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As coaches we often find ourselves in discussion with clients about why people under perform, or behave in particular ways - and we find ourselves asking questions along the lines of 

  • How many people go to work in the morning with the intention of failing? and
  • When did you last get up in the morning and think “I’m going to do my best to screw up today”?

I have sometimes noticed people rolling their eyes as we share our belief that few people deliberately go out of their way to get things wrong, mess things up, or irritate their colleagues. I can almost hear them thinking “aha – well you’ve not met x”

I’ve had to take some of my own medicine recently. Working on a charity event, I found myself on the receiving end of some behaviour that immediately had my hackles up as I planned my revenge. I was particularly outraged because the offending behaviour was documented in email form – which somehow seemed to make it even more tangible and impossible to ignore.

After wasting a reasonable amount of time discussing and complaining about the situation  with a couple of my colleagues, I suddenly stopped and asked myself how helpful this response was either to me or to getting the job done. Of course the answer was “not at all”. I was wasting time, draining my own energy and increasing my levels of stress.

By this stage I was back in coaching mode and able to respond more rationally. The person in question had given up their own time to help – I really don’t believe that their intention was to upset or anger other people in the process. They were probably in a rush when they wrote the email etc.

So when you find yourself in a similar situation I would encourage you to do two things

1: Ask yourself what you think the other person’s intention is/was

2: And probably even more important – ask yourself whether your own response is helpful

And then decide if and how to respond.

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Back in June last year Jason wrote a blog about setting up an internal coaching pool. It was a blog which had over 1,000 reads and so in the spirit of listening to your audience I thought it was time to share the next chapter. 

So, you’ve recruited your internal coaches and they’ve completed their training, you have a group of coachees who can’t wait to get started, what could possibly go wrong? Our top tips for maintaining momentum.......  

  1. Local not global: It’s tempting to match coaches with coachees who are from different sites. It’s a double whammy in terms of payback, right? They both go to each other’s sites, expand their networks, broaden their horizons etc etc. Hmm...maybe not. In our experience the most successful matches are those where it’s as easy as possible for people to work together and that includes considering the practicalities and logistics. Having to make a trip to a site where you otherwise don’t need to be is a massive time sink and quite often results in either coaching sessions not happening or turning into a check in by phone. Think local when you’re matching coaches with coachees.

  1. Candy Crush not Chess: Even with all the training in the world, you never quite know what you’re going to get when you turn up for a coaching session. Regular short sessions are a great way of supporting new coaches with bite-sized learning. As is often the way in life the reality is very different from the theory so having a series of session which encompass a combination of sharing, new skills and supervision is a great way of enabling your internal coaches to grow. Think short bite-sized and gradually build in difficulty rather than highly strategic, complex and a lot to take in, in one go.
  2. Jamie not Heston: Use existing coaching competency frameworks and make it your own. The ICF, AC and EMCC all have robust and well thought through competencies frameworks, don’t kid yourself that your organisation is so unique that you need to create something new and different! It may not exactly match the L&D competencies but hey, life’s not perfect. There are the obvious pay-offs in terms of efficiency however, it also means you have ready supply of well regarded coaching texts (for instance ICF Core Competencies and The Coaching Bible) which support your coaching approach and coaches can see exactly what they need to do to work towards a formal coaching qualification. Think take what’s there and give it your own sparkle rather than spend hours in the lab coming up with something new.

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