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Coaching Practice Triads: Guidelines for the Coach, Client and Observer

Copyright (c) 2005-2020

The purpose of this article is to give you some hints on how to set up coaching practice triads that are effective, supportive and meet the needs of participants.


When You're The Client

* Pick a real issue ... something that is current and relevant for you.

* Remember the point of this is for the coach to practice, so pick your session topic accordingly.


When You're The Coach

* Actually coach ... be yourself

* This is a space to try new things and take some risks.

* Know what you'd like to get out of each practice session, and let your triad partners know (e.g. "I want to speak more succinctly" or "I'm working on letting go of the need for the client to change")

* Ask for specific feedback if you want it.

* Don't argue with the feedback you receive, or defend yourself.

* Manage the time.

* Thank the client and observer.


When You're The Observer

* Remember, you're evaluating the coach, not coaching the client, so focus your attention on giving feedback to the coach.

* Don't divert attention away from the coach's learning by offering suggestions to the client. If there's something you want the client to know, write it down and send it as an email. Or if your triad agrees, reserve time at the end of the entire meeting to share those thoughts and observations.

* Take notes of what seemed effective in the session. Writing down specific things the coach said is very helpful.

* If you would have taken the session in a different direction, make note of that, (when and how) but don't get distracted by it. There are a million possible directions that a coach could go in at any given point.

* Say what you're reluctant to say, but be tactful. A sensitive way to give constructive criticism would be to say something like "If I had to pick one thing that would have strengthened your coaching, it would be …"

* Always give two positive comments for every negative one, and limit your suggestions for improvement to two or three at the most. People can only absorb a small amount of criticism at a time.

* Be concise and use specific examples. Know what the Coach is working on -- are they here to practice the proficiencies? to practice not attaching to outcome? -- and give feedback accordingly.

* Make a note of the time, and if necessary remind the coach to wrap up.

* Have the coaching model or other relevant evaluation materials in front of you.

* Remember that everyone coaches with their own flavor. The main thing is "was it effective for the client?"


For The Triad In General

* Make a commitment and stick to it. Your triad members are counting on you to show up every time.

* Have an idea of what your goals are, and share them with your triad members.

* Coach even if no one feels like coaching that day. Consistency is key to progress, and it's very easy to let the triad slide into a general chitchat meeting.

* Decide the time-keeping responsibilities (who's timing the sessions, as well as the feedback period).

* Know how long your sessions/evaluations will last and stick to the schedule to make the best use of everyone's time.

* Discuss ahead of time how long you're agreeing to meet (typically triads agree to meet for two to three months and then reassess).

* Agree on when you'll reassess, and what things you'll be reassessing. For example: After 2 months we'll talk about:

1. if we want to continue for another 2 months 2. do we want to refocus our triad purpose? 3. is there something that has worked really well that we'd like to do more of? 4. is there something that we'd like to change? 5. is there a system that needs to be put into place?


About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Barbra Sundquist is a Certified Mentor Coach and Certifying Examiner for the International Association of Coaches (IAC). She helps people attain their coaching certification through her program at http://www.becomeacertifiedcoach.com/join.htm . To receive a complimentary copy of Barbra's coaching certification training manual, please send a blank email to step1workbook@aweber.com Written by Barbra Sundquist http://www.becomeacertifiedcoach.com with significant input from Beth Lyons http://www.techiecoach.com

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