Coaching is an investment – time, energy and money. You want to get something in return – positive change, a sense of direction and valuable learning.
Here’s how I help my coachees get the most from coaching. Helping them get a greater return on their investment, with a little preparation. I write to them in advance of the session with this little bit of guidance…
It’s great if you can have a gap between your last meeting finishing and the coaching session starting – even 10 minutes makes a difference to creativity and concentration.
Microsoft recently can completed a piece of research showing brain scans of people who took mini gaps between meetings. It indicated that stress levels were considerably lessened and that concentration and creative thinking was increased! So take some space.
Please do your best to find a quiet space where you can’t be overheard and won’t be interrupted.
Some people like something to take notes on either a mobile phone pad or notebook.
It’s great to have a space to record all your learning and small steps from coaching and you can also use it as a reflective journal
Finally please think in advance about the one theme that you would like to focus on in your first session- ‘what would be the best use of your time?’
No need to tell me in advance, but it just helps if you’ve had a little bit of reflective space to clarify what your focus will be.
Reflect on your own equality, diversity and inclusion learning experiences : What do you bring to the table in terms of having experienced inequality, equality or privilege in learning? Where have you challenged discrimination when learning? When have learning opportunities ‘opened easily’/’not opened’ for you in ways that might be radically different for others? When have you easily accessed/struggled to access additional learning support? How might all this experience affect your approach to facilitating and to supporting your learners?
2. Weave it in:
EDI is not just a module – it needs to be weaved in throughout your programme. Explore how you could do that for your course and participants…..with resources, discussions, activities, language and even your evaluation. E.g. in our ‘Manager as Coach’ course we talk – right from the beginning of the coaching course – about how an ‘aware coach’ is conscious of coach/coachee similarities and differences. E.g. age, gender, race etc.. . We explore how to bring best EDI practice to all the stages of a coaching relationship. This is ideally done in discussion with facilitation peers.
3. Be inspired:
Engage your learners. Create new resources lists that promote and reflect the diversity of the UK and also it’s underrepresented groups. As digital learning becomes the norm, there are so many more diverse resources online. Research relevant inclusive positive resources by a range of authors including BAME authors, GLBTQ+ and disabled speakers/authors.
Whatever the subject you are facilitating, learn about de-colonisation and learning. Explore how you could de-colonise your facilitation approach, your course and any older reading/resources list. This is often done best as a collaborative journey with colleagues.
Feeling that you have a run out of steam, because you’ve been doing all the thinking and carrying out most of the actions?Even when WFH?
Needing to be more resilient to stress, change or challenge?
Finding your solo actions are not having the impact that you hoped for?
Facing a larger challenge, that might benefit from and inspired and collaborative group tackling it together?
If this sounds like you, it might be beneficial for you to build your personal resilience with peers or in a group.
Social media focuses a lot on techniques that you can personally use to build your resilience. That’s great in many ways, as it strengthens your emotional intelligence and gives you a strong sense of independence.
But sometimes, if you are tired, behaving like a super person, using up your energy and risking burnout, you need to build resilience with people and a network, rather than alone. This working era is all about connection and community.
Here are some tips to help build your resilience collaboratively through relationships:
Overall, make and deepen your individual connections with people in your organisation and in your sector:
Good relationships with colleagues that you get on with, friends at work, with colleagues that you get along with are so important. Don’t underestimate this. It’s especially important to keep relationship building when WFH where most of your meetings are online. Practice being more mentally alert in meetings and show active listening. People quickly pick up if you are interested and ‘present mentally’ or ‘absent’. Good workplace relationships can take time to build, especially online. So take extra time to connect, listen to and engage with colleagues in a range of online settings.
If you have a good relationship with someone who is doing well at adapting to challenge, ask for ideas about how you could be more resilient to change in to these uncertain times. Ask for any tips, ideas, potential mentors, resources or learning events. Having other’s insights can inspire and strengthen your own resilience at work.
