The Leading Learner

L'Observed Coaching è un percorso formativo in cui hai l'opportunità di applicare le nuove competenze di coaching acquisite e perfezionarle. Le lezioni sono facilitate da un formatore con credenziali  PCC o MCC.  In ogni lezione potrai assumere il ruolo di coach, di cliente o di osservatore. Per le sessioni in cui sei stato il coach riceverai un feedback orale o scritto dal tuo Mentor Coach. Questo feedback si baserà sulle competenze chiave di ICF e sulla scala di valutazione prevista per il livello ACC o PCC a seconda del Programma.

Quale tipo di feedback devo aspettarmi?

Durante i momenti di condivisione del feedback, il tuo Mentor Coach ti chiederà cosa hai appreso dalla sessione.  Ti saranno riconosciute e sarà richiesto di riconoscerti le competenze che hai dimostrato di saper applicare nella sessione.

Il focus sarà sui tuoi punti di forza. Non sarai "criticato", ma incoraggiato ad investire nel tuo sviluppo come coach.  L'intento del Mentor Coach è di creare uno spazio favorevole all'apprendimento. Se percepirà qualcosa che contrasta con quanto stabilito dalle linee guida di ICF in materia di coaching, lo condividerà con te durante la lezione. Il Mentor coach ti porrà delle domande e condividerà le sue osservazioni per riconoscerti e farti riconoscere quello che sei riuscito a fare ed essere durante la sessione. Avrete l'opportunità di conoscervi bene reciprocamente e stabilire un forte legame di fiducia grazie a questa esperienza. Questo è uno spazio di arricchimento e potenziamento. Gli studenti che hanno vissuto l'Observed Coaching riferiscono di aver imparato moltissimo durante le lezioni e che l'esperienza li ha aiutati a crescere rafforzando le loro competenze di coach.

Perfezionerai le tue competenze facendo pratica di coaching, ascoltando gli altri studenti nelle loro sessioni, i feedback ed i riconoscimenti del Mentor Coach e dei tuoi compagni di corso. Ricordati che compito del Mentor Coach è supportarti a diventare il miglior coach che tu possa essere!

La formula 80/20

Per trarre il massimo dalla sessione dalle tue sessioni di coaching ti consigliamo quanto segue.

Trattieniti dal dare suggerimenti o anche solo condividere la tua esperienza personale. Lascia che sia il cliente a condurre la sessione e stabilirne l'agenda. Usa la formula:  80% ascolto e 20% domande aperte e feedback di rafforzamento.  Le domande aperte iniziano solitamente con "cosa" o "dimmi qualcosa di più".

1. Inizia la sessione stabilendo l'accordo di coaching:  “Abbiamo 10 minuti a disposizione per questa sessione di coaching".

2. Ricorda al tuo cliente il tempo rimasto a disposizione a metà sessione:  “Abbiamo a disposizione ancora 5 minuti.”

3. Regola 80-20: il cliente parla per l'80% del tempo ed il rimanente 20% parla il coach.

4. Poni una domanda alla volta.

5. Dai al cliente spazio per riflettere e respondere prima di porre un'altra domanda.

6. Chiedi il permesso del cliente prima di porgli una domanda sfidante o offrire una proposta.

7. Non drae consigli o consulenze.

8. Poni domande che stimolino il cliente all'esplorazione di sé.

9. Supporta il cliente nella scoperta autonoma delle proprie percezioni ed idee.

10. La domanda magica: “Cosa vuoi?”. Usa questa domanda quando hai bisogno di muovere il tuo cliente ad una maggiore chiarezza.

11. Stabilire obiettivi: utilizza l'immediatezza – Vorresti, potresti, quando?

12. Fai segnali di riconoscimento: utilizza mhh mhh, ok, sì, giustamente con moderazione.

13. Interruzioni: non interrompere il tuo cliente quando sta parlando.

14. Chiedi cosa ha appreso a conclusione della sessione: puoi anche chiedere se è sodisfatto prima di chiudere la sessione.

1. partecipare a tutte le lezioni;

2. assumere il ruolo di coach in 5 sessioni (quando non sei il coach, sarai il cliente o  un osservatore);

3. trovarti un cliente per le sessioni in cui sei il coach;

4. pianificare le lezioni in cui assumerai il ruolo di coach;

Cosa succede se non riesco a partecipare ad una lezione?

