When you think of professional coaching, what comes to mind? At Innovageous, we directly coach leaders, while empowering them to be coaches themselves. Additionally, we build the capacity of organizations to implement aligned, sustainable coaching systems. Our coaching takes a supportive role in which we collaborate with our clients and live into our values of inclusion, lifelong learning, solutions-orientation, responsiveness, and, of course, being Innovageous (innovative + courageous). In practice, we make coaching Innovageous by offering flexible thought-partnership that both meets our coachees where they are and pushes them to think outside the box - often outside their comfort zone. Take a look at 9 ways we engage our clients in collaborative coaching that go above and beyond one-way conversations, or cycles of observation and feedback.
We often hear well-intentioned leaders say, “Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions.” However, we know that collaboration and creativity go hand-in-hand, especially when we are talking about complex problems in education. So, bring us your problems, and together we can come up with some possible solutions! A key practice when working with adults is to ground learning in relevant, work-related experiences. By inviting coachees to share their current challenges, we can then troubleshoot, practice, and come up with possible solutions together that they can put into action right away!
Did we mention collaboration and creativity go together? We work with our coachees to plan out the details of upcoming meetings, lessons, trainings, or professional learning experiences. The process starts with setting a goal or intention, and includes exploring resources, identifying aligned strategies, and proactively preparing for whatever lies ahead!
Practice Tough Conversations
“Walk toward the pain,” is a common phrase we use at Innovageous to remind us that living into our values and setting boundaries is not always comfortable, but is essential. It also takes practice with a trusted coach. The coaching sessions in which we practice values-aligned action and tough conversations are often the most powerful and relationship-forging. Practicing difficult conversations increases leader confidence in their personal and organizational values, as well as strengthens the relationship between them and the people they lead.
Sometimes, the best way to share an idea is to show, not tell. That’s where micro-modeling comes in as a key coaching tool. It’s a short, but impactful, demonstration with the purpose of allowing a coachee to see a strategy done expertly in practice, followed by focused reflection on how to implement the practice in the future.
Videos are great for two reasons: (1) they continue the coaching conversation outside of the time the coach and coachee are together in the same space, and (2) they allow coachees to view and gain insight into their own practice as an outside observer. Videos are a way to spark self-reflection and showcase successes. We highly recommend using video as a catalyst for change, and to increase shared understanding between coach and coachee.
Co-Develop Action Plans
Part of our purpose as coaches is to help our clients answer the question, “Where do I start?” While we take time to develop aligned vision, goals, values, and intentions with our coachees, it’s equally important to plan the actions that set them in their intended direction.
Resource Sharing & Sensemaking
An experienced coach can pinpoint a credible resource, or better yet, has a stockpile of tried and true resources they have accumulated. By taking time to hear from coachees about the areas they would like to focus on, we can then spend time exploring resources and ideas to support them as leaders and colleagues.
Review Best Practices
Elevating and unpacking what it means to implement best practices with fidelity is an important role of a coach. Starting with narrowing down the practices that have research and evidence, and leading to a strong understanding, results in the ability of coachees to implement best practices themselves and turnkey them with their staff and colleagues.
Coach in Real Time
In the classroom, experienced educators know how to make the most of teachable moments. The same applies to leader and staff coaching. As much as possible, coaching should involve in-the-moment teaching and support for coachees in their actual work environment. Not only does this bring insight that coaches may not gain by simply talking to their coachees, but it also allows the coach to make their expert thinking and decision-making even more transparent to the coachee. It also generates shared experiences that lead to clarity and relationship-building.
As you plan your own coaching, consider these 9 Innovageous ways to make an impact on teacher and leader practice, and, ultimately, on the positive learning experiences of children.
Innovageous is here to help! Reach out to us at email@example.com or visit the Innovageous website to gain collaborative coaching for your executives, leaders, and staff, and/or to build a customized coaching system for your organization.