cannot see for ourselves.

What difference could supervision make to the quality and impact of coaching in your organisation?’

Love this? Do us a favour and send it to five people. Who thinks like you? You could send it to someone who is responsible for coaching in an organisation.

© 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
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