by Susie Strauss, PCC, BCC
Introduction to the Use of Coaching Conversation Tools for Leadership Development was a 10 hour workshop presented by Susie Strauss, PCC, BCC to members of UAB’s School of Nursing faculty and the Alabama State Nurses Association (ASNA) leadership team during the Spring of 2014.The purpose of the workshop was to present the essentials of coaching tools to leadership level nurses in the State of Alabama and UAB Nursing faculty for their use in work and personal life conversations. With the use of the interactive Blackboard system, the 2 day workshop was transmitted from Birmingham to participants in 5 other areas in the state, including Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, Dothan and one individual who was at home due to sickness. Over 20 participants attended the two sessions. The two sessions were scheduled 1 month apart to give the participants the opportunity to practice the skills and components of Coaching Conversations in their personal and professional lives.
Resources used by Susie to prepare this workshop included Patrick Williams’ CGV PowerPoint, the CLC-CGV Coaching Essentials Toolkit, and her own coaching library. The topics introduced and discussed included: the definition of coaching and its differences from counseling, consulting and mentoring; beliefs about coaching clients (including how coaching clients are seen as experts on their own lives); the 3 features of a coaching conversation (Listening Fully, Powerful Questions and Direct Communication); and several templates for coaching conversations (Coaching Funnel, 5 Step Model, and T-GROW Model).
Times were set-aside during both days for the participants to practice the discussed skills and tools with their colleagues. They then were able to ask questions and receive feedback about their experiences. They were also assigned fieldwork to practice and then monitor their use of the coaching tools between the 2 presentation dates. There was a level of excitement when they returned for the second session as some noticed shifts in their professional and personal conversations. One comment made was about how the participating nurse felt less invested in the outcome of the conversation she had with a family member and found herself listening for the family member’s brilliance about resolving their own issues. Other participants said that they practiced listening fully and really focusing on the speaker’s agenda instead of their own. They also asked for more healthcare related practice sessions.
During final wrap up part of the 10 hour workshop, the participants shared that they saw themselves bringing these skills and trainings into the classroom and leadership sessions, with students, patients and other healthcare professionals. And concluded with the commitment and intention to continue to practice the skills. While tired at the end of each day, everyone felt that they gained clarity and resources to engage in coaching conversations in their daily lives, both professional and personal.