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15. Group Coaching: Journaling—Enriching the Experience

The unexamined life is not worth living – Socrates Self-development is the hallmark of Action Learning—a journey rich in challenging new encounters and events. Keeping a journal helps participants draw together the threads of their experience by connecting their recorded observations and insights about themselves, their colleagues, and their work environment. A journal enables the…

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14. Group Coaching—The Role of the Participant

Group Coaching is a rewarding, exciting (and sometimes difficult) endeavor. Yet, the personal and professional benefits accruing from this process are great—even transformational. For example, set members often experience a shift from dependence on their usual expertise, assumptions, and knowledge to learning with and from each other; from concealing their fears and misgivings to disclosing…

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13. Group Coaching: Preparing to Facilitate a Group Coaching Set

Who among us would not benefit by engaging in a learning conversation, artfully and skillfully led by a competent and caring facilitator who teaches us how to draw on the collective knowledge of engaged and trusted colleagues? In a nutshell, the ideal background for a Group Coaching facilitator is an artful blend of group process…

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12. Group Coaching—The Executive Sponsor and Project Manager

Transformational change programs (such as Action Learning projects) achieve their intended results with the clear, active, and steadfast sponsorship of a senior manager and the attentive planning skills of a project manager. Both roles require organizational influence, strategy, and belief in the value of Group Coaching. Attributes and Roles of a Strong Executive Sponsor (typically…

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11. Group Coaching: It’s not your Traditional Training Experience

Group Coaching differs substantially from traditional training methods. Training offers content: Action Learning builds new solutions and insights. In the words of an experienced practitioner, Work-based learning…differs from conventional education in that it involves conscious reflection on actual experience…one constantly thinks about one’s problem solving process. It is not enough just to ask, “What did…

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10. Group Coaching: Benefits and Key Characteristics

In addition to bringing group members relevant new knowledge and a variety of important peer support skills, group coaching improves peoples’ ability to learn. Group coaching benefits organizations by stimulating constructive change and an entrepreneurial outlook: Encourages the development and improvement of processes, services, and products Increases team functioning and maturity Integrates professional development and…

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9. Group Coaching: The Gold Standard of Learning how to Learn

Did you ever learn how to learn? That is, do you know how to acquire the knowledge, skill, and mindset necessary to understand and adapt to whatever situation you encounter? Action Learning excels as a catalyst that drives individuals, groups, and organizations to become continuous, thoughtful learners. Characteristics of a Learning Orientation The practice of…

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8. Group Coaching: The Foundation

Do the answers to problems always exist in books (if only we knew where to find them)? Are experts our best bet for resolving problems? Neither. The Group Coaching method, a form of action learning, demonstrates that we can best discover answers to our problems by asking the right questions (rather than seeking the right…

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7. Group Coaching: Sample Questions by Janet Ratniewski, M.S.

Questions are used to facilitate the Group Coaching session. The flow of questions begins after a group member introduces their issue. Open-ended questions are preferred, and choice of questions depends on the intent, the context, and the individual. Facilitators guide, teach, and role model effective questioning, and remind participants of the types of questions they…

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6. Group Coaching: The Role of the Facilitator by Janet Ratniewski, M.S.

The Group Coaching facilitator has a unique role in setting the structure, maintaining focus on objectives and outcomes, role modeling, assuring the use of open ended, reflective questions, probing, checking, paraphrasing, and setting topics for the session. They help the group reflect on their learnings and problem-solving process, and encourage application of knowledge gained in…

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