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The library of essays of Proakatemia

How to improve your coaching skills



Kirjoittanut: Luca Ferrari - tiimistä Avanteam.

Esseen tyyppi: Akateeminen essee / 3 esseepistettä.

KIRJALÄHTEET
KIRJA KIRJAILIJA
coaching habit
Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone
Michael Bungay Stanier
John Whitmore
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 8 minuuttia.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2

WHAT IS COACHING (THEORY) …………………………………………………………………………………… 2

EXPERIMENTATION (WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?) ………………………………………………………….. 3

ALEKS …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3 LUCA ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4

WHAT COULD WE HAVE DONE BETTER? (CONSIDERING THE THEORY AND THE EXPERIMENTATION) ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4

CONCLUSION……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5 WORKS CITED………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6

Introduction

Coaching is a new warden of our vocabulary now, since we have started the Procademia, we don’t say teachers but coaches. there is a big difference between those two ways of sharing learnings. teachers are there to tell you what you must learn, instead of that, coaches show you the way you can take to reach your goals. But what is really coaching? how do we really coach someone, a group of people and the team? what gives the best results; coaching or teaching? those are questions I’ve been asking to myself since the beginning of Proakatemia. in this article we’ll start by explaining you with the theory what coaching is. then we will speak about our own experiences at the Proakatemia as students in entrepreneurship. we will then try to compare the theory to our experience in order to know what could have been done differently. and finally, will propose you a simple tool to implement coaching in your daily life and use it as a powerful tool to help your team improving.

 

What is coaching (Theory)

Coaching happens in everyday life more than we know it. Classic examples of coaching are a sports team coach or a music teacher. These people give advice on how to become better at a certain thing that is being studied. Coaching can also be taken to other aspects of life such as relationships and well-being. The main point of the idea is to give advice or help another person to achieve their goals through conversation.

The book, the coaching habit, suggests that leaders should coach their workers every day in order empower them so that they can become more self-sufficient and self-reliant rather than become reliant on their leader. The focus of these discussions is on the development of the employer and not the performance of the employer. This is extremely important to keep in mind as leaders and managers often get too caught up on the numbers and performance of their teams rather than their personal development.

The book goes on to explain the three questions that should be asked in order to initiate and maintain a good conversation with an employee. These questions are the “Kickstarter questions”, “AWE question” and the “Focus question”. The point of the Kickstarter question is to start the conversation with the employee and the question simply is “What is on your mind?”. This simple question will allow the employee to talk about anything that might be bothering them, and it allows for the leader to gain insight into the employee’s trails of thought. If the question leads to a discussion about the employees weekend for 20 minutes, which is not necessarily a bad thing, the next questions “AWE” or “And what else” is a great way to get the conversation back on track to be a more constructive dialogue about the things that are on the persons mind. The final question is the “focus questions” where the aim is to find out what the real problem is that the employee is trying to talk about. With the other questions the person might talk but it might be irrelevant to what the root of the issue really is (Stanier, 2006).

 

With the book “the coaching habits”, we’ve seen how important it is to ask the good questions in order to make our teammates speak more and understand them better. In his book, “Just listen: the secret to getting through to absolutely”, Mark Goulston explain us the importance of listening after asking a question. In this book Mr. Goulston give us 30 tools to show our interlocutor that we listening to him.

One tool that I found interesting, was the secret to reaching everyone. just by asking:” tell me more”. With this simple question, you will show the person in front of you that you give him interest. So, he will trust you and keep giving you precious information. And the reformulation is a powerful tool too.

By reformulate what the order says to you, with his own words, you’re showing him that you’re listen to him and you’re understanding him. Every time you finish reformulates something ask: “Am I right? “, in order to be sure that you’ve completely understand what the other is trying to tell you.

Be conscious that listening doesn’t mean hearing. when you’re listening to someone, try to put all your judgments aside. You are listening as a white paper. You’re there to have a deep talk with the person not just a casual speaks, you may go to really know the person that is in front of you; what does she feels, what does she thinks, what is in her mind, etc. What you think you know is probably wrong. You must talk with her by opening your mind to know what she really is.

I really advise you to read this book if you want to be great leader. It will give you many tools that you can easily implement in your daily conversations, in order to have real dialogue and knowing better and better each day you team. (M.D., 2018)

 

Experimentation (What have you done?)

Aleks

My experiences of coaching have been quite varied. In the book that I read coaching can be a range of things such as learning a new instrument or having one on one sessions with a person who asks you questions about your experiences such as a therapist. I have personally learned a lot from my previous guitar teacher who taught me skills such as patience that I use in my studying and working life to this day.

In Proaktemia I was approached by Luca Ferrari to do a “Jimminy Cricket” where we would check up on each other and ask questions relating to our weekly goals and tasks that we wanted to do. It has been extremely helpful and with just a simple fix of having a friend asking what is going on with your life whether it is studies or personal life related, it can be a huge help and having another perspective on things can open one’s mind to new possibilities.