Se, in caso di un’emergenza imprevista, sei impossibilitato a partecipare ad una lezione:

Il Mentor Coach asclterà la registrazione e darà il suo feedback. Il costo aggiuntivo è di $100 USD per ogni sessione di valutazione ad hoc in seguito ad un’assenza.

Devi partecipare a tutte le lezioni pianificate.

Settimana 1 – 2: Observed Coaching con feedback verbale (lezione live)
1 ora di lezione in cui 3 studenti a turno assumono il ruolo di coach per una sessione di 10 minuti seguita da 10 minuti di feedback per un totale di 20 minuti ciacuno (3 sessioni di coaching per lezione)

Settimana 3 – 5: Observed Coaching con feedback scritto (lezione live)
1 ora di lezione in cui 3 studenti a turno assumono il ruolo di coach per una sessione di 10 minuti seguita da 10 minuti di feedback per un totale di 20 minuti ciacuno (3 sessioni di coaching per lezione)

Gli studenti del Programma Vocational proseguono con la compilazione dell’esame scritto.

Module: Leading the Learning

The ability to “lead” learning requires an understanding of the difference between TEACHING and LEARNING.

Traditionaly a teacher is someone who stands up the front of the room and delivers a pre planned curriculum. And in many schools around the world today this approach is also combined with fairly rigorous testing. A Learning Leader approach works first with students/clients to identify WHAT they want to learn and then “leads” them in that direction and supports them to achieve their goal.

There is a great Indian proverb that goes like this:

‘When we want the elephant to grow, we feed the elephant. We don't weigh the elephant."

Learning Leaders FEED their students/clients, they don’t measure them.

Following in Order to Lead

You may have heard of Maria Montessori, she was an Italian educator born in 1870 and is most wellknow for the educational framework she developed and which is now implemented in Montessori schools around the world.

The Montessori framework has many key principles, but the one most relevant to this discussion is her notion of “Follow the Child”. This exerpt from the website, Daily Montessori explains the concept.

Following the Child

Follow the child, they will show you what they need to do, what they need to develop in themselves and what area they need to be challenged in. “The aim of the children who persevere in their work with an object is certainly not to “learn”; they are drawn to it by the needs of their inner life, which must be recognized and developed by its means.” – Maria Montessori.
From what you have observed from the actions of the children, follow them in what they need to do. If they want to climb, give them the opportunity to climb in a safe manner, do not be overprotective. Following the child also means being non-directive, do not tell them what to do all the time. Give your child the freedom to choose what he wants or needs to do and to act on his own. Do not tell them what they have to do, but rather present them with choices of different materials/toys. Also, stand back and watch the child what he does, there is no need to intervene all the time unless he has become really destructive and about to hurt himself or others. Knowing when to intervene is a skill parents will learn as they get to know their child and as parents have set limits for the child.

‘Follow the child’ does not mean let the child do what he wants. And the same goes for students in a seminar or workshop. It is not a free fall approach where the facilitator has no expertise or nothing of value to offer, it is more an acknowledgment that the child/student/clientprobably knows their own path more than anyone elseand that we need to take that into account rather than impose our idea of what the child should learn now.

Probably a more accurate way to frame this is “Follow the child, but follow the child as his leader.”

Other Characteristics of a Learning Leader

1. ‘Own the Room’

In their recent book, Own the Room: Discover Your Signature Voice to Master Your Leadership Presence,authors Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins, assert that “leadership presence is the ability to consistently and clearly articulate your value proposition while influencing and connecting with others.”

People are drawn to and influenced by leaders who communicate authentically, connect easily with people, and have immediate impact. So how do you become one of them? How can you learn to "own the room" as a Learning Leader?

First, you demonstrate your authentic value and distinction, and second, you connect to others in a positive way. Leaders who are able to be genuine while connecting with and impacting others have what the authors call a "signature voice"-- a self-expression that is uniquely and distinctly their own.

So let’s apply this to training and coaching. A Learning Leader works from a set of core values consistent with the concepts of empowerment, commitment, collaboration, learning and partnership. Learning Leaders are comfortable with their authority neither wielding it nor hiding from it. It short they know how to “own the Learning Space.”

2. Develop a Leadership Style

In 1939 psychologist Kurt Lewin set out to identify different styles of leadership. While further research has identified more specific types of leadership, this early study was very influential and established three major leadership styles.

Authoritarian: useful with group members lack knowledge about a certain skill or procedure.

