Learning coaching

There is no improvement in my condition despite all the medicine. Neither the anti-inflammatory pills nor the antibiotics made any difference. It was as if I was not taking anything. Someone joked that if you have ‘la grippe’’ and you consult a doctor and take medicine it takes about 8 days to clear; if you don’t do anything it takes 7 days; but enough about all this. I am not suffering from a dangerous illness and I know I will wear the virus out at some point, before it wears me out.

This morning we sat around the table putting the finishing touches on a two day coaching workshop for my project colleagues. I am working with the project’s capacity building team. They are learning and facilitating, putting the rails in front of the moving train. It’s been a fun assignment for me because the people are very well seasoned adult educators and knowledgeable about things that are entirely new in most other places I work.  So this makes my life very easy.  All the emphasis is and should be in the design. If the design is solid, facilitation is easy; if it is a rickety affair, facilitation becomes very difficult. I have gotten in trouble a few times when questioning a rickety design in which I had a facilitation task that set me up to fail.

Having earned my own coaching credentials in a program that was spread out over 10 months and some 250 hours it is a challenge to design something practical in such a short time (2 days). It has to be a program that will increase people’s confidence in coaching enough to start practicing something resembling coaching after Wednesday. We tried to hone in on the most important elements of coaching: listening and asking good questions. They are also going to practice with silence. Tomorrow morning I will find out how much silence they can tolerate.

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September 2014
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