Tag: presence

3D Ideas 902: Fishing

Ruth writes: “The other day, as I was listening to a conversation, I started thinking about fishing. It sounded like the ‘professional’ in the situation was fishing for an answer, constantly casting their bait into the water, again and again trying to find a question that would catch the ‘fish’. 

I don’t fish. And I imagine that casting the line in quick succession won’t get the desired result. The water would be constantly stirred up, not allowing the fish to come towards the hook. 

I was left wondering how often we do that in conversations. When we ask repeated questions in quick succession – How will you know? Do you think that…? What might you need to do? and other brilliant questions I have in my stash to ask – we are constantly stirring the water, scaring away the fish. Scaring away the thought process. 

I wonder if we are like fish, needing the bait and hook to be cast and for the water to settle so that we can think more clearly. As I coach I want to learn to be like a patient fisherman.”

Ⓒ 3D Coaching Ltd 2020

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3D Ideas 892: In Sync

Claire writes: “Out of sync is a daily occurrence in the world of online meetings and Zoom socials. Someone is speaking and you are lagging a few seconds behind them. Being out of sync isn’t a lockdown thing. It is always a daily occurrence – it’s just that we can’t see it.

People think and speak at different speeds, and in coaching it’s common for the thinker to be having a conversation with themselves at the same time as the one they are having with you. The greatest gift you can offer is to notice and invite them to connect the two. I notice that often that’s when they acknowledge the inner talk for the first time. Bringing their thinking processes together catches them up with themselves and makes the encounter deeper and richer.”

Ⓒ 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 881: Horses

Claire writes: “Horses, I am reliably informed, occupy space all by themselves. And when nearby humans do or say too much, the horses get physically stuck and their bodies lock up. The more the person tries to get them to do what they want, the more locked the horse becomes.

In conversations, when we do or say too much, the person we are talking to also gets stuck. Slowing down the pace so that we are fully working in partnership is an art that takes practice. 

If you are trained with 3D or another coaching provider, our practicum is a great place to work on your pace. If you’re not a coach, see if you can get permission to record a conversation from with whom you have a 1-1. When you listen back, you’re not listening to yourself – you are noticing whether the pace of what you see is freeing or locking the processing of your colleague.

Working too much doesn’t work.”

Ⓒ 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 848: 90 Degrees

Claire writes: “Last week included a talk at the UK Conference of the International Coaching Federation as well as our annual Transforming Conversations open course.  I think that I learned as much as the delegates!

The live coaching demo was done standing up.  I always do that because everyone in the room can see, and also we know that people think faster when standing.  The nature of the stage meant that we were standing at 90 degrees to each other (think two adjacent sides of a square).  As she was talking and thinking, she was facing forward. I stood next to her watching her create some great ideas. And I only spoke when she turned to look at me.  That clear invitation to me as the facilitator of her thinking to only speak when she invited me in by looking at me meant that it was easy to wait and not interrupt her thinking.

It worked on Tuesday, so we shared it on Wednesday!  It was so effective, that Alex and I watched as someone accompanied a thinker.  The coach’s face suggested full attention and no question forming. He was simply noticing and bearing witness.  And then the thinker pointed to the floor as they moved to a new and useful insight. The coach turned and started to look at the same place on the floor.  Now there was 100 degrees between them and they were looking in the same direction. The coach scratched his chin and we watched as he got sucked into the stuff.  The edginess was gone! I walked up behind him and silently tapped his arm to encourage him to move back to a side on position. He stopped scratching his chin and the edginess was back!  Time and again over the last 48 hours we saw the value of that 90 degree position which allows us to be with someone and shifts from the kind of position where we are talking to someone and end up being seduced by the story. This is probably easier when we are standing up than sitting down.  Try it!”

© 2019 3D Coaching Ltd

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3D Ideas 845: Freezing

Claire writes: “I will always remember running a course on how to prepare for an interview when my co-facilitator shared their worst experience with the group. ‘The interviewer’s first question was: Why have you applied for the job?… and I froze’.

Good preparation can reduce the likelihood of freezing in interviews. Many conversations, however, can’t be prepared for and it’s common for people to get a version of ‘what on earth do I say now?’ or even brain freeze. When we are in conversation with someone else and encouraging them to think, our freezing can stop them thinking because they still experience what we think we are hiding!

