17. Group Coaching: Orienting Participants

PART 1—Welcome and Introductions (1 hour)

  1. The Sponsor, Project Manager, and Facilitators introduce themselves, their roles, and the reasons for implementing Action Learning in support of the organization’s strategic goals. The Sponsor may address specifically the short- and mid-term goals of the organization and how Group Coaching has the potential to impact these goals. The Project Manager (PM) continues as master of ceremonies with assistance from the Facilitators (F). Orientation leaders encourage Q & A throughout.
  2. PM explains: Why/How (Company Name) selected orientation attendees as participants.
  3. Participants share their names, roles/titles, and personal/professional interests.
  4. PM presents a brief overview of the Action Learning principles and the purpose of Group Coaching.
  5. PM describes the personal and professional benefits (and workplace applications) that set members value and enjoy as a result of taking part in this Group Coaching experience, such as developing new competencies and enriching current strengths:
    • Shared leadership and accountability
    • Attentive listening.
    • Asking high-gain questions.
    • Making decisions and solving problems.
    • Managing conflict and differences in opinions and values.
    • Informed risk-taking.
    • Creating personal development plans.
    • Developing and using knowledge gained from experience.
    • Effectively challenging assumptions and ideas.
    • Displaying supportive nonverbal communication.
    • Incorporating professional development stretch goals into their performance discussions.
    • Increasing their proficiency at recognizing what they need to learn and how to accelerate that learning. (When everyone on a team agrees to become a proficient learner, team members interact as equals. They become open to new experiences—even welcoming change. They find fresh inspiration to develop individually and as a member of the group. This commitment to learning enriches each person’s growth, the vitality and effectiveness of the team and department, and ultimately, the strength and health of Company Name).
  6. PM briefly explains the differences between Group Coaching and traditional training, emphasing confidentiality. Other differences include:
    • An individual challenge
    • The work of the set
    • Reflective inquiry
    • The action
    • Commitment to learning
    • The facilitator’s role
  7. PM reviews the components of Group Coaching:
    • Logistics, timelines, meeting locations.
    • Managing workload and set participation.
    • Attendance.
    • Topics to explore for the year of Group Coaching (examples: adapting to a change, improving quality, product/process improvement, customer satisfaction, etc.).
    • The Pre-work Challenge Sheet and the attributes of a meaningful personal Challenge:
      • Related to an individual’s development and effectiveness via a 360, Employee Opinion Survey, or other data source.
      • That doesn’t have clear answers; an issue that’s difficult to solve with the participant’s current breadth and depth of expertise.
      • Aligned with one of the organizational macro themes. (Example: improving my ability to motivate performance that will impact quality).

Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do. Benjamin Spock

PART 2— Group Members Meet with their Facilitator (2 hours including break)

  1. Participants begin interacting with their set through an introductory activity comprising about an hour’s time. (Leadership/Visual Explorer or My World, etc.)
  2. F presents Group Coaching: A Powerful and Practical Handbook
  3. F summarizes the responsibilities and expectations of participants via a tour of the Handbook:
    • Attendance
    • Confidentiality
    • Pre-work
    • Goal setting content and outcomes/ROI: (e.g. are you better at running meetings? What are the indicators that you’re improving? Are you more comfortable with respectful confrontation?)
    • Journaling
    • Learning Contract
    • Volunteer to post emails and cell phone numbers.
  4. With F as a guide, set creates ground rules for successful work together (no phones, punctuality, etc.)
  5. F reviews actions in preparation for first set meeting: Boss discussion, sign learning contract, complete pre-work.
  6. Wrap-up: participants share their best insights from the Orientation and Journal component.

Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is. Isaac Asimov

 

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