Category: ICF 04 Coaching Presence

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
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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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3D Ideas 774: Tennis

Claire writes: “Johanna Konta’s tennis secret is to trust the process – whether it’s the first game or match point she does what she has learned works. The most common feedback we get at the end of our 4 day Transforming Conversations course is that it works. And that always comes from someone who has started out very sceptically.

Maybe it’s the season, because tennis metaphors have been useful learning this month. When we think about pace in conversations, we needs a smooth flow between a question and a response. As I listen to people developing a coaching approach, it’s also noticeable that sometimes questions feel like a serving machine. And sometimes the person facilitating the conversation catches every response and holds onto it while they work out what to do next – when the person thinking just needs a tiny phrase to keep them thinking. Pace is an art – and one which needs to be co-created. (and on the subject of tennis, a surprising volley can also be useful in moving the game on)”

© 2017 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 771: Value Add

Claire writes: ‘When you’re in the business of selling services to other people, it’s good to add value. We make an assumption that means doing/ giving something extra.

 

 

 

 

When thinking space is a precious commodity, sometimes we can add value by saying less and giving more space.’

© 2017 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 770: Broken connection

Claire writes: ‘It was the first session of a new practicum where people come to a webinar to listen and observe coaching to enhance their learning. A new group. And a new way of learning for most of them.
The coach was doing a great job. And the thinker’s connection went.  She had to reconnect.  This took two or three minutes.  I said to the coach ‘don’t apologise just ask where are you now?’ The thinker was still thinking as she reconnected and the conversation continued to flow. To have said ‘I’m so sorry. What happened? Let me recap’ would have interrupted her thinking and taken it backwards. (Of course if she’d said I don’t know remind me that would have been fine).
A coaching style is about a flow of thinking.  A bit of a gap isn’t a bad thing!’
© 2017 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Ideas 769: Afterwards

Claire writes: ‘We demonstrate coaching a lot. Which means that the person who has been thinking is still in the room after the conversation is over. For safety and so that the group doesn’t get back into their stuff, we ask them to sit out.

I have noticed that while the rest of the group are talking about what they saw, the thinker invariably starts writing or looks out of the window. And when you ask them if they have made another leap in their thinking, they almost always have. After its over! The more I think about this I wonder whether it’s because is over. The contract is closed, and then the shift happens.
If we keep extending our conversation what are we actually saying? That they need us in order to think? They don’t. Our presence is a catalyst, a support and a challenge. They are more capable than we are of doing the rest!’
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3D Ideas 766: Complexity

Claire writes: A reflection after last week’s blog: “I went into last week’s events thinking about power.  At the UKICF coaching conference, it was interesting to notice the hunger for models and things.  A Transforming Conversations course for the rest of the week brought plenty of dialogue and lots of learning.  Which leaves me with some questions:
  • If I can make what I do look complex, do I assume that it increases my value and status?
  • If I use language that is complicated, does it make me think that you will think that I am an expert or know what I am talking about?

 

If it’s possible to get a slapped wrist on Twitter, I have had one.  The night before giving a keynote at a conference about coaching being Deeply Simple, I had a drink in the bar with someone who is very well known in the world of coaching and organisations.  He told me that he’d done some research into things that are simple and not simplistic and come up with a useful word to describe it – simplexity.  Flattered that he liked my subject and agreed with me on the importance of simplicity, I tweeted about it.  Only to receive a tweet: ‘Oh dear, what happened to clean, easy language.  We should be role modelling this in #coaching, in my opinion.’

 

I am increasingly of the view that when we are complicated about things that can be simple, we are taking the power.  It’s easy to be complicated.  It not easy to be simple.  And it works!”

 

© 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