Friday, November 21, 2008

Educators apply Cognitive CoachingSM skills

As more educators (teachers, administrators and retired administrators) across the state are learning the process of Cognitive CoachingSM, it is becoming evident that the skills and tools are becoming their default. As I travel around the state coaching educators who are currently involved in trainings or were past participants, I find they are eager to learn how to continue to develop their capacity. They want to push to the next level of coaching groups as they find using their skills in these situations valuable. A big questions is, "How do I coach and faciliate at the same time?"

So, what is coaching? Coaching is skill set. It is a capacity for effective communication. The fundament skills of coaching are: rapport, listening, giving wait time, paraphrase, probing for specificity, inquiry and the use of structures or maps.

This skills are learnable. Some of the strategies for internalizing the ability to attend to these skills at a level of automaticity include;
· Real time practice – applying the coaching skills
· Mental rehearsal
o Listening to the radio mentally formulate paraphrases to what you hear announcers speaking
o Listening to the radio or watching TV interviews, formulate questions of inquiry that you might use if you were a part of the conversation
o Listening to other people’s conversation mentally formulate paraphrases, questions or probing that you might use if you were in the conversation
o Select one skill that you want to acquire at a level of “unconscious competence” and devote intentional focus on that singular skill for an appropriate time period until you are confident that you do it automatically. (i.e. for the next two weeks I am going to pay serious attention to “rapport” etc.)

· With a friend or colleague ask them if you could practice your communication skills as you engage in a social conversation
· Using these communication skills in most conversations – it doesn’t have to be a “coaching” to make use of high level communication skills such as these. (John Dyer, 2008)

The Cognitive CoachingSM website is:

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