Module: Coaching Experience

Module background

In this one-week module we were expected to learn how to coach first and second year students. This module acts not only as an autonomous learning activity, but also as an entry point for a student assistant-ship for coaching in the Basic Design Course of the Bachelor College. To this end, several learning objectives are formulated.

  1. Theoretical fundaments
    1. Constructivist learning theory.
    2. The reflective transformative design process.
    3. Other design processes.
  2. Didactical fundaments
    1. How to coach (coaching styles).
    2. How to give feedback during and after the design process.
    3. How to reflect.
  3. Practical issues
    1. The assessment process.
    2. Organizational issues.

Highlights

This module I gained a lot of new insights about communication. Therefore there are a lot of theories that you can use, but most important is learning from your mistakes, how you communicate, through an observation from someone else, or a recording. The core quadrant model, which can put a good or bad quality into a different perspective, was really useful for me. For example a good quality can be sensitive, too sensitive, which makes it difficult to make decisions, the positive opposite of that is decisively, too decisive is impulsive etc.

For more theory and literature you can take a look into my annotations of this module

 

personal allergies core quadrant model

 

Reflection

Goals and Motivations

One of the things that I really like about the study Industrial design is that there is an open atmosphere where everybody helps each other out with a healthy level of competition. I like to coach people trough their process as it gives also insights in what I have reached in this study. In my second year, I took a course to become a sailing instructor, from this experience I already learned a lot about methodologies and how to give feedback about someone’s skills properly, but I wanted to learn more about coaching styles and coaching in particular, because it is different giving lessons.

Process and Analysis

What are the most important insights that you have gained?

About Coaching

This module has thought me a lot and most things I learned where through an experience of the exercises we have done. These were relaxation exercises to open yourself, so that you can observe better and experience more. Also coaching exercises where we monitored each other and practiced giving feedback. Besides these exercises, the module gave me a lot of new insights through the given theory. For example what roles I can take one while coaching, a client role, process role and coaching role. New for a me was the fact that through only observation (not listening in details), you can already see a lot about someone who is struggling with a problem. Difficult for me was to decide what role I had to take while coaching, because I just started coaching with my own intuition and not so much on applying the theories. I noticed that the theories had effect, but it was mainly the practice of coaching that gave me new insights. For example during the coaching I have the tendency to push for a certain goal, I listen, but also give a lot of suggestions and examples to see if my ideas are on one line with the student. This especially happens when just being an open listener doesn’t work or the deadline is quite close. I should watch out that I don’t make conclusions too fast or put people in one direction too quick. Another thing was that the theory or strategy about giving a “bad news” conversation was helping to prepare the conversation, but once the conversation started it was just on my intuition and personality that I gave the feedback.

About myself:

This module I learned that my appearance is very cautious and this can look a bit uncertain. This is something that is in my character, but not necessary. I should trust more on my intuition and my knowledge, instead of considering everything and keep looking for uncertain parts. In my way of talking I am not necessarily uncertain, but just making a statement is something I could do more frequently. My uncertainty can not be described as someone who doesn’t know what to do, but as someone who is afraid to do a certain action, because the result might be dissatisfying.

I often need pressure to get things done, when it is late and I don’t think 100% I am most productive. I just want to finish my work and there is not that much room to worry if the result is good enough. The best thing for me is to put several deadlines for the same work with some periods in between, where the first times the quality just doesn’t matter, and the last time is to perfectionize it.

When I coach I switch between different rolls, I ask questions result-oriented questions and reflect together with the student to see if the direction they have chosen is the right one. Switching between roles goes naturally, but is something I want to do more consciously in the future by studying the different roles a coach can take before the coaching sessions.

Future

How do you prepare your first coach meeting

I learned that it is important for me to prepare the coach meeting by over-thinking what my expectations and structure my thoughts. And when the coach-meeting starts I must trust my intuition and just be open and mindful about what is coming towards me. The first times that I coach I would like to have someone who tells me how I coach, preferably someone from the module so that I can get constructive feedback on my coaching skills and rolls. When I have more experience in coaching I hope that I can recognize situations better, and adjust my coaching skills accordingly. Another thing that I might do is record myself regularly and listen back to reflect on how I have coached.

Feedback

The only deliverable is an intermediate reflection, written after 4 days of the module.

One of the things that I noticed in your reflection was that you tend to say ‘I must do this’ or ‘I should do that’. This suggests that you may be quite severe to yourself; you might have a tendency to punish yourself if things do not go the way you want. But this is not the road to improve them, I am afraid. It is better to investigate why and where things go wrong, and be compassionate to yourself. Just say: Hey, apparently this is difficult for me. How could I slowly improve, in small steps? Because expecting a big change is unrealistic. See if you can gradually change a bit, and appreciate all small steps taken!
Your reflection touches upon your insecurity. But instead of embracing your own insecurity, it seems that you want to avoid it, get rid of it. It may be better to accept the situation as it is, try to fully acknowledge your insecurity, and feel how it is to be insecure. Then at least there is a starting point for change: There is one thing of which you can be sure: you are feeling insecure!! Hence, paradoxically, this will be the start of your road to feeling secure…

I definitely want to learn how to look differently at my insecurity because I know it is not needed, overall the quality of my work is good and over perfectionism doesn’t get me anywhere. I know what helps for me to get over the insecurity and I am taking small steps to change this. I believe it is part of my personality but with a conscious approach I want to show also another side of me in the future.

Reference

Module feedback

 

Semester: M12 Competencies: Teamwork and communications, Self directed and continuous learning