Peer coaching guide


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Peer coaching guide

  1. 1. AIESEC Peer Coaching Guide Rosemary McLean AIESEC – Peer Coaching Guide v1.0 © Career Innovation January 2008
  2. 2. Career Innovation Ci Contents Page Introduction 3 What is Peer Coaching? 3 What are the benefits? 3 Competency Assessment tool 4 The AIESEC Learning Plan 4 What is your Role? 5 How does it work? 5 How do you do Peer Coaching? 6 Right time, Right place, Right mindset 6 Peer Coaching Agreement 6 Peer Coaching Framework 7 Effective listening 9 How to bring Peer Coaching to an end 10 Overall Hints & Tips for Successful Peer Coaching 12 Learning Resources to Support Peer Coaching 13 Useful books 13 Reflections on your own learning 13 CONFIDENTIALITY: This document is confidential to the individuals to whom it is sent by AIESEC, and may only be circulated to colleagues within the AIESEC organisation. AIESEC – Peer Coaching Guide v1.0 Page 2 © Career Innovation January 2008
  3. 3. Career Innovation Ci Introduction During your AIESEC experience you will have many opportunities to experience coaching. This may be in your capacity as Leader where you are the coach, or where someone is coaching you. There are a range of resources available to you to help you develop your coaching skills. This guide is designed specifically to help you have Peer Coaching conversations in the context of AIESEC’s Competency Assessment tool. What is Peer Coaching? Peer Coaching happens informally all the time between close colleagues and friends, and involves having conversations that are mutually beneficial and supportive. As part of the AIESEC experience we see Peer Coaching as: “A semi-structured opportunity for individuals to reflect on their strengths and areas for development, to explore their goals and identify AIESEC experiences that will further both their personal objectives and the goals of AIESEC.” As a peer coach you are not expected to be an experienced coach, but rather act as a confidential listening ear and sounding board. Unlike everyday conversations, Peer Coaching conversations are more likely to happen in a semi-formal way and have a purpose, where you agree a time, appropriate meeting place and an ongoing way of working together. Guidelines on how to do this are provided in this guide. What are the benefits? • Increase your own coaching skills • Widen your professional network • Build close and mutually supportive relationships • Take advantage of the many opportunities available in the AIESEC experience AIESEC – Peer Coaching Guide v1.0 Page 3 © Career Innovation January 2008
  4. 4. Career Innovation Ci Competency Assessment tool An integral part of the AIESEC experience is to develop self-awareness, and take responsibility for your own learning. Working in partnership with Career Innovation, AIESEC has developed an on-line tool designed to help AIESECers understand: • Their level of capability against the AIESEC competencies • Target development activities and identify appropriate AIESEC learning experiences. It is anticipated that individuals will use the tool at various stages throughout their AIESEC experience, helping them to review their progress as they acquire and practice new skills. The tool has two stages: 1. Self-Assessment Here individuals can conduct a self-review. This provides a profile describing their own views on their strengths and weaknesses. 2. Feedback from Others As someone progresses through their AIESEC experience they will move through the competency layers and have more opportunities to build capability and work with colleagues on live projects. At this point, using the tool, individuals can seek structured feedback from others based on their actual observations on how they perform in a leadership role or project. This feedback process is anonymous and generates a comprehensive profile of an individual’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas of potential. It also highlights any gaps between the individual’s perception of their capabilities and the perceptions of their profile contributors, and generates targeted development suggestions. Whilst an individual can gain a lot of self-knowledge from using the tool and building a profile of themselves, experience suggests that people really welcome an opportunity to discuss and explore their profile with someone they trust. This is where Peer Coaching can add benefit. The AIESEC Learning Plan The Competency Assessment tool supported by Peer Coaching relationships will help individuals to implement their AIESEC learning plan which supports the overall success of their AIESEC experience. AIESEC – Peer Coaching Guide v1.0 Page 4 © Career Innovation January 2008
  5. 5. Career Innovation Ci The 5 principles of the AIESEC experience are: • Take an active role in your learning and the learning of others • Challenge your world view • Regular personal reflection • Increase practical and theoretical knowledge • Create a network of contacts What is your Role? As mentioned earlier, as a peer coach you are not expected to be an expert coach. Professional coaches have extensive training and supervision. However, by setting the right conditions and using some appropriate skills you can develop mutually beneficial Peer Coaching conversations with others. How does it work? As someone completes the on-line Competency Assessment tool they will be encouraged to see the benefits of setting up a Peer Coaching relationship. They will be given some suggestions as to the sort of person who may be appropriate. Below is the checklist that you can assess yourself against. Rating Peer Coach Characteristics 1-4 (4=highly suitable) Is able to be discrete and confidential Is accessible, and has the time available Is able to listen well, without being judgemental or too directive Is willing to share some of their own experiences and learning Is highly motivated to be involved in Peer Coaching, can see the benefits Is reliable, meets obligations Is able to build rapport and put people at ease It is not expected that this relationship will take up large amounts of time; eg a minimum of two planned conversations to explore the outcomes from the Competency Assessment tool. However, if the Peer Coaching continues to be of value to both of you, you might want to continue. In the Hints and Tips section you will find suggestions on how you can both manage the ongoing relationship or end the Peer Coaching. AIESEC – Peer Coaching Guide v1.0 Page 5 © Career Innovation January 2008
