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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

The Outcome Structure:

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


June 24, 2013

For the month of June, we continue focusing on the third Cognitive Coaching conversation: the Problem-Resolving map.

The Outcome Structure is a tool that a coach might choose to use in the Lead when a person has very low efficacy or has a problem that has a strong third party element. The coach is careful to keep the third party out of the Pace, but invites the coachee to consider how to influence the third party in the Lead.

The structure begins by asking the coachee to identify the behaviors s/he would like to see in third party. This is followed by an exploration of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes the third party might need to acquire in order to exhibit those behaviors. The focus then shifts to the first party with consideration of strategies the coachee might employ to assist the third party in acquiring the requisite knowledge and skills. Finally, the structure assists in inviting the problem-resolver to consider the knowledge, skills, and attitudes s/he might need in order to implement the strategies.

A simple sequence of questions for the four parts might sound like:

Third Party

How would you like to see this person behaving?

For him/her to behave in that way, what might be some knowledge/skills/attitudes s/he would need to acquire?

First Party

What might be some possible strategies you could implement to assist them in acquiring those needed knowledge/skills/attitudes?

What resources (knowledge/skills/attitudes) would you need in order to implement those strategies?

Take a few minutes this week to review the strategy in the 9th edition of the Learning Guide on page 126. Consider current coaching relationships you are involved in and reflect on possible uses of the outcome structure. Practice the outcome structure by picking a third party problem in your own world. Take a few minutes to fill in the boxes on the structure on page 126. Doing this as practice on your own problem will assist you to internalize the structure and help you feel fluent when using it with others.

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