Category: ICF 09 Designing Actions

3D Ideas 760: Another Way?

Claire writes: “Two great reminders this week.  The first is that either/or doesn’t always help us decide.  Considering options as either this or that or something else (that I haven’t thought of yet) can enable more creative thinking.

Secondly I am still overwhelmed by the power of moving when someone is stuck and lacking ideas or energy or both.  Thanks to an insight from John Whittington about place markers, someone on last week’s Transforming Conversations made a significant shift from combining these two simple insights

I don’t actually know what they were talking about, but the thinker was so stuck that the coach moved in her chair to try and unstick thinking. He was still stuck.  So she invited the thinker to draw what he was thinking – and what emerged was an either/or line.  She looked at me with a ‘what on earth do I do now look’.  I picked up three cushions from the sofa where they were sitting and threw them on the ground in a triangle saying ‘if this represents either and this represents or… and (placing the third cushion) this represents something else you haven’t thought of yet…’ Before I had finished, her thinker had dismissed going near either of the first two cushions and placed himself firmly on the third. As I walked away and left them to do the work I heard him say: ‘So THIS is my question – what is this?’.

 

Getting people to move and stand can move thinking forward significantly and quickly.  And this experience underlines the value, I think, of learning by doing even more than from theory.”

 

© 2017 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 751: Do it now!

Claire writes: “I’ve written about real play before and am returning to it again because it is so powerful.  Moving from ‘I would say’, ‘I might say’, ‘I wish I could say’, ‘I don’t want to say’ or ‘I ought to say’ to real play works. Trying out a conversation in real time is more effective than talking about talking about something to someone.

The rules are simple

  1. Invite them to stand up or move (because it’s hard to think differently when they’re physically in the same position they were when they said they were stuck)
  2. Invite them to speak to you as if you were the person they need to speak with – saying anything at all – no matter how incoherent it is
  3. If there is any level of emotion or difficult stuff, place your hand where you were standing and move aside so they are speaking to your ‘cataleptic hand’ (because it keeps you from absorbing stuff and if they are in flow it won’t stop them!)
  4. Ask how that felt – and if they would like to try it again in a more (or less) challenging way
  5. Invite them to move a little between each go (same reason as #1)
  6. Repeat 2-5 as many times as needed (ask if it’s useful – this is a working together not you doing something to them)
  7. Use your intuition and theirs to know how far to go with this
  8. This is not role play.  You are not representing and acting the part of their colleague.  So don’t join in!
If you like the idea of helping others to get out of their head and think differently, talk to us about what the next step might be for your learning.
© 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 747: Three or More

trees-1886299_1920Claire writes: “Sometimes in a conversation we simply don’t have any ideas, are stuck, and would value some insight from another person.  It happens in mentoring, in coaching and in many one to ones and if we like problem solving and/or are in a hurry, telling is quick.
Unless there really is only one solution (which is very rare), scoping is almost always more useful than telling.  Offering three or more ideas and then asking ‘Any other options?’ ‘And now you know that, what are you thinking?’ leaves the responsibility to decide with the person you are talking to.  It takes longer that ‘if I were you I would…’ and it grows people.”
© 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 727: Never Enough Time

clock-650753_1280Claire writes: “Every time we run training events, I hear most delegates say in the feedback on Day 1: ‘We would have been able to deal with that properly if we had had more time’.

 

It’s interesting that when we can easily assume that the value is in the dialogue that happens between us.  We are noticing that
  • Most of the value to a conversation where someone is thinking happens after it’s over
  • When we treat time as a scarce resource it will never be enough.
And yet, when we begin to look at time differently, it’s more than enough.

 

Try moving from
‘We only have 5 minutes’ to ‘We have a good 5 minutes now if that’s useful?’
‘We’ve run out of time, let’s stop there (and reschedule a second meeting!)‘ to ‘It sounds like you need to do some more thinking.  Do you know where you’re going to do that?’

 

Be unconditionally positive about time – it works!


© 2016 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 722: Finishing Off

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Claire writes: “Acronyms help remember things. A group in Leicester challenged themselves to work out how to make a good ending to a conversation. They came up with CALF:

  • Check/ challenge the contract
  • Accountability – when/ what needs to happen to get this done?
  • What have you Learned so far?
  • Have we Finished?

That final question is interesting. Notice where the responsibility sits when you say ‘Have we finished?’ rather than ‘I think we have finished’. It’s useful.

David Clutterbuck’s Four Is are also a useful end to a conversation – especially if notes need to be made together:

  • What are the issues we have discussed?
  • What insights have you had?
  • What ideas have we come up with?
  • What are your intentions?