  6. 6. Career Innovation Ci How do you do Peer Coaching? A practical guide In this section we provide advice, and hints and tips on how to provide Peer Coaching support. You may also like to refer to AIESEC’s Coaching Guide which provides complimentary information on coaching skills and processes. Right time, Right place, Right mindset Let’s assume you have agreed to enter into a Peer Coaching relationship with one of your colleagues, what happens next? Firstly you should agree to meet, to discuss and agree an informal Peer Coaching agreement and start the process. (See below) To start off the relationship well you should both consider the ideal time and location. It will help your conversation if you choose an environment that is appropriate to having such a conversation; the canteen may not be the best place! Top Tips • Choose a location that is quiet & convenient • Try and make sure you won’t be interrupted by others • Switch off your mobile phones • Allow enough time – at least 1 hour • Try and relax, be yourself • Try and switch off thinking about other things, focus on the present • Have an open mind, try not to be judgemental or make assumptions Peer Coaching Agreement The Peer Coaching agreement is simply a conversation about how the Peer Coaching can work for both of you; it helps to provide clarity about expectations, and reassurance to you both that what is discussed is confidential. Top Tips • Explore what each other’s personal objectives are eg “What are you hoping to get out of our conversations?”, “How do you hope this might help you?” • Agree between you that everything that is said is confidential between you eg “Can we both agree that what is discussed in our Peer Coaching conversations remains with us, and is not disclosed to anyone else” • Promise to be reliable, meet at agreed times • Agree to an initial number of meetings (2 is suggested) AIESEC – Peer Coaching Guide v1.0 Page 6 © Career Innovation January 2008
  7. 7. Career Innovation Ci • Discuss what might happen if one of you wants to stop participating in the Peer Coaching i.e. that it is OK to say you need to stop for whatever reason but that this is discussed openly • Be open, and agree to giving each other feedback on how the Peer Coaching is working Peer Coaching Framework In most professional coaching models there is usually some sort of a framework or process that guides the flow of coaching conversations. Although there are many different models most are very similar. AIESEC coaches use the seven-step Achieve Coaching Model, see below (AIESEC coaching guide): 1. Assess current situation 2. Creative brainstorming of alternatives to current situation 3. Hone goals 4. Initiate options 5. Evaluate options 6. Valid action programme 7. Encourage action In this context we refer to a simple three stage process which can naturally evolve in the flow of our conversations. You may find you get stuck in one of the phases, eg spending too much time generating lots of development ideas without putting them into practice, or that you skip a phase, eg going straight to talking about actions before thinking about strengths and weaknesses. AIESEC – Peer Coaching Guide v1.0 Page 7 © Career Innovation January 2008
  8. 8. Career Innovation Ci As a peer coach you must help others to move through each of the three stages by asking appropriate questions or making helpful suggestions. See the chart below for useful questions that support each stage and link to the next. Insight Innovation Impact focus is on focus is on options, focus is on actions, understanding, making possibilities, ideas, consequences, making a sense, personal connections difference reflection Topics: Interests, What Topics: Visioning the Topics: Building are my values, future, opportunities in competencies and competencies AIESEC, lifestyle options choosing experiences Questions at this stage Questions at this stage Questions at this stage What were your initial Have you any ideas Which are the best fit reactions to your about how you might options? competency profile? build on the assessment? Which actions should Were you surprised by you take first? the feedback you What are the options received from others? available to you? What is your time scale? What do you see as your How can you measure strengths? What are your goals your progress/review going forward? your learning? What do you think are your weaknesses? How could you identify what you really want to What was missing from do? the profile? Who else could you talk What have you learnt to? about yourself? Where can you get more What do you really enjoy information? doing? What would you really What is important to like to do? you? What AIESEC experiences are open to you? AIESEC – Peer Coaching Guide v1.0 Page 8 © Career Innovation January 2008
