Appreciating Change Coaching Cubes

How Coaching Cubes Support the Coaching Process

The aim of coaching is to develop an individual’s own resourcefulness. Coaching helps someone stuck in their thinking or unsure of their ability or hesitant to seize an opportunity, as well as those grappling with a challenge or feeling puzzled and confused. Coaching helps them develop their own answers and their own way forward. One of most effective techniques to help someone develop their own thinking is to ask them questions. Good questions prompt new thoughts, bring previous experiences to bear on present dilemmas, shed new light on the issue, and prompt plans for action. This Coaching Cube set introduces 36 carefully worded and targeted questions suitable for use in any coaching situation.

Introduction to the Coaching Cubes

The Coaching Cubes are designed to be used and rolled as dice. They are squidgy, robust, and bright, bringing a fun, tactile, and colourful edge to the coaching process. Each coloured cube is themed as below.

 

The Green cube explores the positive aspects of someone’s work and life, positively affecting perspective and mood.

 

The Blue cube identifies peopleimportant to the situation, stimulating context-aware thinking.

 

The Orange cube creates shifts in perspectiveto throw new light on the topic, revealing new insights and possibilities for action.

 

ThePink cube illuminates ideas, values and energy, the powerhouse for energised possibilities

 

The Purple cube creates movement,facilitating energised action

 

The Red cube clarifies first steps, thebeginning of feasible, effective, motivated and energised change.

 

Using your Coaching Cubes

The cubes are designed to be versatile. Here are seven suggestions for how and when you can use the Coaching Cubes to add value to the coaching process

 

1)    To Support the Coaching Process from beginning to end

The cubes can be used to shape a whole coaching session from ‘exploring the positives’ with the Green cube right though to ‘deciding on actions’ with the Red cube. Alternatively, at any point in the conversation they can be used separately or all together, revealing a choice of 1-6 questions at each ‘throw’. 

2)    To facilitate Self-Coaching

Want to work on an issue of your own? Roll a cube and answer the question, roll another. Make notes on the thinking and ideas generated as you go. You will soon experience a shift in your thinking and new ways forward will begin to appear.

3)    To help someone relax into the process

Perhaps you are working with someone who finds the intensity of one-to-one coaching uncomfortable. Using the cubes as dice gives them something to handle and focus on, while lessening the requirement for eye contact. 

4)    To promote ownership of the process

Actively involve the person you are working with. Let them select which dice to roll or question to answer to encourage active participation and engagement.

5)    To support Peer Coaching or Coaching skills training

The coaching cubes offer an instant resource to inexperienced or trainee coaches. One of the hardest coaching skills to learn is that of developing generative questions. By using the cubes the participants can access thirty-six useful questions.

6)    To get a session moving again

If the conversation runs into a dead end, roll all the dice, look at the six questions together and ask your client ‘which of these are you most drawn to engage with right now?’ and pretty soon you will find yourself back in a productive place.

7)    To move on from ‘Why don’t you’, ‘yes but’ conversations

Even the most experienced coaches occasionally find themselves being drawn into this unfruitful exchange. Break the cycle by rolling the dice and asking questions that don’t contain any advice!

 

How to add life to your years

Mae West famously suggested that it’s not the ‘men in your life’ you need to worry about so much as ‘the life in your men; and as the celebration of another birthday reminds me that more of my life is behind than in front of me, I feel I’d be wise to focus on ‘the life left in my years’ rather than the ‘years left in my life’. And so, I turn to George Valliant for advice…

Did you know: seeking happiness can make people unhappy?

While we recognise that in general happiness is a crucial ingredient of well-being and health, happiness is not valued to the same extent by everyone. For some people it is a ‘nice to have’ while for others it is the stuff of life, a state to which they constantly aspire. Goal pursuit theory suggests that if we value something and actively pursue it we should experience more of it. So if we value happiness and pursue it, so we should experience more of it. However, there is a sting in the tail…

Did you know? Build in Wellbeing from the beginning

Lots of people feel instinctively that happiness and wellbeing at work must be important. But are they a business necessity or a ‘nice to have’. Surely it makes more sense to ensure your business is profitable and thriving before you start worrying about how people feel?

