Skype A Coach?

What I Learned from Dr Kate Anthony

I invited Dr Kate Anthony (www.kateanthony.net), an expert in online/virtual learning to spend a few hours with our team of executive coaches, and pass on her vast working knowledge on the subject.

We learned loads!  Just a few snippets include:

  • The need to let coaching clients know that Microsoft own the proprietary rights to all Skype calls and could publish on the internet (obviously a small chance of this ever happening, but coaching clients need to know and assent)
  • How incredibly healing it can be for some people, to undertake online therapy in the comfort of their own homes e.g. through an avatar
  • The notion of the bubble we are in, when we’re on our mobile phones in public; more and more people are talking without inhibition in trains, public spaces, so that it isn’t inconceivable that in the near future people will be coached on their smartphone whilst sitting in a bus surrounded by people, without worrying about who hears Continue reading
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Mindset Shift – Whoa!

Mindset Shift – Whoa!

I was working with a group of senior academics yesterday, training them in coaching skills.  It always interests me how the coaching mindset is very different from the traditional management mindset.  And it fascinates me how this realisation, this learning, comes in different ways for different people.  We had several lightbulb moments yesterday!

Several learnings stand out for me as the trainer of coaches:

  • Keep reinforcing that the Goal of the coaching session is not the goal for the problem to be solved (e.g. I want to spend less time at work), rather, the Goal is ‘what do I want to get out of this coaching conversation?’ (e.g. I want to understand why I spend so much time at work, so that I can start to identify ways in which I could reduce this).  This is sometimes a subtle differentiation, other times not so much.  But it’s always important.  Also, have the coaches write down the goal and articulate it back to the coachee.
  • Help line-manager-coaches understand that even though they are managerially accountable for the performance and behaviour of the person they are coaching, when they choose to undertake facilitative coaching (one end of the coaching spectrum for line managers), they need to become disciplined in standing back from ‘the problem’, and ask open, facilitative questions.  Easier said than done, as Julie Starr describes so well in her book Brilliant Coaching. Continue reading
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