  9. 9. Career Innovation Ci Effective listening During your Peer Coaching conversations you will be able to have a more positive impact by using a range of skills that encourage others to talk openly. One of the most important skills is the ability to listen well. “There are those who are listening and those who are waiting to speak” (Anon) Activity Place a tick by any of the following which you sometimes do: Listen only to what you want to hear Jump to conclusions Finish people's sentences for them Fills any silence with words Let your mind wander while being spoken to Thinking about what you will say next Continue to do something else while being spoken to Effective listening is much more than simply hearing what is said. It involves informed and sharpened active attention, what has been termed ‘listening with the third ear’. In essence, active attention is directed at processing and understanding as fully as possible: What is said How it is said What is meant What is not said The context in which it is said Hints and Tips • Respect Show utmost respect for the other person. This is conveyed more than anything else by really creating the opportunity for the other person to talk. • Give attention/be here now Do not let your attention wander. Avoid all distractions and keep your eyes as well as your ears focused on the person talking. Lean slightly forward to register this. • Reflect back Say back to someone what they have said in a mini-summary. “So what you are saying is that you have really enjoyed taking on the project leader role” AIESEC – Peer Coaching Guide v1.0 Page 9 © Career Innovation January 2008
  10. 10. Career Innovation Ci • Check If you have not understood, stop the person gently and simply ask them to repeat something so that your do understand. “Sorry can I just check I’ve got that right, would you mind repeating what you have just said” • Seek examples Ask for examples of what someone means. “In what way was it a challenge?” “What exactly has happened?” “Can you describe it? “ • Encourage Through looks, tone of voice, even when someone is saying something with which you personally disagree. • Question When the person has finished their point, ask them some questions to probe further. This shows how much you have valued their opinions. • Silence Cope with silence by smiles. Do not always feel the need to fill the gaps. How to bring Peer Coaching to an end Earlier we mentioned the importance of setting up a Peer Coaching agreement, at which point it is good to agree how the Peer Coaching relationship can be ended by either side. Why is this important? • You may have agreed at the outset just to have one or two meetings, and it is time to stop and review learning • You may feel the other person is becoming too demanding of your time, and you need to manage their expectations • Your circumstances may change and you are no longer available to help in the way you had planned • You feel you have helped them as much as you can and they are clear about what they plan to do • The other person needs specialist help, and it is inappropriate for you to try and help them AIESEC – Peer Coaching Guide v1.0 Page 10 © Career Innovation January 2008
  11. 11. Career Innovation Ci Ending the Peer Coaching in a clear and positive way is beneficial to both, ensuring useful learning and no sense of rejection. Hints and Tips • Always ask the other person about how they are finding the Peer Coaching and whether they want to continue, as an ongoing check. They may be too embarrassed to say they want to stop seeing you. • Where it is clear that the coaching has reached its conclusion, ask the other person what they have found most useful/least useful from the Peer Coaching process. Thank them for asking you to work with them, and express the benefits you have gained too. Make it clear that you are no longer in a Peer Coaching relationship. • When the other person wants to continue but you feel as if you have committed enough time and energy, simply refer back to the Peer Coaching agreement and say something like “at the outset we agreed to work with each other over two meetings, I have enjoyed working with you but feel with my current level of expertise, experience and time available I am unable to give you the support you need”. Direct them to other resources or people in AIESEC who may be able to help. • If a person shows that they have other more specialist needs e.g. bereavement support, stress etc identify resources that are around that you could encourage them to use. As above say something like “Whilst I can be a listening ear and give peer support I don’t have the experience or skills to help you with …, can I suggest that you consider talking to …. who could really help” AIESEC – Peer Coaching Guide v1.0 Page 11 © Career Innovation January 2008
  12. 12. Career Innovation Ci Overall Hints & Tips for Successful Peer Coaching Do • Make sure you have the time and commitment to participate in Peer Coaching • Set up a Peer Coaching agreement to manage expectations • Respect the other person and always be confidential • Focus your attention on the other person and listen well • Use appropriate questions • Encourage action • Seek feedback • Encourage the person to seek professional help if needed • Make sure the Peer Coaching ends well Don’t • Be judgemental • Get too involved and over committed to the other person • Try and coach the person inappropriately, you are not a fully trained coach • Fail to turn up for agreed meetings • Reject the other person by not ending the Peer Coaching clearly and positively AIESEC – Peer Coaching Guide v1.0 Page 12 © Career Innovation January 2008
  13. 13. Career Innovation Ci Learning Resources to support Peer Coaching Useful books Everyone Needs a Mentor 4th edition, David Clutterbuck, April 2004, CIPD Reflections on your own learning • What did I enjoy about being a peer coach? • What have I learned from the experience? • What have I found challenging? • What further skills/competencies might I develop? AIESEC – Peer Coaching Guide v1.0 Page 13 © Career Innovation January 2008