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Experiential Coaching Activities


I currently run a 3 day coach the coach course within my company. I have taken an experiential approach which uses lots of activities for delegates to explore and practice desired coaching qualities and the coaching experience. Currently my main coaching activities are golf and juggling which work, especially the golf. However, I am looking for new but similar activities which are low resource but high impact in relation to coaching. Primarily looking for 1-1 activities rather than team coaching ones. Would appreciate it if anyone knows of or indeed uses effective approaches

PHS Group Plc
Nick Howell

9 Responses

  1. Experiential coaching activities
    Hi Nick

    On task coaching for something simple and low resource we sometimes ask delegates to bring in a piece of their own home equipment i.e. digital camera/mobile phone/ipod and so on and prepare to instruct another person on the functions. If the person is really familiar with their equipment it is a good learning experience for them to have to step back and remember what it is like to be unfamiliar. It also works well if you ask them to do it once without preparation and then give them time to do a task breakdown.

    Hope that helps!

  2. Experiential Coaching
    Hi Nick
    If this is a regular event for you then you might wish to consider investing in some equipment from Mobile Team Challenge. I am a freelance Training & Development Consultant and I purchased this kit last year. It fits into the boot of my car and I can assemble it in 5 minutes on-site and am able to deliver over 100 experiential activites covering all aspects from Coaching, Team Building, Conflict Resolution, Change Management, Leadership Skills, Communication Skills etc etc. I have found the kit to be excellent – great fun but serious learning!
    For those Companies who are not wanting to purchase the equipment, MTC offer introductory demos or you can purchase daily sessions where MTC provide a facilitator and the equipment, on-site, to cover bespoke training requirements. If you need any further information on the kit or the bespoke training days please contact me.

  3. Try simple drumming
    Hello Nick
    I use a simple drumming exercise which you can do on a kid’s drum from Early Learning Centre. basically you get them to learn how to drum 3 beats in one hand to every two in the other. It sounds great, but seems incredibly difficult if you do it without coaching. The task canbe broken down into a really simple pattern, and learners see how such a pattern when well communicated can teach skills they thought impossible to replicate.

    Feel free to ask for more detail.


  4. Learning activities for coaching
    I have often used the playing card game. You give each participant the instructions for a card trick and a pack of cards. You need a different trick for each person. They then teach themselves the trick. After 5 -10 minutes you take back the instructions and ask them in pairs to teach each other the trick (taking turns – not at the same time!) Lots of discussion opportunities in the debrief ie whether easier to learn from another person rather than written instructions etc.
    I do have others if you would like to contact me

  5. Coach or teach?
    I’m a bit confused…is your three day course about coaching? or teaching?
    I worked recently with a guy whose mantra was “the coach is the guardian of the the question”
    As a result of that I ran an exercise where the challenge for the coach was only to ask questions…no giving of advice or instructing was allowed… the delegates found it to be really hard but really useful.

  6. Coaching activities

    I have always asked delegates to coach on something that is familiar to them and to bring the resources with them. Delegates complete two coaching sessions, one at the beginning that they have pre-prepared and one at the end that they prepare throughout the course, and we measure the difference in a group feedback session. Examples of coaching sessions that have been run in the past have included card games, compiling crossword puzzles, virtual waterskiing, plaiting hair, making a halloween mask, drawing a cartoon and using camera, video equipment etc. The list is virtually endless and the beauty is you don’t have to come up with the activities – just the ground rules.


  7. Make it real?
    Forgive me if I miss the point, but to me coaching is to assist someone to a goal, and unless you are running a circus or a golf links then the value of these coaching techniques will fail fast. It may be more beneficial to have each member actually be coached through to a goal or two, using the questioning and listening skills they will need. This could be followed by coaching a certain number of volunteers on the goals of their choice. This would make real experiential learning for the coaches rather than didactic delivery through to a manufactured goal. Keeping a coachinglog or diary of reflections is worthwhile as well.Good luck from a coach who sees the very powerful transformation coaching makes.

  8. making it real
    I tend to agree with Angela on this question. Keep the simulations as real and focused as possible – certainly for managers’ initial coaching training. But even for the more experienced, coaching fellow-coaches through real and apparently intractable business issues is very powerful.

    Working in triads (coach, coachee, observer) on work issues the trainees are really gappling with is a well tried and proven model. Each of the triads takes a turn in each role. The entire group then de-briefs on the learning.
    I’m involved in training experienced business people as mentors to technology-based start-up companies – an EU funded programme. The triad method is very powerful and challenging – beauty in its simplicity. It is a major part of a 3-day training programme.
    I would just question whether some of the more esoteric and exotic experiential activities – through their very appeal – distract from a process of what should be deep learning and behaviour change.

    If you would like further information Nick please contact me on [email protected]


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