Once again, our Community of Practice webinar was a great success! We really love having discussions with our practitioners and inviting people to participate in the conversation. Many relevant questions were asked during the last webinar and we decided to share some of them with you. We invite you to listen to the insightful stories of the five practitioners on the recording below. You can also go through the Q&A below to learn more about the practical applications of CoachingOurselves.
Q&A from our latest Community of Practice webinar
1) What exactly does a facilitator guide look like? Do participants get a handout?
There is no facilitator guide per say. With CoachingOurselves facilitators and participants share the same module, which is a ~15-page workbook with the content, questions, exercises and timings required for the session. The facilitator’s role, mainly, is to ensure participants follow the instructions as written on each page of the workbook.
2) Can you give a brief overview of CoachingOurselves?
CoachingOurselves is a peer group coaching leadership development program based on Henry Mintzberg’s approach. It is a process in which small groups of managers in an organization get together for 90-minute sessions, usually on a monthly basis, so that they can help one another improve their practice of management. The process is guided by a CoachingOurselves module (over 80) written by world-renowned authors, on a variety of themes. The learning happens as a result of the reflection and dialogue catalyzed by the content, questions, and exercises in each module.
3) What is included in a module/package… questions, discussion points?
The module contains about 15 pages. Each page has a bit of content to introduce a concept, and then an exercise or specific instruction which gets the group to talk about their experiences as managers related to the concept.
4) How fresh is the CoachingOurselves content?
New modules are introduced typically once every month or two. Older modules are edited and refreshed once every 2 to 3 years. However, in many cases, the modules are based on work by authors that remains relevant for decades. CoachingOurselves is not about learning the latest fads in management thinking, the content is focused on high-end conceptual ideas around themes of management. The content is structured in a way that stimulates participants to think about their own experiences, make sense of them, and come to conclusions about what they could do differently, rather than just content that needs to be learned.
5) What info do you send as a pre-read?
There is no need to pre-read anything with CoachingOurselves. All participants receive the module ahead of time. They are welcome to read and prepare or just show up to the session without preparation. It’s up to them to decide what they need to be comfortable and to be ready to have a dialogue about their practice of management with their fellow managers.
6) What ways do you capture impact of feedback from groups?
There are two broad ways in which you capture impact or feedback from groups. At the end of each session participants discuss what they plan to do as a result of the session. These are always small and simple little actions. At the beginning of each session participants are given an opportunity to share how these actions went. This can be captured and tabulated if needed. Participants are also asked to articulate why they think this is a valuable way to spend their time at the end of each session. As managers, we ask them to use their judgment to articulate why this activity is helping them better achieve their goals as a manager or leader. In a broader session, we ask senior leaders to look at the impact on operational KPIs with larger CoachingOurselves roll-outs in which we can compare with control groups (teams or divisions not using CoachingOurselves) and then tease out differences.
7) How do you pick up people into the groups? Is that choice based on any criteria?
Creating groups depends on what you are trying to accomplish, chemistry of the group, and logistical realities. If you are trying to break down silos then you would create cross functional groups, if you are trying to strengthen teams then you would create groups from intact teams. In some cases, you might know certain people with certain personalities should not be in the same group as others, so you don’t put them in the same group. In other cases, you know they really don’t work well together, but they should learn how to work well together, so you put them in the same group. It really all depends!
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