Increasingly research suggests that investing in employee wellbeing by ensuring positive work relationships, an emphasis on strengths-based development, and worker happiness has productivity pay-offs. So why delay, start promoting positive psychology practices at work today!

Why it's important for all of us to learn to forgive those who trespass against us

Forgiveness has an image problem. Asked to forgive people say: ‘but I can’t forget what they did’ or ‘I can’t imagine ever being friends again’ or ‘but I want them punished.’ These responses show a confusion between forgiveness, reconciliation, forgetting and justice.

Where Next With Positive Psychology

Where Next With Positive Psychology

Earlier this month I attended the Global Strengthscope Practitioner Conference in London. A wonderful and inspiring conference where completely unexpectedly I was presented with the 2017 conference ‘Outstanding Contribution to Positive Work Practices Award.’ I was delighted and honoured and it got me thinking about what we have achieved so far in bringing positive work practices into the workplace and what we have yet to achieve,

Energy state transformation is the key to Appreciative Inquiry effectiveness

I have recently come across a great paper about human energy, it is referenced at the end of this piece. It set me thinking about what it was saying in relation to Appreciative Inquiry. These are my thoughts.

Take a coaching approach - 7 top tips for developing talent in your team

A key challenge for leaders and managers is developing the capacity of their staff or team. Taking a coaching approach allows you to focus on drawing out motivation rather than trying to push it in!  It allows you to create energy and motivation and it is usually experienced as an empowering process by your coachee. It helps people develop their intiaitive and sense of ownership of their work and tasks, and, in general, converts potential into capacity.

Here are seven tips to help make your coaching conversations highly productive.

Guest Blog - Talent and determination get you there, but how do you get them? by Saira Iqbal of Zircon Management Consulting

We know it's important, where does it come form?

One of the most successful men I know grew up in the roughest streets of Bristol, and shared a cramped bedroom with his five brothers until he could  leave the family home and ‘escape’ to his second choice university.  Now a multi-millionaire cabinet minister, each of his milestones made it more and more apparent that his success was no simple stroke of luck.

There were no useful networks that his working class parents were a part of, there was no private school education to teach social poise; but there was drive that came from great ambition and pure determination.

Guest Blog - Giving and gratitude, some ideas for a (scientifically) happier Christmas by Ilona Boniwell of Positran

Christmas past

I am dreaming of a lovely family Christmas, and I don’t mind if is white or grey. I do, nevertheless, mind whether it works out or not, as well as how humanly and psychologically messy it will end up being.

Last Christmas our teens decided to surprise us by setting up a casino in the living room, dressing up as croupiers, and getting the adults (that’s me, my husband, my husband’s ex and his best friend) to be the clients. As lavish, extravagant and original as that might sound, the enjoyment of the process was rather affected by the fact that in preparing the casino set-up, the teens did not check the rules of the proposed game and a few minutes into it started arguing over the way forward. In fact, at one point, the only way forward was to end the game.

Key factors that create living human system learning and change

Introduction

In the last twenty years a new understanding of organizations has been developed, understanding them as living human systems of enterprise and creativity. It offers as an alternative to the dominant view of organizations as large and complicated machines of production. Methodologies based on this understanding, for instance Appreciative Inquiry, Open Space, World Café and SimuReal, allow the whole of the organizational domain to be approached from the living human system perspective. They allow us to address all organizational challenges from recruitment to redundancy within the same living human system frame. Four key factors underpin this approach.

