Untangle and grow

A blog by Alison Maxwell

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Who takes the notes?

A small bug bear of mine is 'who takes the notes in coaching relationship?'  An apparently small point I'd admit, but for me says a lot about power in the relationship and who is actually holding responsibility and ownership.

During a session many line managers I meet feel compelled to take notes because they believe they can't hold all the detail or that they will miss something vital. Fair enough if this so, but please, please, tell your coachees what you are doing as a minimum and even better if you give them your notes at the end of the session. Still better is learning to without notes altogether and giving your coachees you full and undivided attention - you can always capture your thoughts after the session.

At the end of the coaching session there is also a tendency for the manager/coach to take down the action points and agreement, perhaps sending them on shortly by email. For me this sends the message that the manager/coach is in charge and therefore responsible for the actions, as opposed to the coachee. If we believe that coaching is about increasing ownership and responsibility then this send out completely the wrong message. Far better to get the coachee to capture their own learning and action points.

So.. who takes the notes in your coaching sessions

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