Coaching Circles 4 working assumptions
1. Individuals own their personal development path
Participants of the circle learn to own their personal development: They choose what questions to share, their level of engagement and the actions they wish to take after the session is over. The role of the circle is to listen, reflect and “carry” each other during the sessions. In the same way members of the circle come to own the collective process. Over time the group learns how to hold the space and facilitate sessions independently.
2. Stagnations are personal learning opportunities
Many times, we feel stuck or frustrated about something in our life. A project is not moving as quickly as we would have wanted, our colleagues are taking us for granted… Being able to turn a personal stagnation into a question is an important practice that increases personal leadership. A question can be for example: “How can I form stronger connections that will allow me to move the project forward?” Or: “How can I be clearer in my instruction when communicating with my colleagues?” Coaching circles assume that these stagnations are calling for further learnings, and with the right approach are the raw materials for future personal development opportunities.
3. Letting go from linear quick fixes allow new innovative solutions to emerge
Often, when we face an inconvenient situation, or when we feel that another person is struggling with a challenge our initial reaction is to solve it as quick as possible. In coaching circles, the practice is to give time to the challenge to fully appear. Coaches learn to deeply listen with open heart open mind and open arms, articulate their observations, and share the inner images that capture the essence of the case. During the session, all members combined observations, reflections and metaphors form together a living and complexed representation of the case giver’s challenge. When circles follow this process, the way forward emerges as a shared, intuitive product of the collective dialogue.
4. To move forward, new insights are directly translated into actions:
coaching circles are action oriented; the aim of gaining new insights, and relieve emotional tension is to lead to new actions. For this reason, at the end of the session the case giver summarizes her takeaways and decide about a concrete next step- the first action she will take to move the situation forward into the future she envisions.