Making your own mission

Unclear objectives are sometimes unavoidable, the dangers and how to avoid as learned in Bosnia 

Book Review – Holocracy The Revolutionary Management System that Abolishes Hierarchy: Brian Robertson (Originally published in AI Practitioner)

Brief account of the book

The book has noble, honourable and inspiring intentions: it offers holocracy as a ‘new operating system’ for organizations that will create a ‘peer-to-peer distributed authority system’. This operating system creates empowered people who are clear about the boundaries of their authority, about what they can expect from others, and are able to be highly effective in their roles.

Book Review – Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies PROFIT from Passion and Purpose, by Raj Sisodia, David Wolfe, Jag Sheth (Originally published in AI Practitioner)

Brief Account of the book

The book is based on two rounds of research undertaken by the authors in collaboration with their MBA students. They identified the organizations initially by asking the question ‘Tell us about some companies you love. Not just like but love.’

Starter For Ten - How To Begin Applying Positive Psychology At Work

For those who would like to dip their toe into the positive psychology world I've plucked a few of the recommendations from my book, Positive Psychology At Work, for you to have a look at. Hopefully they illustrate just how intuitive a lot of this is - which doesn't make it easy to do in a hierarchical, busy organisation of course!

Elicit Success Stories

Start meetings with a round of success stories. Before you get into the meat of the meeting, usually a litany of problems and challenges, start by giving people the opportunity to share the best of their week.

Five Top Tips for Having Great Meetings

Many people find meetings challenging. These five tips will help your meetings be more successful, enjoyable and productive. 

You can purchase our E-booklet that will take you through preparing for and running a great meeting in a step-by-step way here

 

1. Start with something positive

How? Ask everyone a question like ‘What’s been your greatest success, big or small, since we last met?’ or, ‘Which of your achievements over the last month are you most proud of?’ or ‘Which of your staff do you feel most grateful too, and why?’

Why? Because sharing good news boosts mood (and shares resources) which enhances creativity and problem-solving abilities

8 Principles Of Practice For Achieving Change

1. Grow the strengths and resourcefulness of people

It’s all too easy to focus on how people aren’t equipped for the change: they don’t have the skills, the knowledge, the experience. How their existing strengths and resources (including their extended network) can help them answer the questions and engage with the challenge that the change poses, can be less obvious. By deliberately helping people recognize and access their existing strengths and resourcefulness we can increase their resilience, tenacity and confidence in the face of change, making the steep learning curve less daunting.

How To Keep Your Employees Engaged At Work

Engaged employees are a business imperative: they perform 20% better and give 57% more discretionary effort [1] Organizations with a high level of engagement have better quality, sales, income and turnover, profit, customer satisfaction, shareholder return, and business growth, and success. [2] It is estimated that currently only 19% of employees are highly engaged in their work, while active disengagement cost the UK economy between £37.2bn and £38.9bn a year [3]. 

Organizations often struggle to understand what creates engagement. Positive psychology research is revealing that employee engagement is primarily a psychological and social process. There are a number of steps organizations can take to increase engagement.

Why We Need To Do Change Differently

So Why Do We Need To Do Change Differently

1. Because the old ways are too slow and hard

Traditionally change has been a top-down, linear, compliance process; first designed and then implemented. In today’s fast paced world this takes too long and is too hard. People resist the pressure. Instead we need change that is whole-system owned and generated, focused on maximising tomorrow not fixing yesterday.

Five Ways To Increase Efficacy And Resilience During Change

It is very easy for people to become demoralised or demotivated during change as work becomes harder (less familiar) and possibly less rewarding (we’re not yet skilled at it). At the same time there is often a sense of loss of past habits or pleasurable activities, and a disruption to rewarding relationships. At the same time the manager can be so distracted and pressurised with all the meetings and decisions to do with the change programme that they are less relaxed and more critical than usual. They may also be around less, removing a valuable source of positive feedback for people.

To counter-act this, to ensure that people maintain good morale, are motivated, effective and resilient, we need to concentrate on helping people maintain a positive emotional state and a belief in their ability to influence things happening in their world.