31 October 2017

Coach Retreat Fall 2017 - Clean Language & Balance

Clean Language

In the first half of the coach retreat, we practiced clean language.
Clean Language is a technique that is used especially in psychotherapy and coaching, and more recently as a research interview technique. Clean Language helps clients to discover and develop symbols and metaphors without any content introduced by the therapist/coach/interviewer.
Mike Bowler facilitated the session. We have gone through a coaching scenario on how to ask questions on clearing the language. It really helps build reputation with the coachee in the explorations phase. These were the clarifying questions we asked.
  • Developing Questions
    • What kind of X (is that X)?
    • Is there anything else about X?
    • Where is X? or (and) whereabouts is X?
    • Is there a relationship between X and Y?
    • When X, what happens to Y?
    • That’s X like what?
  • Sequence and Source
    • Then what happens?
    • What happens just before X?
    • Where could X come from?
  • Intention Questions
    • What would X like to have happen?
    • What needs to happen for X?
    • Can X (happen)?
Keep in mind, It has to be your Metaphor to work! Otherwise it won't!


In the second half of the coach retreat, we practiced the Balance method from co-active. Peter LePiane facilitated the session and helped us to go through that. We practiced it using a scenario in mind, and looking it from different perspective. The idea was unique and somehow controversial to me. It was controversial in a sense that the coach is bringing bias to the conversation by introducing, or better saying suggesting, perspectives.

For detailed instruction on balance, you can visit The Balance Formula at a Glance.

10 October 2017

Coaching Triads - The Most Effective Way to Practice Coaching in a Safe and Confidential Space

Coaching Triads are a setting in which you can practice coaching and get better at it. It requires a safe and confidential space to practice coaching. So be clear about that.

How does it work?

In three rounds, you practice coaching as a coach, a client, and an observer. In each rotation, you play a different role. I always suggest that the coach becomes the observer in the next round and so on. There is a detailed illustration below.

What’s your role?

As a Client

  • Bring a real issue - choose something that is current and relevant to you. Something that you haven’t found a solution to it already. Do not bring in old problems that you have solved. 
  • Remember the point of this is for the coach to practice.

As a  Coach

  • Coach!
  • This is a safe space to try new and different styles of coaching, tools, and techniques and to take some risks.
  • Be clear about your intentions.
  • Be open to feedback, do not try to resist it and defend yourself. This is valuable information for you to improve on and grow. 

As an Observer

  • Remember, you're observing mainly the coach, to provide him with valuable feedback. It will be very valuable to focus on the coaching relationship and the client. However, don’t let that take your focus away from giving most of your attention to the coach.
  • Don’t interrupt the coach. Don't offer suggestions to the coach or the client.
  • Take notes of what appeared effective in the session. Write down specific things the coach said that were very helpful.
  • Provide feedback to the Coach at the end of the session. Use specific examples and try to focus on both positive and constructive feedback. 
Figure 1 - Coaching Triad - Suggested Rotations