Coaching Craft

07/17/2021

Developing Your Coaching Craft To Find The Coach Within YOU!

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Over time as teachers we develop our own ‘craft of teaching’ or our ‘teaching pedagogy’, which consists of various skills, practices, and experiences that we develop as time goes on. This ‘teaching craft is how we teach, based on the skills, practices, and experiences we obtain. It is this craft that makes each teacher special and unique. 

As teachers we learn twice, both as young children and again as adult educators choosing to educate young children; and it is through this learning that teaching becomes both a unique art and a unique craft that is formed around our own experiences, as well as our learned and experienced knowledge. 

I find this same to be true for instructional coaches.

Over time we develop our own ‘craft of coaching’ and ‘coaching pedagogy’ through the experiences and knowledge that we obtain during our time as a coach. 

With our own unique craft of coaching, we set ourselves apart from others. We form our own way of being and approach to coaching educators. 

Now to develop our craft of coaching and to find WHO we are as a coach deep down and within, we need to take time to develop ourselves; we need to grow ourselves in specific areas that will allow us to become the best version of our coaching self that we can possibly be and we need to embrace all of our findings and developments that make you, YOU!

When I think of ‘crafting something’ the visual of creating a wood sculpture comes to mind. In order for that wood structure to become fully formed into the sculpture that is a current visual within my mind of what I ‘want’ it to become in real form, I have to first 

  1. Decide on what it is that I want to carve and why; 

  2. I have to make a drawing of the plan of what I see in my mind for the sculpture;

  3. I have to find the pieces of wood that I need and want in order to begin carving the sculpture;

  4. I have to then transfer my drawing or visual representation into the wood to become a model;

  5. I then create the model or real representation;

  6. I add details; and 

  7. Then I complete it by ‘adding in the finishing touches’ to make it refined to meet my needs.

Now, when developing my coaching craft or to ‘widdle’ myself like a wood sculpture, I can use the same idea.

I have to first, 

  1. Decide on WHY and WHAT I want to be as a coach (my coaching why) and what I want me as a coach to look/sound like (my coaching vision).;

  2. I have to create a plan and write out what it is that I see for myself as a coach; to extract my ‘way of being’ out of my mind;

  3. I have to find the coaching skills, practices, knowledge opportunities and experiences that will allow me to live out the ideal coach I formed within my mind as a vision;

  4. I have to then transfer the learning (i.e., the skills, practices, & knowledge) into practice as a coach to develop myself into WHO I am; 

  5. Overtime, I craft and create a real representation of the coach I sought to be that was originally in my mind merely a dream;

  6. I add on onto my coaching practice through learning by doing and learning through mistakes and experience to add more details to myself; 

  7. Then I add finishing touches to myself as a coach as I make ongoing adjustments through reflective feedback and new learning.

You see, to ‘craft’ and develop yourself as a coach’ is merely a way of exercising our own abilities to ‘make something’. To make or to develop ourselves in order to find WHO we are within!

I created this visual as a way to ‘show’ the different elements that I have found that make up an effective coach. 

This visual provides coaches with areas to think about and develop as they begin their journey to craft and find who they are as a coach with the goal of becoming the best version of their coaching self that they can be.

To learn more about each of the 6 elements of an effective coach, check out this micro-session found at the 2021 Simply Coaching Summit!

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