So what did you notice about that? So some of the things were under there. They talked about some of the powerful questions. What did you notice?
“Listening and reflecting.”
“She listened but she looked at him, she nodded to reflect that she understood what he said.”
“And not interrupting him.”
So there were nonverbals, where she was -- she was nodding, she was engaged, she was forward-leaning, right? Body language was a big player in that, great noticing. What else?
“She never really gave him advice, she just kind of prompted him along to figure it out himself.”
Yes. She never said “do this,” right? It wasn’t “report to me, do this,” it was “You figure it out. What's going to work for you?” Okay, great, what else did you notice? Go ahead.
“She was going to ask a powerful question.”
She was, absolutely. Great noticing, there, too. Right, he's going to go out and ask, “Hey, what's going on? What have I done?” Okay, great, what else?
“She timeboxed his action.”
Yes, yes, so she timeboxed the action. She said, “Hey, by the end of the week, whenever you get that done, let me know.” And, “if you don't get it done by that deadline, I want to know that, too.” She didn’t let him off the hook, but is keeping that accountability strong. Good.
“She noticed that he was nervous and stabilized him.”
Yes. So she noticed that he was nervous. He actually said that. “Hey, I'm nervous about this, I'm noticing that I’m nervous.” And she said, “That was good. Good noticing.” She actually complimented him on noticing that. Excellent, what else?
“She was non-judgmental.”
Non-judgmental, yes, which is really hard to do, right? It's really hard to be non-judgmental. Great noticing. Yes?
She did the three things that we talked about:
She started out with a topic, “what is it you want to talk about?”
The second part was the coaching session where she's using all the skills that we were talking about.
Then she wrapped up with, “Here's the forward action. Here's how we're going to move forward.”
“She used acknowledging his character to encourage him.”
Absolutely and she didn't do it just once, she did it twice. She did it at the beginning and that's where they had the thing “acknowledging” under there and then she did it at the end, closer to the end of the session, where she acknowledged him again. Little different. I don't think it landed well the first time, that's why she went back to it because the first time he was off somewhere else. I think he was in his head and so she actually acknowledged; she threw out that acknowledgement again. Great noticing.
“I’m actually confused about the judgments because she said many things like, ‘great’, ‘super great insight’ and so on. She said many of those things and they’re positive but they’re still judgments so somebody might be afraid that if that was a great insight, maybe the next thing is stupid.”
That’s a stupid comment. No, I’m kidding. And that's something that I know I personally struggle with, because I want to be non-judgmental. However if you guys threw out things that are good to me, I'm going to give you recognition for it. So it's really hard to be non-judgmental, I think. I think there was no judgment from a negative aspect, right? It wasn't like they were condemning or she was condemning him in some way or saying, “Well, that's a stupid idea,” right? She was actually very supportive and moving him forward.
If he would have had what she considered to be a bad idea, how would you handle that as a coach? What do you think?
“Ask questions for the expected answer.”
Well, we want to avoid leading questions, what we want to focus on is asking other questions.
“Why does it make a bad idea? There would be an open question”
Yes. I say that could be, and you could use something like another question on top of it. What's another option?
“What wouldn't make it a good idea?”
Or, “What could you do to improve that idea?” Something like that where you can prompt them. Asking them what could make it a better idea is kind of judgmental as well.
“But if you say ’it’s great’ to ten ideas and don't say anything to a couple of them, then isn't that interpreted as ‘that is not so great’?”
Yes. You just kind of move on from those things. And so as a coach, we're looking to be positive and supportive, right? And so we want the person to grow. If we are judgmental and negative all of a sudden, now we shut down communication, so we have to recognize who’s in front of us. And the way I would coach one person might not be the same way I approach another person. There are some people who take that feedback, like critical feedback feedback for improvement, really well. With other people you can't really do that, right? Because it doesn't land well for them. You have to find another way to get that across.
“She was interrupting his thought pattern lockdown with the physical touch.”
“Is that a good thing?”
It depends on the person, right? They mentioned something early on-- “designing the alliance” -- so I know I generally, I'm not going to touch anybody because that's an HR violation. I'm not going to touch anybody unless they've given me explicit permission to do so, and I'm talking other than a handshake or something like that. So I'm looking for explicit permission that I may tap your arm or tap your shoulders. That's a whole HR thing so I do my best. That’s a very good question. Did you have something?
“I also had that there was a silence between when he was struggling to bring out the words. She gave him the time.”
So she used silence. She didn't use it a lot because it's a really short period of time so there were times where it felt like she was really peppering him with questions and there were times where she saw that he was grappling with something internal. She did use silence there. Good observation. What else? Anything else?
“She understood the impact of the problem and she emphasized it to him.”
“‘You’re afraid to speak up in meetings, that’s very bad’.”
Right, absolutely, right, and that's part of it. That went along with the acknowledgement, “we want you to partake” and “we need you in there, we need you involved.” There was also something in there where she reflected something back to him. There was a point where he said something and he was like “yeah, that just doesn’t sit well,” and she reflected that back at him, and said “well, okay, it looks like that doesn't fit.” So she was helping him to see where he was in the grand scheme of things, right?
Okay so good, good example there of coaching, right? Anybody get anything out of that? You’ll get something out of this because this is your coaching skills exercise so here's my suggestion: get into groups of three. Why three? Because what we want to do is to have two people coaching and we want an observer. So you're just asking, you know, “you first” and you're going to follow the format.
Everybody should have a topic and again it could be an MSU, or you can make something up -- MSU is my favorite acronym, “make something up.”
You can make something up or if you have something real use that. So you're going to form into groups of three so two people will be coaching and one people will be observing. It's really hard to sell critique when you're neck-deep in a conversation so the third person is there to really provide a different perspective to let you know what that person saw.
We're going to have three rounds of coaching. It's going to be like a ten-minute coaching and then a five-minute debrief within your little group and then another ten-minute coaching, then a five-minute debrief.
The person not coaching observes and take notes. If you have a piece of paper or sticky, there’re stickies out there, use that and take notes, okay? If you need to share this, share within your group.
Time box coaching. Again, we're going to use those time boxes and here's a reminder on the things that you're going to use. So remember, three parts, three parts to the coaching, what are the three parts to the coaching session?
Yes, excellent, alright, so, now is the time where you self-organize into groups. Again, if you don't have a group of three and you want to do it one-on-one, that's fine by me, it would really help you though if you're in groups of three.