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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

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

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


September 22, 2014

This capability is specific to Cognitive CoachingSM. Coaches may sometimes begin in one map, e.g., planning, and realize the person needs to have a problem-resolving conversation. The coach requires conscious attention to the meaning of the communication and needs of the person. Planning is about being precise in preparation for a future event. Reflecting is focused on making meaning from an experience by analyzing the causes of outcomes and constructing learning from those causal factors. Problem-resolving is supporting a person who is emotionally and cognitively paralyzed by a situation. The coach has to listen carefully in order to know which map will best serve the person in the moment.

This capability also refers to the support functions of coaching, collaborating, consulting, and evaluating. Coaching is a default as it is most likely to promote self-directedness. However, again careful listening gives us cues to when a person might want a different kind of support. Collaboration may be called for when a person asks for the thinking of the coach or when the two share a common goal. Consulting is offered when the person is lacking in resources and the coach has knowledge and skills to increase the resourcefulness of the other person. Evaluation is rarely needed unless there is a formal role or some action that is beyond acceptable practice.

You might want to keep a log this week of your interactions, recording which maps and which support functions you used in each. At the end of the week, analyze the patterns and trends in how you support others. Work to construct some learning about your current practices by answering some questions such as,

What maps am I using most often?

What support functions tend to be my default?

How am I differentiating my support based on the needs of my colleagues?

What causes me to shift out of coaching?

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