Building a learning community for coaches or consultants

You’re a firm of coaches or consultants, committed to your ongoing learning and development –  you’re not sure you have the time or stamina for an ongoing learning group, so what’s the firm to do?    man_leaning_on_big_red_question_mark-137x200

Reading and discussing a book or an article is a popular suggestion, but people sometimes find they don’t find the time to read in advance – so you have to have alternatives.  Part of a coach’s practice should include developing the discipline to devote time to ongoing reflection.

In the spirit of the Reflective Practitioner (coined by Donald Schoen), here are 10 questions to get you started:

  1. Which clients, or what part of your work, has gotten you the most excited in the past month?
  2. Who made unexpected progress that surprised you?  What were your assumptions about that client, and what did you learn about your assumptions?
  3. Who hasn’t made progress, despite your and their best efforts? What do you think is going on?
  4. What are the issues your clients face that have raised questions for you?
  5. What have you been learning about yourself as a coach, or about your practice, since we last met?
  6. Where have you found yourself working harder than your client, if at all?
  7. What have you discovered about motivation and how people develop, based on your work with clients?
  8. Where has your coaching gone beyond individual development and connected to larger organizational issues, such as organizational design, strategy, the understanding of senior management about the issues raised?
  9. What new tools have you used, and how did that go?
  10. What tools or approaches have you heard about that might help with this or other clients?

These questions should be helpful for coaches to reflect on what they’re learning, and help them identify what they’re curious about learning or improving.   Participants will also come up with their own questions as they dive into this content.

Please let me know if you find these questions helpful.  Let me know if you have a topic or question about leadership development or learning design that you’d like to see featured here.


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