Take part in learning that also involves an online group element, not just solo work e.g. a course that also has a facebook or LinkedIn community learning page. That way as you learn, you also build relationships.
Mentoring and coaching are often confused. By looking at ‘wellbeing coaching’ at work, you can see the basic differences.
Wellbeing Coaching at work and Wellbeing Leadership Coaching at work relates to your wellbeing at work and wider life.
Wellbeing Coaching at work supports you to be at your best at work in terms of feeling good in your mind and body.
You co-create a relationship with a wellbeing coach, who helps you find your own solutions to your wellbeing at work, through focused conversation .
Wellbeing coaching is not:
* Life Coaching (includes work related issues but also focuses mainly on all areas of life e.g. relationships, life goals, finances etc.)
* Counselling (deals with long term past and childhood) – does not require action on behalf of the client. (Your coach will signpost you to counselling services if necessary. Coaching is not therapy and does not substitute for therapy if needed, and does not prevent, cure, or treat any mental disorder or medical disease).
* Mentoring – where the mentor is the expert and might give you guidance on your wellbeing based on their own experience and expertise.
Are you ….Feeling that you have a run out of steam, because you’ve been doing all the thinking and carrying out all the actions?
Needing to be more resilient to stress, change or challenge?
Finding your solo actions are not having the impact that you hoped for?
If this sounds like you, it might be beneficial for you to build your personal resilience with peers or in a group. Social media focuses a lot on techniques that you can personally use to build your resilience. That’s great in many ways, as it strengthens your emotional intelligence and gives you a strong sense of independence.
But sometimes, if you are tired, behaving like a super person, using up your energy and risking burnout, you need to gradually build a stronger network, rather than planning to go it all alone.
So, long before burnout happens, make and deepen your individual connections with people in your organisation and even in your sector:
Good relationships with colleagues that you get on with, friends at work are so important. Don’t underestimate this. It’s especially important to keep relationship building when WFH, where most of your meetings are online. It can be harder to do that online, so make the most of start of meeting check-ins, informal meetings and – if you have them – online team socials.
Practice being more mentally alert in online meetings and show you are actively listening. People may pick up if you are interested and ‘present mentally’ or ‘absent’. Good workplace relationships can take time to build especially online. So take extra time to connect, listen to and engage with colleagues in a range of online settings.
If you have a good relationship with someone who is doing well at adapting to challenge, ask for ideas about how you could be more resilient to uncertainty in to these uncertain times. Ask for any tips, ideas, potential mentors, resources or learning events. Having other’s insights can inspire and strengthen your own resilience at work.
As coaches, we all need to be aware of our own biasses and the impact these have. Unnoticed bias can lead to judgement and even discrimination. It’s important we work to reduce and eliminate our biases. That way we can provide a really professional, safe and inclusive service. To all our clients.
Mezirow’s model is good reflective way of bringing your own coaching bias to your awareness . Especially when combined with good supervision.
1. Reflectivity: What do I feel and think about this person (coachee) and how does this affect my behavior?
You could use these questions in a reflective journalling, or a peer supervision context.
2. Affective reflectivity: How do I feel about the way I think and act in relation to them (coachee)?
3. Discriminant reflectivity: Are my perceptions of them correct?
4. Judgemental Reflectivity : what assumptions am I making about people and situations based on my own values?
5. Conceptual reflectivity: Questioning the constructs I use when I think about other people; for example ‘just because the person does x will y always for follow’?
6. Psychic reflectivity: Am I jumping to conclusions?
7. Theoretical reflectivity: becoming aware of the reasons and quick to make judgements about people based on cultural and psychological assumptions. What are my assumptions about this person based on?
Write and reflect on your answers. Then bring the topic to your supervision practice.
Wellbeing coaching at work is a supportive conversational process with a coach, that may involve focusing on different areas of your life. These include working productively, and effectively and the links with your wellbeing e.g. relaxation, health, WFH, and wellbeing goals.