Participative: useful with group members who understand the objectives and their role in the task.

Delegative: useful with group members who know more than you do about the task.

Learning Leaders can draw from each of these styles and adapt and change their approach based upon the objectives, needs of group members, and situational factors.

To learn more about your natural leadership style – Click here.

Learning Leader as Servant

While servant leadership is an age-old concept, the phrase “servant leadership” was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in his 1970 essay,The Servant as Leader.

In this essay, Greenleaf said:

The servant-leader is servant first... It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions...The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.

The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?“

The servant leadership philosophy and practices have been expressed in many ways and applied in many contexts including training, facilitating, and coaching.

3. Managing the Group Dynamic

emotion is about who they are and how they are feeling. On a not-so-good day, you may

react to this type of communication and move into a defensive role.

Let’s look at a scenario that illustrates this point. A participant came along to a training session on communication. The trainer outlined the skills that to be taught in the training session. The trainer then began the training by getting everyone to participant in a relaxation exercise. At the end of the exercise the trainer asked people to sharehow they found the exercise...was it helpful to begin the training.

Most people responded by saying they felt very relaxed, that it had helped them to leave the days activities behind them so they could focus on the training and was a good experience.

After this positive feedback, one participant told the trainer that they felt it was a “huge waste of time” and that they didn’t come along to learn relaxation but instead the communications skills the training session promised.

In this instance, the trainer could defend their decision to begin the class on relaxation and explain to the participant the role of relaxation in learning. The trainer might also be tempted suggest to the participant that they could do with a bit of ‘relaxation’ as they sound very aggressive and have failed to take into consideration the trainers ‘good intent’ regarding the exercise.

However, a Learning Leader would look at this situation and recognise that they asked for feedback and they got some. The comment from the participant was given in the way it was because it was about the participant.

The Learning Leader can receive this feedback and when planning for other sessions, in the future, think about how they could support a person in the room who didn’t want something that was not directly tied into the session. Perhaps explain the objective of the relaxation exercise and the relationship between stress and learning.

A Learning Leader is not going to judge the person for their comments or get hurt and dislike the participant for the remainder of the session. Judging others debilitates learning.

Here, the Learning Leader is invited to focus more on what is going on for them (rather than the participant) in this process. Do you have a desire to fix situations with advice? A focus on talking rather than listening? Or a challenge with releasing judgment?

Being a leader requires a rigorous attention to one’s reactions or emotional triggers. Then, without judgment or criticism, learn from them, correct or realign and get back to the room.

4. Accepting Feedback

Learning Leaders not only invite feedback but can offer it responsibly as well. We give feedback for one reason and one reason only: to help the other person improve their competencies. It is not negative or positive. It is simply feedback.

Performance feedback can be given two ways: through constructive feedback or through praise and criticism. Avoid the praise and criticism trap, as both are likely to be personal judgments about an effort or outcome, with praise being a favorable judgment and criticism, an unfavorable judgment. And the information given is could be too general and vague, or focused on the personal, and based on opinions or feelings.

In contrast, constructive feedback is information-specific, issue-focused, and based on observations. It comes in two varieties:

1. Positive feedback is information or input about an effort well done.

2. Negative feedback is information or input about an effort that needs improvement. Negative feedback doesn't mean a terrible performance, but rather a performance in which the outcomes delivered should be better. So negative is not a negative word in this case.

Content –What you say

Content is what you say when giving constructive feedback. Be specific. Without the specifics, you only have praise or criticism. Start each key points with an "I" message, such as, "I have noticed," "I have observed," "I have seen," and "I" messages help you to remain issue-focused and get to the specifics.

Manner – How you say it

  1. Be direct when delivering your message. Get to the point and avoid hesitation. Both negative and positive feedback should be given in a straightforward manner.
  2. Be sincere and avoid giving mixed messages. Sincerity says that you mean what you say with care and respect. Mixed messages are referred to as "yes, but" messages. For example, "John, you have worked hard on this project, but . . .." The word "but," along with its cousins "however" and "although," when said in the middle of a thought, create contradictions or mixed messages. In essence, putting "but" in the middle tells the other person, "Don't believe a thing I said before."

When giving positive feedback, express acknowledgement. Appreciation alone is praise. Yet when you add it to the specifics of constructive feedback, your message is actually an acknowledgement, which carries more sincerity and far less judgment.

