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Category: leadership

3D Juggling 654: What is a wheel?

Most of the 3D team have had a change of pace over the summer – and it’s good to be back into the new season.  Congratulations to Peronel who has just been awarded the Associate Certified Coach credential.

Claire writes: “We went for the slow static break this summer – on a campsite in Suffolk.  After the American gap-year-in-a fortnight with one of my daughters earlier in the year, it was great to park the wheels and to be in the same place and to allow the mind and the body to slow down in sync.  Time and space often get out of alignment.  In May we went to Philadelphia twice within three days – but so much had changed in my thinking and perceptions during the time we were upstate, that it felt like a very different place.  That’s why the ‘Where are we now? What do we need to do next?’ questions from the coaching toolkit are so useful at work.

[Wheels allow us to move where where we need to go physically. Which is interesting to notice when so many organisations have a reporting structure that looks like a wheel – and where board or trustee meetings are spokes reporting into a hub.  One of my summer thinkings has been t notice how that can make an organisation quite static.  Because wheels are meant to be a moving part that allows the vehicle to travel where the organisation/ stakeholders need it to go.]

© 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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3D Juggling 628: Bicycles and Gutters

Claire writes: “I had a great chat with a cyclist this week who was telling me that the safest place to cycle is to be a third of the way from the kerb.  That way, he said, people treat you like a vehicle and know how to overtake safely and respectfully (mostly!).  They instinctively know how to put in good boundaries with you.  When you cycle close to the edge, you’re more likely to fall into the gutter, and they are less likely to honour safe space around the bike and to drive too close.

We were wondering whether that’s replicated in other kinds of boundaries.  When you set your own well enough, other people know how to navigate and respect them (on the whole).  It’s food for thought.”

© 2013 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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Leadership and Management – what’s the difference?

People often talk with us about the difference between a manager and a leader.  Useful insights in a recent Harvard Business Review blog from Vineet Nayar

3D Juggling 610: Siloes

Claire writes: “I’m not sure where the term silo working comes from, but we hear it all the time – in all kinds of places.  You hear it in the NHS, in business, in the church and in almost any place where you have people responsible for parts.

I heard a great idea this week, attributed to Michael Langrish: You’re not wholly responsible for a part. You’re partly responsible for the whole.

What might that look like?”

© 2013 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 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
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 589: Pear Shaped Meetings

If this is Juggling number 589, we have been writing it for over 11 years, which is about the length of time it has taken for Claire to acquire the necessary hours and expertise to finally be awarded the Master Certified Coach credential from the International Coach Federation.  There are only 20 MCCs in the UK and she was not able to carry into the process the ten years of 1-1s she did when neither she nor her clients knew she was coaching.  She has also gained formal accreditation as a Coaching Supervisor in the last few weeks. Congratulations!

Claire writes: “Every day someone tells us about a meeting which hasn’t been as productive as it could be, or which has just been a way to fill time.  We notice that when meetings go pear shaped, people often don’t feel confident to raise that because they don’t know what to do next.  What a huge responsibility!

Actually, if the meeting is to be in service of the organisation and respectful of its’ members time, surely that responsibility can be shared?  What will you do now if you really understand that your role is to notice and say what you see… and that the responsibility for what to do next lies with the group?

Get it and don’t know what to say?  Try this – I notice that we have gone off track here/ I am wondering what we are really thinking/ etc.  What needs to happen now?

Think about it…”

© 2012 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 587: Daring Greatly

Claire writes: “I have spent the last few days at a global coaching conference in London.  There was lots of learning that will emerge for me over the next few weeks and months as it settles and connects. One of the speakers was a poet who offered his poems … and let them have their own power.

This isn’t his.  It’s a quote from Theodore Roosevelt and is the inspiration behind Brene Brown’s new book about vulnerability.  But it speaks for itself, as I doscovered when I read it to a great group of internal coaches in the NHS:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

What’s it saying to you? Think about it…”

© 2012 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 565: Incubation

Claire writes: ‘”Great leaders have time to think” – an observation I made whilst facilitating a day with some NHS leaders last week. It landed far more powerfully than I expected.  They were extremely resourceful in the way they worked together on the day.  The gap in their leadership capability is not ability. It is thinking time.

We are in an emerging world at work, where entrepreneurial skill is increasingly required by leaders and others as they engage within and outside their organisations.  I try and spend two days a week on business development and reading. And from time to time I make sure that we also spend time with people who are creative thinkers, and with whom conversations will spark off ideas and creative thinking.  We call them incubator friends – where seeds and ideas are planted or germinate. Whether we need customers or a future of any kind with our stakeholders, we need to think.

So how much time do you need to commit to thinking?  And who will help you think at your best? Think about it…’

© 2012 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

Time to Think?
You can’t over-recommend Nancy Kline’s Time to Think
And a complete tangent: If, like us, you like making up words, you can now sponsor your made up word to help children with communication difficulties. Our word for 2011 was disfluent.  This year’s may become robosity – the ability to be robust!

3D Juggling 553: Talent Management and Strictly

Lynn writes: “I was watching Russell Grant and Flavia on Strictly Come Dancing and then on It Takes Two.  Russell had much enthusiasm and passion for dancing – and compared to some of the other more novelty contestants – he also had some talent, natural rhythm, energy and a degree of accuracy in his steps.

It struck me that there is some learning for talent management in organisations in how Flavia has been working with him.  Enthusiasm that is unchannelled and doesn’t develop skills and talents can actually be quite irritating. Trying to teach Russell to become like Flavia would be pointless.  Instead Flavia has been a role model, demonstrating with clarity new steps and choreography.  She is embracing Russell’s need to make the dance his own and they then co-create the final performance.  She is responsive to his pace and flow when she has put in rest points and he fills them with more content.  What you end up seeing is a humorous, fun and mutually respectful relationship which is developing the enthusiasm into a greater talent.

Where’s the learning from this in your organisation? Think about it…”

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 541: Who do you schmooze?

Jane writes: ‘You’ve identified all your stakeholders – all those people, volunteers and organisations that have an interest in your service, product, operations, impact, turnover/profit etc.  How do you know what sort of attention to give each of them?  Do you spend more time and effort with the ones who show most interest in what you’re doing, or those that provide you with most income?  Do you forget about the ones have been quiet for the last six months, or those that you are confident are supportive of your plans?

Tricky decisions, and there’s no right answer.  There are some general principles that you can follow though.  Don’t ignore any of them.  Don’t assume that because they are not showing much interest now that they won’t pop up and exert some influence later.  The best laid plans can be scuppered by a stakeholder whose interest wasn’t understood.

Understanding the differing degrees of interest and influence associated with stakeholders will help you to plan how to keep them involved; through keeping them informed, consulting with and involving them, maybe encouraging them to enthuse about what you’re doing to others.

Who do you need to schmooze?

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

We were recently talking to a former CEO of some houselhold name brands. He recommends the Balanced Scorecard as an approach to managing stakeholders.

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