Wellbeing leadership coaching may focus on leading on wellbeing at work e.g. how to support your staff.
Workplace wellbeing coaching and wellbeing leadership coaching uses questioning, listening and other coaching tools and techniques, such as visualisation or mind mapping. These can assist you in moving forward in your work with your wellbeing topics and if relevant, finding and acting upon your own solutions to wellbeing leadership themes.
Whether you work in FE teaching or supporting others, we all need to be more resilient right now.
1. Notice your energy levels when you are online. And as soon as you can, do what you need to help adjust them e.g. walk, snack, a chat or rest. Is your energy low, middle, running on adrenalin etc..Noticing and supporting your energy throughout the day, helps you be more focused and present for your teaching and meetings.
2. Connect online with colleagues you get on with really well. Have a non-work chat for a change. Have a quick check-in to give you a bit of a boost. A strong support network really builds resilience as a coach.
3. Mindset work: Imagine a resilient day of online teaching, work and meetings. See yourself being really adaptable and having staying power. Now take one small step inspired by this mindset work.
R u working with younger learners? R u moving to online mentoring or coaching?
Here are some of my – not definitive – project planning thoughts, if you are planning to move to online mentoring and coaching and work in FE, schools, organisations and projects with younger learners:
Project management: Moving online might be anew project for you, so work together with your team to create a realistic, collaborative project planing template – names, tasks, timelines and carry out a H&S risk assessment etc
Framework: Consider implementing an online policy and/or guidelines e.g. Internet Safety Digital Mentoring Policy. Within that have a clear Safeguarding section e.g a link to your assigned officer and a link to your Safeguarding protocols etc Make sure to link to GDPR as well.
Train: All relevant staff, students (and maybe parents) and organisations you link with in understanding the digital mentoring guidelines and policy/practices at whatever level is suitable or accessible . E.g Educate students on how to be safe online when using ICT for mentoring.Use digital induction sessions, online newsletters and 1-1 digital inductions. Keep it informative, but engaging and fun.
Monitoring: Be clear about and take an active part in the contentfiltering/monitoring/record keeping system, of any on line sessions. Explore how this could be done with any new platform you choose.
Concerns: Be clear on what learners can do if they have any concerns – what’s the process for them raising their concerns about digital mentoring etc? What is the online complaint’s process? How can you make this easy?
Agreements: Create a new section of your Mentoring Agreements with students for this digital aspect of your work (with each mentor and student and/ or parent if involved for any learners). Get this signed if possible so it’s clear that you have inducted around digital mentoring (e.g. discussed it, allowed for any questions, agreed it). Store these documents in encrypted ways as you usually do.
Attend to equality, diversity and inclusion: EDI may be impacted by online mentoring – e.g what learning needs are there emerging from the digital approach? what are the reasonable adjustments needed?
Support your staff in this new digital work: What new issues arise for them? What concerns them? What is easy, hard, challenging and interesting? What opportunities does it offer them arising from their own expertise? What else is needed, useful and emerging? Increase supervision, L&D, coaching and mentoring for them at this time to support easier change to digital mentoring. Listen to your staff, include them and discuss with them upcoming digital mentoring changes. Communication is key.
Please let me know if you have tips to add to these – let’s share expertise and ideas.
Moving to effective online mentoring and/or coaching learning needs a whole-org, often collaborative approach, joining up all your current practices e.g GDPR safeguarding etc. Planning for online or distance learning /mentoring activities is ideally best done by including the org’s safeguarding team or lead, as part of the planning process.
Who we are
I lead The Learning Moment. We usually work helping setting up and evaluating face to face and online mentoring and coaching projects and schemes. I usually also lead CPD and support for facilitators, coaches and mentors. We are Miranda (a Senior Manager working with safeguarding and disadvantaged or at risk learners in FE), Penny (admin) and me Andry (director, coach, mentor, facilitator, consultant and general dogsbody).
Do drop me a line for workshops etc to support any L&D or coaching and mentoring: firstname.lastname@example.org