When giving negative feedback, express concern. A tone of concern communicates a sense of importance and caring and provides the appropriate level of sincerity to the message. Tones such as anger, frustration, disappointment, and the ever-popular sarcasm tend to color the language of the message and turn attempts at negative feedback into criticism. The content of the message gets lost in the harshness.

State observations, not interpretations. Observations are what you see occur; interpretations are your analysis or opinion of what you see occur. Tell what you've noticed, not what you think of it, and report the behavior you notice at a concrete level, instead of as a characterization of the behavior. Observations have a far more factual and nonjudgmental aspect than do interpretations.

Critical feedback, when viewed as such, is an opportunity to expand one’s understanding, is more often a tool for achieving positive results. Properly given, critical feedback becomes constructive feedback.

One of the reasons we tend to resist critical feedback is that a good part of our self- image may be based on how others view us. When we find out that someone sees us in a less-than-positive light, we may feel distressed or hurt.

5. Respond Powerfully to Critical Feedback

 

Here’s an exercise adapted from Giving and Receiving Feedback: Building Constructive Communication by Patti Hathaway, designed to bring awareness to how you react or respond to critical feedback:
Place a plus (+) by those situations you handle appropriately, a minus (-) by those you avoid handling, and a zero (0) by those you handle adequately but not well.

Examine those situations that you marked with a plus (+) and list the actions you took that caused you to be effective:

Analyze those situations that you marked with a minus (–) or zero (0). Write down why those situations are difficult for you to handle and the actions you typically take.

1. Are any of the reasons you listed above related to your self-image, or to old beliefs and underlying commitments? If so, what are some patterns you are beginning to notice?

2. What positive self-talk statements can you use to counter your negative beliefs and messages?

3. Hearing critical feedback requires at least two skills: the ability to respond to the person in a way that doesn’t make things worse, and listening for the kernel of truth in what they say and finding ways to check in with it objectively. These are also some of the most significant core competencies for coaches so the good news is you are already working on these!

Examine those situations that you marked with a plus (+) and list the actions you took that caused you to be effective:

Analyze those situations that you marked with a minus (–) or zero (0). Write down why those situations are difficult for you to handle and the actions you typically take.

1. Are any of the reasons you listed above related to your self-image, or to old beliefs and underlying commitments? If so, what are some patterns you are beginning to notice?

2. What positive self-talk statements can you use to counter your negative beliefs and messages?

3. Hearing critical feedback requires at least two skills: the ability to respond to the person in a way that doesn’t make things worse, and listening for the kernel of truth in what they say and finding ways to check in with it objectively. These are also some of the most significant core competencies for coaches so the good news is you are already working on these!

A 3-Stage Response to Critical Feedback

1. Awareness.

We take notice that we are being criticized and our automatic reations take over. We may react by counterattacking and becoming defensive, rationalizing and excusing, or we may become silent and closed off.

A more effective approach for handling critical feedback is to be aware that critical feedback is just feedback, an observation with the intent to teach and improve—and then move quickly to assessing its merit.

2. Assessment.

You assess how the critical feedback was delivered, the intention of the critic, and how valid you believe the feedback to be. Make sure you understand what your feedback- giver says and means. Ask questions for clarification.

3. Action.

Finally you decide what action, if any, you want to take concerning the content of the feedback.

Remember, effective feedback creates a kind of awareness that makes a difference in how one sees things. It provides insight, opens thought and expands vision.

If you wish to welcome greatness into your life and embrace your leadership in the learning environment you must be willing to embrace constructive feedback without being defensiveness. You must be open to what others have to say about you, whether perceived to be truthful or not. You must be willing to suppress the natural tendency of feeling attacked, or of retaliation.

Some believe there is always an element of truth in any kind of feedback than we are offered a wonderful growth opportunity. If we can humbly and diligently scrutinize any feedback or perceived criticism for any elements of truth, regardless of how inconsequential, than we can not become a wise and masterful coach but grow as a fully present and engaged individual.

Reading and Resources

Edutopia

Feeding the Elephant

Daily Montessori

Follow the Child (and other principles)

Giving Constructive Feedback

By Marty Brounstein from Coaching and Mentoring For Dummies

Workplace Coach: There is a skill in delivering critical feedback

By Maureen Moriarty

Chapter 14. Factors Hindering Constructive Feedback

Benefits of Constructive Feedback

By Alex Ihama

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