Video as a Third Point for Reflection

Karen Smith and David Baker, authors

In embodying the identity of a Cognitive Coach, a value we hold is that of fostering self-directedness in our coachees. This involves building capacity in self-managing, self-monitoring and self-modifying behaviors. In aligning our process with our core beliefs as a coach, it is critical that we engage our coachees in opportunities to generate their own sources of data. Rather than the coach providing feedback for a coachee to reflect upon and grow from, our coachees need to seek opportunities to grow from reflection based on the data they chose to bring to the conversation.

One possible source of data is a coachee’s recall of an event. While this is held in the coachee’s memory, this source of data may be limiting. As mentioned in our previous two posts, Cognitive Load, the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve and perception bias often impact one’s ability to adequately recall with objectivity. Further, because recall of events are often tied to the emotion we experienced during the event, our recall runs the risk of offering a subjective data point. In essence, variables tied to memory have the potential of tainting our current reality.

The second possible source of data for a coachee is video. As mentioned, video serves as an objective third point that is free of perception bias and subjective recall. Much like the process for calibrating, a coach has the option of inviting a coachee to view his/her own video of instruction and identify the focal point for reflection. The questions formulated are based on how the coachee is constructing meaning as a result of viewing his/her video. Through the cycle of pause, paraphrase, pause, pose question, a coach who is listening for states of mind now has an opportunity to refine paraphrases and questions by pairing states of mind intended to invite cognitive shift with questions centered around what video directly and objectively provides. These questions might include:

• What do you notice? (consciousness)
• As you watch yourself, what do you notice about your decisions and their impact? (craftsmanship)
• As you planned this lesson, you chose …. After watching your video, what options might you now consider? (flexibility)
• As you watch your video, what are some of the things you are doing to make it go so well? (efficacy)
• How might you leverage this video to share your practice with others? /How might you solicit video evidence from others to building your own capacity? (interdependence)

Next week we will explore how video as a third point and video to promote increased noticing provides even greater depth in a coachee’s capacity to use video as an accelerator of reflection.