Another form of coaching that I have done is having business leader meetings with our other leader in Avanteam. We decided that it would be good to have discussions about what we can do as leaders in order to make the team better and how to improve things as we go along in Proakatemia. During this Corona Virus situation, we had recognized that team morale had fallen, and that people were getting demotivated to do things for the team. Through our meeting with our other business leader we worked on creating surveys as well as one on one conversations with each team member

 

to ask them how they were. After we gained some answers from our team members, we were able to come up with solutions that could help us develop the team and most importantly allow everyone to tap into their full potential for the remaining time we had at Proakatemia. We created forms and rules that could help us all in the team and some of the rules were relating towards online behaviour and how we should all act during Zoom meetings. Another thing we produced was a document defining roles of people such as project managers in projects.

Luca

When I was at the team Academy in Switzerland, I had the opportunity to be coached two times. It was interesting being with someone who just listened to you and asked you some questions based on what you were telling. The coach can put you in a deep-thinking situation, just by asking you some questions. He will let you find the answers you needed by yourself.

So, when I first arrived at the Proakatemia in Tampere, I discovered that I was in a team of IB students. It means that they never did the Proakatemia before. It was huge opportunity for me, to coach them and help them being a team in only six months. After few weeks I realized that not everybody was ready to give 100% in order to build a team.

I decided to focus on individual coaching. I had one experience with a girl of my team. She asked me to coach her on “how to become a better leader?”. We took an hour to speak about leadership. During this hour, I knew I would have made many mistakes, because it was my first individual coaching. I decided to film this hour of coaching and send it to my Swiss coaches in order to have feedbacks. In this article will try to see what I could have done better, after the feedbacks of my coach, and those two books have been reading. But first, I’ll summarize you what I’ve done during this coaching hour.

We’ll speak about the content and the form. One of the first mistake I’ve made with the form was the disposal. During the coaching we’re sitting across from each other, and there was a table between us. then during the coaching session, I decided to take notes, I was writing on a paper, trying to summarize what I was hearing.

Then with the content, we decided at the beginning to speak about leadership, so I prepared some questions about leadership, before the coaching session. During this hour of coaching session, I’ve been giving a lot of inputs, I was giving my own vision of leadership too. To be sure that I really understand what was saying, I need a little summarize of the situation at the end of each point. At some points, have been using concrete situations that’s happened in the past to help her visualize better what has been done. We finished the coaching session with clear goals to put in practice, and decided you speak about it the next time.

 

What could we have done better? (considering the theory and the experimentation)

About the form, the way you organize the space is important. Something that could have done better, will have been to put the chairs next to each other and not having a table between us, I could represent a border for deep conversations. Then, instead of having my own paper, I could have used a flipchart take notes and make it visual for both of us.

About the content, wonderful of the first thing that must be done the beginning of the coaching session is to speak about the rules, the confidentiality and saying the other that he can leave whenever he wants, he hasn’t to stay. Then we clearly must define the goal and stay on it, we shouldn’t try to open other doors of subjects. if we decided to speak about leadership, we should only speak about it. in a coaching you shouldn’t organize your questions before the session. you should dance with the moment, taking what is happening. In his book “just listened”, there is this great example of “tell me more”. This simple question gives the opportunity to call deeper in your mind and trying to find a solution by yourself. sometimes there is a silence after this question, that’s not bad. it simply means that there is a huge reflection. and after the answer, you can simply ask: “do you have some examples”. will help a person to go in a concrete reflection. once she told you all she was thinking about the subject, just ask: “what is stopping you to put it in practice?”. make the others think of what can help her, which resources she needs and what can stop her, what are her limits.

The four main points I would like you to remember about my own experience are:

  1. Always defined goal
  2. Be careful with the cap you’re wearing; are you a coach or a mentor
  3. Reformulate, with her own words, in order to so you really listening to her
  4. Use a flipchart to summarize the coaching session

In terms of improvement and things that I can do better, I have noticed that through my coaching sessions and individual talks, it is important to make sure that everyone who is a part of the conversation knows what the topic is. When communicating with people there is a lot of room for misinterpretation and people can understand your message in completely different ways. An example of this would be the when me and the other team leader of Avanteam had our first ever meeting. There was a misunderstanding which lead to a discussion that took longer than should have.

Another thing that could have been done better is knowing my role. My experiences were very indirect. There was no definite “coach” role when I was in Proakatemia and having conversation with teammates and our team leader. We were always approaching conversations as the same person and there was no definite mentor or coach approach. In the future it would be good to define these so that when giving feedback each person understands its coming from a constructive point of view.

Conclusion

In conclusion coaching can be implemented into everyday life of any person. Proakatemia has been a great experience for both of us as we have had the chance to listen, learn and apply different tools and ways of thinking. Having constructive discussions is very important and one can start practicing them on one’s self. Asking questions such as the theory presented in “the Coaching Habit” can really help one put ideas and thoughts into perspective and get to the heart of the issue faster.

Works Cited

Stanier, M. B. (2006). The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever. Box of Crayons.

M.D., M. G. (2018). Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone. Amacom.

 

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