A Coaching Conversation

Nancy Hollmann

Nancy Hollmann

Educational Technology Coach

We want to give you a peek inside our Coach Microcredential Online Mentorship Program. Coaches taking part in this academic-year-long journey have graciously given us permission to post some of their learning and reflections from the private coursework they are undertaking during this microcredential. Where possible, we have shared the course and the action task to give context for the guest post.

Course: What Instructional Coaching Looks Like in Practice
Action Task:  Select one of the strategies from the readings and try it out with a coaching colleague (or team). Share a reflection on the experience using the prompts provided.

The experience

My coaching experience which I want to share didn’t actually happen at my school. It happened during Learning2 in Tokyo this year. I’m choosing this experience because it was an eye opener for me. It was at the end of the conference and our team reviewed quickly the take always of the conference. One of my ideas I’ve developed throughout the conference is to bring the learning and sharing experience which we experienced during L2 to our school. We have to organize a PD day in May and I shared with my team that I would like to organize it like L2. Teachers can sign-up for workshops, we have a few short keynotes, we have unconferences, etc. I told one teacher that we all should lead a workshop or present a keynote on one of the workshops we participated this year and she freaked out. It is one of her biggest fears to stand in front of big audiences, especially her teaching colleagues. So here goes my coaching strategy, which I have just learning from Dave Caleb during his workshop “Power of Personalized Coaching”.

Which strategy did you try and why?

First of all, I paraphrased her comments on why she is afraid of presenting for our PD day which was basically not knowing what to say or being embarrassed in front of her colleagues. Than I asked her, if she can think about a presentation where she was not scared and it went well (positive presupposition – when you have had success in the past, what have you done?).

How did it work for you?

Both strategies, paraphrasing and positive presupposition, as simple as they might sound, have worked surprisingly well! She was able to recall a positive experience and she explained it went well because she knew exactly about what she was talking about and she was prepared. So I ensured her, that she has plenty of time to try the things she learned at L2 in her classroom and that we coaches would help her in any way we can. She felt immediately better about doing a workshop during our PD day.

What did you learn?

I have learned that practicing small things, like how you approach people, what you say and how you say it, using conversation strategies are the first steps in becoming a better coach.

What would you do differently next time?

I would document it and be more consistent in my follow-ups.

If you received feedback from your coaching colleague (or team), tell us about it:

What was the feedback?

She was surprised herself how fast I was able to ease her mind and told me immediately that those strategies definitely worked on her.

How can you use this feedback to impact your future work?

I will definitely try these simple strategies more often and practice other strategies with my colleagues.


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A Coaching Conversation