Category: working with people

3D Ideas 726: The Difference

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Claire writes: “We take many roles in 1-1s which are similar and different. When we sit in the same chair, we are more likely to have the same conversation.  So whether you are a GP, hospital consultant, vicar, or manager – if you are going to have a different kind of conversation, it’s worth thinking about sitting in a different seat.  The man who told me ‘I’m not the expert – but they want me to be’ has decided to swap seats mid conversation if he needs to say ‘I’m not the expert – if you think this is the expert chair, come and sit in it’.

Ahmar is a trained counsellor and a coach.  In a masterclass recently, he noticed that in coaching he was listening with his eyes more than his ears.  Watching him work, we observed that where counsellors might be still and sit back while they are listening, great coaches often lean in and are more provocative and pacy – even when they are using the same words

All roles are valuable.  Whether the conversation is sensitive or pragmatic, being clear together what is the most useful way to talk now makes all the difference.”

© 2016 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 Ideas 725: How Does It Affect Me?

cake-406483_1280Claire writes: “‘Let’s take the broad view’, my Dad used to joke: ‘How does it affect me?’
Seriously, though – conversations often get stuck for that reason – and we don’t always notice.  We like noticing layers as we are listening
  • Society
  • Organisation
  • Group
  • Individual
If you ask a question from a different layer, it can open up the conversation in a very constructive way.  ‘What do your patients need?’ has a different response from ‘what do you need?’ Both are valid.
[If anyone can source SOGI we’d love to hear from you – it’s not original to us and have tried several academic routes only to find out that they don’t know where it came from either!]
© 2016 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 717: Stop!

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Claire writes: “A couple of weeks ago, we drove up to some roadworks and were met by a stop sign. The man holding it walked up to us and said ‘It’ll be 15-20 minutes and then you can go through’. We turned off the engine, got out of the van, walked around, took some photos of the scenery, he had his lunch… and eventually he turned his sign from STOP to GO SLOW and we drove onto the newly resurfaced road (in up country New Zealand).

Unexpected, and grateful we weren’t in a hurry to get anywhere, it was a great lesson in the value of stopping. Now we’re back to work – engaging with many leaders and managers who have no stopping room – and often no space between meetings to prepare, follow up or manage email – let alone reflect. Diaries that are full of meetings are over-full – which is why so many people end up taking work home or doing admin at night or weekends.

These workers recognised that they needed to do a good job back stage for the road to be useful. And they needed time. How can we support ourselves and people who work in our organisations to take time to do the back stage work that is needed for them to deliver on the front stage?

© 2016 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 715: Control Freak

display-dummy-915135_1280Claire writes: “Listen to many work conversations and, whether it’s about staff or volunteers, a lot of time is consumed in conversations is outside of the control of anyone in the room. It might be interesting. It might evoke emotions – positive or negative. And it’s outside your control.

The most productive conversations happen when we notice that, contain the time engaged in talking about it and focus on what’s in your gift. It’s often less exciting, because hearing and hypothesising about what a third party did or thinks or feels can be interesting! And less useful”

© 2016 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

 

The Unpredictability of Things

An occasional blog post.  This time from Alan about not knowing:

 

‘Selfiecity’ was an exhibition which analysed 150,000 ‘selfie’ photos taken by Londoners in the streets with their mobile phones as data to assess our happiness. The tilt of a head. The intensity of a smile. All is data. The thesis: if we can only treat what we see as ‘data’ and if we are clever enough to do the analysis, we will know everything about ourselves.

 

We love, don’t we, the idea that if only we become clever enough we will, like gods, be able to know all truth, to comprehend all things and, best of all, to predict the future.  Along with the fantasy of growth without limit, this Promethian fantasy of seizing advantage through god-like knowledge of the world informs the way we live in the 21st century. We put our faith in scientific advance and cleverness. If we are smart we will have nothing to fear!

 

The truth of life is less palatable. We live in a world of not knowing, of unpredictability. Our ability to control and predict things is, mostly, a veneer we use to shield ourselves from our terror at being prey to events.  In a moment everything can change. And what then of our cleverness. For me, the  truth of this was brought home by an unscripted admission to a neurological ward in hospital.  One minute I was fitting in a quick visit to the GP in between ‘important’ things ; the next (59 minutes later, to be precise) I was be-gowned and lying in a bed in an Acute Assessment Unit.

I say this not for sympathy, but because – as you’d expect – it provides a spiritual challenge as well as a physiological one.  For me it’s felt like an invitation to consider what is really important when our self-scripted scale of priorities is re-written for us by an unknown hand – and it has been a reminder too of where we are really called to live life: not in the solid place of fictional certainty where the skills we imagine we need are ‘knowing’, ‘planning’ and ‘scheming’, but in an altogether more uncertain and in-between place where the important life-skills are ‘waiting’, ‘listening’, ‘watching’ and ‘hoping’.  And which is, in fact, our reality.

