Category: ICF 04 Coaching Presence

3D Ideas 805: In the Muscle

Claire writes: “This term I have embarked on a significant piece of professional development starting with a 6 day immersion programme. One of my fellow delegates talked about getting the skill into the muscle. Along with a massage that went deep into my physical muscle, there was much to ponder.

The Asaro Tribe say that “Knowledge is only a rumour until it lives in the muscle.” We practised and simplified over and over again so that we are continue to embody what we are learning. That’s the joy of development and also an insight that the journey to mastery and simplicity is lifelong.

© 2018 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 804: Fishing Boy

Claire writes: “I love this picture of a man and a child fishing. Their proximity and focus on discovering something together – even though the father may be an expert fisherman – models well what we are learning about effective conversations at work.

Where and how we sit can impact how the conversation evolves. I remember talking with hospital consultants who were using a coaching approach with colleagues to offer peer support. Efficiency meant that the peers arrived at the end of the clinic and sat… in the patients chair. The consultants knew the conversations were not the best they could be. So they decided to swap chairs and the quality improved. They had been treating their colleagues like patients.

Your context will be different. But changing to a different chair, a different environment, or moving from a position that feels like reporting back may well change the quality of the conversation.”

© 2018 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 796: Suggestible

Claire writes: “I’m just beginning to realise that the questions we ask to open conversations could be perceived as suggestible:

  • What would you like to think about (… because I’m assuming we will be thinking as well as talking…)
  • What would you like to be different by the end of the conversation (… because I am assuming something will be…)

Interestingly they also inspire and suggest that things can change and move on. And it works! So why not?

© 2018 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 794: Stop Looking in the Wrong Place

Claire is speaking at the UK ICF Conference on May 8th: Letting your partner lead the dance – are you coming?

Claire writes: “I had a bit of a revelation last week simply by tweaking the start of Day 2 of Transforming Conversations. I simply noticed that conversations are more likely to be transformational – where someone knows something about their own stuff that changes the way they look at things – if the coach (or facilitator) is looking at their face (and their feet!).

When people are thinking, it seems that our natural reaction is to look away and respect their emerging insights. That’s the very moment to look at their eyes. That’s when we can notice if they are thinking. When they come back, the most useful question to ask is ‘Where are we now?’. They will certainly have moved! People observing this say it looks much too direct. they only person who won’t say that is the thinker – they weren’t looking, after all!

Feet can sometimes give some useful insights, too.”

© 2018 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 790: Punctuation

A very Happy Christmas to you from the 3D Coaching Team. We are shutting up shop on 20th December and will be back on Monday 8th January. Book onto any of our online training before 4pm Wednesday 20th December 2017 and get 15% off.

Claire writes: “Thanks to Julia who responded to last week’s blog – ‘Perhaps we should be talking about jive conversations as well as live ones! Thinking about it – the other thing about music is that the pause is often as important as the note – if you listen to Jacquelin du Pre playing the Elgar cello concerto the wonderful thing that brings it to life is partly the pause or hesitation before a note – it makes it electrifying.’

A great conversation is appropriately punctuated. An electrifying pause brings challenge and insight. An ‘I don’t know what to ask you next’ pause is stilted and make me stop someone thinking. The best interventions are often very short – they just need to keep the thinking flowing.”

© 2017 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 788: What about what

Claire writes: “‘Simplicity is not a simple thing’ said Charlie Chaplin. At 3D, it is a journey for us to continue to simplify what we are learning and what we share. What we are learning is this: If I bring too much to a conversation – in terms of words, process or content – then I will end up doing most of the work. When we are truly empowering our colleague to think, they will be doing most of the work. Coaching is simply keeping them company while they think (and provoking where necessary). That’s why we don’t like using words like client or coachee – we are speaking with a person – who, we hope, has come to think.

We know that transformation in a conversation is more likely to happen when you have a container and boundaries to what you are doing together. Whatever you use to co-create a container, whether it is Dorothy Strachan’s What – So what – Now what – or Hawkins and Smith’s CLEAR – Contract – Listen Explore – Action – Review, we need to remember that if this conversation is about our colleague thinking, then the What/Contract stage is for them not for me. When we spend too long in the What/Contract, it is probably because I am asking questions so that I understand. If I am trying to understand, I am probably intending to find the problem and solve it for you. A coaching style is about whether you understand (enough) what we are doing today – how we are going to do it and how we will know we have done it.

If you use 3D’s coaching container to form conversations, remember that the What/Contract is for the thinker. And it’s useful in much more than coaching!”

© 2017 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 787: Almost Nothing

Claire writes: “Feedback is a useful way of learning and the last week has given new insights again from a quote from Richard Rohr: “Wisdom is not the gathering of more facts and information, as if that would eventually coalesce into truth – it is a way of seeing and knowing the same old ten thousand things but in a new way.”

It makes sense of our strategy to teach people almost nothing – just naming what deep down you know already – so that you will apply it straight away. When you teach people too much, it’s much harder to apply the learning. Simplicity again.”

© 2017 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 785: Positive signs

Claire writes: “One of the greatest gifts of delivering training is to learn with a group (you know who you are, 7th November!)

Every week we recognise that what we are learning and passing on is truly and deeply simple. Observing today, a couple of delegates looked at me in panic as they we having their first ever coaching style conversation. I asked them: what are you thinking right now?

Performance anxiety seeps in so quickly and I will assume I am stuck because I have made a mistake. All we need to do is turn our anxiety into a question:

  • A thought – I don’t know what to do now… becomes a question “what do we need to do now?” 
  • A thought – I don’t know if we have finished or not… becomes a question “have we finished?”  

And trust what we see. When we think we have seen a not sure look, ask what do we need to do so you’re confident we have finished. Never underestimate the value of moving. Today it was for our trainee to stand next to the thinker and simply ask “what’s the next step?” and move with her as she stepped forward. We all saw her arrive in her new thinking – body mind and spirit.

It really is that simple.”

© 2017 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 784: Wobble

Claire writes: “Remember last week’s blog when I wrote ‘If we pin down the content too much, we undervalue the capacity of the group to be generative’? We had to remind ourselves that when we went out, notebooks in hand, to think about how we were going to work with the group.

We wobbled. It’s normal. We are hard wired that content is a good thing. I’m glad we held our nerve – and remembered that we had in fact been preparing for 50 years between us for that day. Our role was to create a container in which the participants could do their thinking – bringing together things that they already know – with others insights as catalysts, challenge and affirmation. And all that requires is for us to work out together

  • What are we doing here, today?
  • How are we going to do it?
  • How will we know we have done it?

And then to ask, so now…?

I have learned so much from Val Hastings this week about how we work. More will undoubtedly emerge as we process over the next few weeks. But for now, the learning for us from that wobble is that great training isn’t a complete sentence with a full stop. It’s a bringing together of things followed by a comma. The rest of the learning will be completed by the great wisdom and knowledge that is in the room.”

© 2017 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 781: Me or Us

Claire writes: “Noticing what’s going on in conversations is much easier when we are observing than when we are in the thick of it. I have known for a long time that being useful is more effective than being helpful. This week, in conversation, there was some useful insight into what makes that true.

  • When I say “Is this helpful?” I may be implying “Am I being helpful?”
  • When I say “Is this useful?” I am asking “Is what we are doing together useful?”

It’s not about what I do that makes a conversation useful – it’s about what we do together.”

© 2017 3D Coaching Ltd
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