In the improv pilot day at the end of last year, we all experienced the external version of freezing. It was terrifying and it was funny, and the work we did together in a space of trust enabled us to overcome some of the fear that makes a momentary freeze into something that disables us.

Presence and holding space well is a skill that’s important in leadership, coaching, presenting, and training as well as in theatre. I have travelled with a question for several years about whether you can teach this. And finally we tried it out with improv and it seems you can! Join me and Stuart Reid on Friday 11th October in Central London if you think that some attention to presence will support the work you do.”

© 2019 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 819: Neither From Nor Towards

Claire writes: “Holding space, or presence, is one of the greatest gifts of leadership – and an essential in coaching. TS Eliot describes it as
‘At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;

Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is’

Presence is intangible, hard to describe and obvious when it’s missing from a conversation. The only way to develop it is in an embodied way. A while ago, we invited a musical conductor to teach us how to conduct. Conducting requires presence. Something needs to happen in the space between the conductor and the orchestra to make the music happen. The conductor can’t make it happen. The music is co-created.

And so it is with improv where something happens between the audience and the performer. So on the basis that you can only develop presence experientially, we are delighted to be offering a workshop in Luton in December with Claire and Stuart Reid, who is a coach and has a lot of experience in improv. We’d love you to come!”

© 2018 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 816: Attentive Diversion

Claire writes: “Attentiveness or presence is one of the most significant parts of the way we work. And to borrow from TS Eliot who says ‘Teach us to care and to not care. Teach us to sit still‘, we are learning to be attentive and to not be attentive. So we are working very lightly until September so that all of us can have a change of pace and attention. You can email info@3dcoaching.com for bookings etc because one of us will check at some point each week to respond.

3D Ideas will be back in September. The autumn holds some exciting new areas of work and some brand new training including a day on presence through theatre improv. Bookings are also open for Using Coaching Over Time, Coaching people who are dying or grieving and Are we too soft? Learning from Jesus about Challenge. These programmes are for people with a minimum of 26 hours coach specific training.

© 2018 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 765: Somebody and Nobody

Claire writes: “It’s a privilege to observe people in real time 1-1 conversations as part of training or development they do with us.  I watch people lean in ready to offer some sage advice, with good intention, or listen carefully so they can come up with the solution they think they are being asked to find. Often we are keen to make our contribution even on subjects where we are no expert! That’s made me think a lot about power.

Mads Morgan, who uses coaching in her role, once remarked ‘there’s only a certain amount of power in the room so if I take it, I have taken it from someone else.’  What concerns me is that when you see this happening, you can often see the other person diminishing.  In Somebodies and Nobodies: Overcoming the Abuse of Rank, Fuller describes this as somebodying and nobodying.  In coaching we try and keep responsibility in the middle to avoid the abuse of power and it’s a delicate position to hold.  I like TS Eliot’s notion – ‘Teach us to care and not to care. Teach us to sit still.’  How often do we unintentionally nobody someone by over-caring? “
© 2017 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 755: Who does the work?

Claire writes: “I’ve just come off a phone call with a former conductor who is going to help run our Train the Trainer course tomorrow.  We were talking about over-conducting and under-conducting.  In conversations, we can be over present or under present – which is why he is coming to teach us.

If I want to increase the value of my conversations, it’s useful to move from

  • diagnostic questions where I see, interpret and ask sophisticated questions TO saying what I notice and letting you make the sense
  • listen to what I hear TO listening with my eyes to what I see and hear and sense
  • listening and asking questions with my head TO listening and asking questions with my body
Being fully present and getting someone else to do the work is much more likely to lead to transformation than when I work hard to try and make it happen.”
© 2016 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 689: Space and Pace

Nick writes: ‘We often think of coaching as creating a special space for a person to step back, often quite literally, from the pressures of day to day work and life to think about things differently. Indeed, the space we create between us offers a great opportunity for change.

Yet space is a bit like elastic. Too much space and the conversation can feel slow and lifeless, without definition or form. Too much pace and it can feel rushed, superficial and forced. Navigating space and pace is part of the, ‘How shall we do this?’ contract at the beginning of our conversation (the R in STOKeRS).

So I try to remember: just enough space to allow for reflection; just enough pace to keep things moving. It’s always a judgement call. How much space and pace does this person – in this situation, at this time – need? If in doubt, bring the question into the conversation!’

© 2015 3D Coaching Ltd
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