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Seb Anthony

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I am leading a half-day workshop on coaching next month for about 25 people. I am looking for some fresh, short (10-15 minute) exercises or cases to use. I would appreciate any assistance.

John Connor

4 Responses

  1. Coaching
    Hi John
    Who are you going to be coaching – i.e. your ‘captive’ audience? Students? Executives? Line Managers? Lone parent families? Let me know and I perhaps I can send you some stuff.
    Best regards
    Barbara StClaire-Ostwald

  2. Paper Airplanes
    I have participants remember back to thier childhood and create paper airplanes. I provide a variety of types of paper, paperclips, rubberbands, thumbtacks, glue and tape. They use their imaginations or their experience. Then we see who’s plane flies the farthest down a long straight hall. The winners of each group of about 4, then coach their teammates on how to create a paper airplane that will fly as far. We let them fly them around the room during breaks. It’s a very popular exercise, especially for adults.

  3. Coaching skills exercise
    I use an exercise that is great fun called ‘Hit The Target’. If you email me ( I can let you have full instructions with a structure for a debrief. However the basic idea is to split delegates up into teams of around 5-6; have a volunteer from each team leave the room for 10 mins. Brief the remainder that they are competing against each other to coach the volunteer to throw the highest number of balls (out of 10)into a bin (placed a few feet away) to win a box of chocolates. The volunteer needs to be blindfolded outside of the room, led into the room to the throwing area.

    Debrief the exercise afterwards in terms of what they learnt and its application for on-job coaching at work. It leads to all sorts of discussion about preparation (we deliberately give them 9 balls instead of 10 – very often they don’t check), quality of briefing of Coachee, motivation to learn, coaching objectives, coaching styles (we know best as managers so we tell you how to throw – when there are a number of ways they can solve the problem if they involve the Coachee), feedback against the objective etc.

    I had a ‘first’ with a group last week when the volunteer (who was an experienced, confident manager)had a real fear of being blindfolded – it rang bells for the delegates about comparison with techno fear when coaching staff at work who lacked confidence on computers.

    The only issue in you running this exercise is its length – you’ll need a good 45 mins minimum to thoroughly debrief, but well worth it!
    Hope that helps!
    Happy Days!
    Bryan Edwards

  4. Pack of Cards
    I use a very effective exercise with a pack of playing cards. Give the group a pack of shuffled cards and challenge them to sort them into order and suit as quickly as possible – don’t give them time to think. After timing them, record the time and ask them to discuss how they could improve the time (no more then 2-3 minutes) and predict how quickly they can do it this time. Repeat the exercise and time them with the improvements made. The likelihood is they will have over-estimated how quickly they can do it. Repeat the de-brief and ask them to decide how they can make further improvements and again predict a realistic target. This time they will achieve or come close. The KLP from this is they have been set a goal, coached themselves to overstretch, then coached themselves to make a realistic improvement against their target. Works well as a head to head exercise if the group is big enough. Can also be done with child’s 12 piece jigsaw (hide the picture)


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