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Peer coaching micro-learning 4

The "unreasonable friend"

Components of this Let's get real learning experience

There are two components of this Let's get real learning experience:

  • Introducing the concept of the "unreasonable friend"
  • Coaching questions and narrative

The compassionate yet unreasonable friend

It can often be a challenging for someone taking on the coaching role not to jump in and try to resolve the other person’s challenges. Likewise the coach’s role is not to be “nice” – to please or necessarily agree with the coachee. A concept that is useful for a coach is that of being “a compassionate yet unreasonable friend” to the coachee:

  • “Unreasonable” in that the coach holds the coachee to account, asks probing questions, is enquiring of the coachee
  • “Friend” in that this unreasonableness is within the trusting, compassionate and confidential environment that would be part of a strong friendship, regardless of whether the coach or coachee are actually friends.

The example questions below can be useful when you are playing the role of the "unreasonable friend."

Coaching questions and narrative: a task for you

Reflect on how this mindset of “the compassionate yet unreasonable friend” might shift your coaching conversations.

Remember your role as a coach is not to please the coachee, to reinforce their beliefs or to agree with their perspectives. The coaching role is there to supportively challenge the coach’s existing thinking and encourage them to examine their situation from different perspectives.

Note what changes you may have made to your previous coaching conversations. Identify some questions – or adopt them to create something new for you – that you can use in your next coaching conversation.

Consider the sample questions above and modify to your own language and context and then give them a try.

And that's micro-learning 4, done!

Reflect on micro-learning 4 throughout the next day before you move on to micro-learning 5 for peer coaching.