Byron's Babbles

Coaching To Examine Meaning

Posted in Clarity First, Coaching, Educational Leadership, Global Education, Leadership, Psychological Safety by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on June 11, 2020

Coach the Person, Not the Problem: A Guide to Using Reflective InquiryCoach the Person, Not the Problem: A Guide to Using Reflective Inquiry by Marcia Reynolds

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book truly was written as a coach’s guide to reflective inquiry. As a person who coached, mentored, and worked alongside a new school principal this year, I found myself wanting to tell stories and use reflective inquiry as I read, highlighted, and dog-eared the pages of this great book. Of course, I love the fact that Dr. Reynolds used case studies instead of acronyms for bringing clarity to her teaching. This book provides information that is immediately actionable.

Dr. Reynolds put five tools in our reflective inquiry toolbox in this book:

1. Focus: coaching the person, not the problem
2. Active replay: playing back the pivotal pieces for review.
3. Brain hacking: finding the treasures in the box
4. Goaltending: staying the course
5. New and next: coaxing insights and commitments

She also gave us three mental tips to provide psychological safety. I am so appreciative that Dr. Reynolds spent time in the book discussing how our brains work and why psychological safety is so important. I believe this might be one of the biggest issues in organizational culture today. I even tweeted the following while reading the book: “I’m always appalled when someone tells me they are nervous & fearful of talking to their leaders. This is aweful! ❤️ Love that @MarciaReynolds addresses the brain science of this in her new book #CoachThePerson. 🧠” I also tweeted: “…Additionally, @MarciaReynolds drove home the point in her great new book, #CoachThePerson, that we must create cultures that foster the psychological safety to fully express ourselves in conversations.” Here are her three mental habits:

1. Align your brain
2. Receive (don’t just listen)
3. Catch and release judgement

Toward the end of the book, Dr. Reynolds reminded us that we need to say it out loud to make it real and that our brains are meaning-making machines. In every scene of our personal and professional lives we pull from our past experiences, beliefs, values, fears, and present assumptions to make sense of the situation we are living at the moment. In this book, Dr. Reynolds taught us that, “Coaching is intended to examine the meaning people give to situations to determine what else could be going on that would change their approach going forward.” Everyone who works with people should read this great ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ book!

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