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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

Knowing When to Consult

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


May 19, 2016

Thinking Collaborative trainers are often asked by novice coaches about guidelines for decision making about shifting from coaching to consulting. Costa and Garmston, the developers of Cognitive CoachingSM, offer three guidelines:

• The coach knows the person well enough to accurately assess the teacher’s need for information or ideas. This requires trust and relationship building as part of a coaching relationship.

• The coach has knowledge of what has worked in the past for this teacher. Such knowledge would include knowledge of the teacher’s filters of perception, experiences, and willingness to risk. In other words, the teacher is capable of implementing the ideas.

• The teacher asks for help. We may assume that giving is helping when it may not be perceived that way.

Consider a person you are coaching? How do these criteria inform your decisions about when to consult? As you analyze past choice to consult, which of these have been things you have consciously thought about?

Costa, A. L., & Garmston, R. J. (with C. Hayes & J. Ellison). (2015). Cognitive Coaching: Developing self-directed leaders and learners (Christopher-Gordon New Editions, 3rd ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield

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