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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey


Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


September 01, 2014

In both Cognitive CoachingSM and Adaptive Schools, we refer to capabilities. Capabilities are guiding metacognitive principles that we hold on to consciously in making decisions. They are larger than skills in that they are not behaviors, per se, but guides for decision-making about when and how to use or not use skills.

Here are the four capabilities of a Cognitive Coach:

• Know one’s intentions and choose congruent behaviors

• Set aside unproductive patterns of listening, responding, and inquiring

• Adjust one’s style preferences

• Navigate between and within coaching maps and support functions to guide mediational interactions

Here are the four group member capabilities from Adaptive Schools:

• Know one’s intentions and choose congruent behaviors

• Set aside unproductive patterns of listening, responding, and inquiring

• Know when to self-assert and when to integrate

• Know and support the group’s purposes, topics, processes and development

Notice the first two are the same in each. “Sustaining the TC Journey” will elaborate on these in the next weeks. This week begins with the capability that drives all of the others, “Know one’s intentions and choose congruent behaviors.” The word “intention” implies purposefulness. When we are guided by this capability we become more self-directed in achieving our purpose. It is a key facet of becoming self-managing.

As a coach, I am guided by this capability in that it heightens my consciousness regarding which support function I am choosing. It then guides me to choose which tools I will use to navigate the support function. Being congruent to intention is fulfilling not only to the person coaching, but to the coachee as well, as it builds trust through consistency and transparency.

As a group member, this intentionality supports the group in achieving its tasks, living its mission, and developing as a group. When I know my intention, I can be strategic and focused on how I interact with the group. It also assists me in controlling counterproductive behaviors.

Some ways you might become more consciously intentional this week are:

• Ask yourself, “What is my intention for this interaction? How will I behave given that intention?”

• Reflect on a meeting or interaction by asking yourself, “Were my behaviors congruent to my intention?”

• Look at your calendar for the week and note the support function(s) you intend to use for each event?

• If you are not sure of intentions in an interaction, speak to your intentions or request information about the intentions of others.

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