Esther Derby gave the afternoon keynote on Monday. Her presentation was on peer coaching – how do you bring back stuff you learn at a conference to your day job. The keynote was basically things to think about when you attempt to introduce change into an organization.
There are many reasons to change: introduce a new way (to fail :-)), improve things, curiosity, to save something we value. But all change involves loss and turmoil. There are some approaches that may be more effective:
- Work by attraction rather than force
- Do it – ask for forgiveness rather than permission
- Let people know what’s in it for them
- Plant a seed and be a sprinkler rather than a fire hose
Esther mentioned 5 questions that we should ask ourselves before inflicting coaching on people. Unfortunately, I didn’t write them down in my notes. A few I remember:
- Is this person ready for coaching?
- Is this person ready for coaching from me?
- Am I ready to fail and not blame?
More thoughts on coaching: Let people fail but catch them before they go too far down the wrong path. Ask questions. Frame situations. Pair – sometimes it won’t be apparent who is coaching who. Debrief. Some questions:
- What stands out?
- What was challenging?
- What went smoothly?
- What insights did you have?
- What was puzzling?
- Can you see yourself using what you’re advocating?
- What would make me a better coach?
Other things to do and not do:
- Make a Powerpoint presentation
- Don’t inflict help if folks don’t want it or aren’t ready
- Give them an overview and let them come to you if they want details.
- Check understanding by having them explain it back to you.
- Realize nodding may not equal understanding.
- Cut your losses when you realize what you’re advocating isn’t working.