After all, a great end is as important as a great beginning.”
© 2016 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 706: Stop Talking!

head-927180_1280Claire writes: “When we need to think through a slightly complex conversation, it’s common to find someone else with whom to talk it through. Talking about talking is helpful. What can be even more useful is to try it out. We call that real play.

All you need to do is talk to another as though they are the person – and hear yourself say what you’re thinking of saying. Unlike role play, they don’t join in – they just ask you how that felt. More often than not you will want to change the tone or the challenge – and can have another go. If you do that, moving a bit before you try again makes it easier to make the change. It’s astonishing how effective this can be.”

© 2015 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 686: Impact and intention

Claire writes: “We judge ourselves on our intention. If my intention is good, what I say is good. Except that my colleague judges me on the impact of what I have said. If it lands badly, we may take some hours, days or years to get over that. That’s why real play is useful. This means saying what we are thinking we might say out loud and hearing it to get a sense of whether its impact is what we intended.

Invite your colleague to try it out at different temperatures – say it in a very safe way. Now try it in a really challenging way.

  • Only a few groundrules
  • This works better if you stand up
  • We aren’t acting – and you are not taking the role of the person they are thinking of – you are just a face to talk to
  • For safety, it can be useful to put your hand up and move away so they are talking to your hand
  • Ask then – how did that sound – anything you want to change?

It might only take two or three goes, and it can make a significant difference to the quality of their conversation when it happens”

© 2015 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 667: Intentional Instinct

Claire writes: “If you are of a certain age, you will remember the TV show Jackanory. A famous actor read a story for young children as it was heading towards bedtime. They would always start: ‘Are you sitting comfortably, then I’ll begin’. Their calm, slow pace, was designed to calm and slow their young audience and make bedtime easier. The change to a calm pace and tone was enough to slow down many tired and crazy children. It’s something instinctive.

Not changing means that we stay the same. So if you come to see me, and I create a slow, spacious ‘just talk’ environment, we will probably have a slow spacious conversation and take a long time to get where we need to be. That may be the right thing, but it’s interesting to notioce that if we were standing up looking out of the window, that same conversation is likely to be more pacy and over much faster.

Matching tone or body language or pace builds rapport. And it makes it hard to move things forward. Mismatching tone or body language or pace – or anything (but not everything) is more likely to facilitate change. If you’re getting to the end of a meeting and someone is not leaving, you’ll stand up – that’s mismatching. If you are interviewing for selection and it’s all a bit slow, you might lean forward to ask a question. That’s mismatching.

You will do it instinctively without noticing. It is also very useful to use intentionally particularly when a conversation needs to move from exploring to action. Try it!

Principle 11: Match for rapport. Mismatch for change

© 2014 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 663: Do It Now

Claire writes: “Kirsty and Su spent time with John Blakey last week. He was talking about challenging coaching and saying that coaching is simply about getting from A to B. Thinking more about that I’d like to add – not just talking about how you might get from A to B!

The journey from talking to action is paved with good intent. Raising the challenge in a conversation to do it now might be to invite your colleauge to write the something in their diary. Occasionally it might be getting them to make the call they are avoiding now – in this 10 minutes – rather than talking about it for 20! And when they are talking to us about a conversation that needs to happen, often (but not every time) it is to get them to say what they are going to say. The only rules are that it needs to be a quick set up, they are not there to rehearse a script, and you are not there to be in role or act as anyone else.

  • ‘I’m him – say what you’re going to say’
  • ‘And when you hear that…?’
  • It can be useful to gauge where this lies in a spectrum of challenge
    … ‘So if you were going to be 10/10 challenging what would you say…?
  • ‘And if you were going to be really passive what would you say?’…
  • ‘So what are you going to say?’

Principle 7: Do It Now – Real Play”

© 2014 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 656: Coaching is simple – simple isn’t easy

Claire writes: ‘Nicky and I had a great day over the summer cutting back the materials we use on our courses to make them even more simple.  We are now teaching about 20% of what we taught ten years ago.  And people are getting more skilled more quickly.

We think there are just 15 principles to making a conversation (coaching or not) effective.  So we’ll have a look at them over the next few weeks.  None of them are rocket science as you will see!

3D’s Coaching Principles

1.    Contract for time as well as subject
2.    Talk to the person not the problem – right here right now
3.    Change hats with consent
4.    Be silent and ask questions where necessary
5.    Stand in a different place
6.    Name it – Say what you see without judgement
7.    Do it now: Real play
8.    When it’s over, it’s over
9.    Show the working out
10.    You action – we process
11.    Match for rapport – mismatch for change
12.    Name it
13.    Keep the responsibility in the middle
14.    Keep out of the way
15.    Ask them

That’s it!’

© 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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