3D Juggling 704: Purposeful Conversations

tacks-949144_1280Nick writes: “When did you last have a great conversation at work? I’ve noticed that frustration and fatigue often arise from conversations and meetings that lack focus, that feel pointless, that lack purpose. It’s one of the main reasons why there is so much cynicism about meetings in organisations.

Now while different types of conversation are appropriate for different relationships and situations, questions that tease out purpose can be very powerful. They surface assumptions and create opportunity to discuss and agree on what would be worthwhile.

Here are some purpose-focused questions: Why are we here? What are we here to do? What would make this time useful? What is the goal we’re trying to achieve? What would a great outcome look and feel like? What do we want to be different by the end of this conversation?

We can use purpose-focused questions at the start of a meeting or mid-way through if we start to notice drift or confusion. ‘Let’s just remind ourselves what we’re here to do…where we’re trying to get to.’ Focusing and re-focusing can energise our conversations and ensure great results. (And it’s a coaching approach: people feel heard, something is known at the end that was known at the beginning that will make a (positive) difference to what is done or known or felt.)”

© 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

 

Coaching Standing Up

Coaching doesn’t have to be a conversation sitting down for an hour with the door shut.  Standing up side by side means we don’t do what we normally do – and that can make a difference.  Listen to what Jane experienced:

3D Juggling 699: Masks

Alan writes: “Since 2013, Steve Wintercroft2015-10-05 17.02.24  and his wife have been designing polygonal DIY mask kits for home assembly. Human faces. Animals. Weird and wonderful creatures. All are available. The trick is simply this: you go online and order the mask you want; you pay online (£4.50 each) and download the template; then you find some scrap cardboard, some tape and glue and a ruler and craft knife – and the world of dressing-up is, as they say, your oyster!

Next week I am working again with a leadership team. We’ve come a long way in the past year in terms of thinking about strategy, behaviours, individual styles and team alignment. It hasn’t always been easy, but in truth, comparing where they were to where they are is like comparing night and day. One thing remains. Mask-removal.

We all wear masks. Not of the cardboard variety. I mean, we all go through life in our families, in our communities, our churches and in our workplaces either hiding behind a front we put on – or, just as frequently, putting on a front (or a mask) as a piece of combative strategy. We are seldom, truly, ourselves.

My team has moved a long way. The next step is the really big one. Can they now, having worked out what they’re meant to be doing, and having established a good deal of trust, risk removing their ‘masks’ and being themselves. For some this will mean being bolder; for others, it will mean risking being vulnerable. For all of them, it is – I suspect – the step that will move them from being ‘effective’ to being ‘transformative’ and ‘high-performing’. We are only truly transformative when we are ourselves, masks off.

What mask do you wear? What, I wonder, would it take for you to remove 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 698: There is More to Grief than Death

It’s 2 weeks before Don Eisenhauer and I do a tour of the UK with his Introduction to Coaching people who are dying and grieving. We are looking forward to seeing people there. Interesting that what he writes here also connects to the webinar Clare is doing in November around Coaching in Transition. Loss is part of every day life and work in so many ways.

Don writes:

“It is so hard to see her like that,” a son told me after I visited his mother whose dementia was progressing. “She no longer knows who I am. Even though she is still alive, the mother I knew has died.”

Grief is expected when a loved one dies. What many don’t realize is that grief reactions often occur even before death. A son grieves the mother he knew even while his mother lives. He may grieve her loss of independence, the social life their family shared, or the memories she no longer retains. He may fear the impending death, or fear the process of dying.

All these reactions are normal, and we must give ourselves permission to feel the many emotions and to find “safe” places to express them. We grieve the mother who has died; at the same time we love and care for the mother who is still alive. This is the pain and privilege of dementia.

© 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 695: Transition

Clare writes: “Coaching is all about change. Doing things differently. Being different. Talking on new things. Breaking old habits. And for every change to be successful, there needs to be a transition. The psychological shift if you like. The mind-set, attitudes, values – all of these need to alter before the change can be sustainable.

Each transition has an ending, a neutral zone and a beginning, according to William Bridges. Managed (or coached) well, each phase helps us to let go of old mind-sets, beliefs, assumptions and discover new ones that will propel us forward.

How do you build this into your coaching or conversations?”

Clare will be running a webinar on Using Coaching in Transition on 30th November at 6pm. Join us to find out more. Early Bird Price £20 and 1.5 Hours CPD.

© 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