Train the Trainer Week 3 – Lesson Plan

Learning Objectives and Outcomes  
What is the lesson designed to accomplish? 
  • To help students frame the process of thinking about their practice
  • This thinking will lead to the achievement of ICF core competencies for establishing the coaching agreement
  • Outcomes of this class will also feed deeper discussion in AC100 and 200 classes on Creating Structure, Trail Session, etc.

What is the standard for successful learning? 
See the following competencies:

See ICF Professional Core Competencies:
A2 Setting the Foundation: Establishing the Coaching Agreement
Ability to understand what is required in the specific coaching interaction and to come to agreement with the prospective and new client about the coaching process and relationship

Target Audience     
Who is in the lesson? 
  • Adult learners who have recently joined ICA and:
  • have just started thinking about their coaching practice or
  • have been coaching for some time or
  • wish to complete the class to meet graduation requirements
What are the characteristics of the audience? 
  • Adult learners
  • Variety of backgrounds and experience
What will trainees need to be able to do before they 
can benefit from the course? 
  • No pre-requisites
Who is qualified to be in the program? 
  • Registered students of ICA
Who is qualified to be trainer? 
  • employees of ICA
  • supervised students of ICA Train the Trainer course

Lesson Outline      
What topics will be covered? In what sequence?
  • Describing the ideal coaching practice in general terms
  • Why do you want to coach?
  • Who will your clients be?
  • What are your business goals?
  • When will you coach?  7-7 Mon to Sat or 12-6 Tues, Wed, Thu?
  • How will you coach?  Telephone, chat, email, in person
  • What assets do you need to be able to coach?  e.g. computer, telephone line, email, website, chat, office, car, etc.
  • Recognizing the doubt loop and how it affects your ability to manage customer expectations come to a mutually beneficial agreement with a client
  • What is the doubt loop?
  • How does confidence affect you ability to make an effective agreement with a client?

How much time is devoted to each part of the lesson? 
For the first class:
  • 15 min check in and wins and shares
  • 15 min why coach and who are your clients
  • 15 min how and when
  • 10 min doubt loop
  • 5 min takeaways
What will trainees and trainer’s role be during each topic 
  • Trainer: Welcome, inspire, create safe space, ask questions, role play, suggest activity
  • Trainee: Participate, think, write

Support Materials     
What materials and/or equipment is needed for 
delivery of instruction or to facilitate instruction? 
  • Bridgeline
  • Headset
Is a certain size or arrangement of bridgeline necessary? 
  • Class may be up to 25 learners
Do the trainees have homework that needs to be completed 
before the lesson? 
  • Participants should read materials for module
What does the trainer need to do? 
  • Read materials for module
  • Prepare questions
Lesson Topic      
What topic is the lesson going to cover? 

  • Getting Started Week 1
  • Introduction to thinking about practice structure by focusing on unique gifts and interests of the coach, and the role confidence plays in reaching agreement with client
  • What are the gifts you bring to coaching?
  • What are 3 of your objectives as a coach?
  • Business structure – what kind of clients, what time of day will you coach, how many days per week, telephone/in person/chat/email, 
  • Doubt loop and confidence
How will learning be assessed (tests, role plays,etc)? 
  • During class, learners will write and if they want to share, can share their thoughts with the class
  • At the end of the class, ask every person for 3 words that summarize what they are taking away
Transfer and Retention     
What will be done to ensure that training content is 
used in their life, job, etc 
  • Reading and reflections in module
  • Also, ask friends for ideas and help
  • Ask peer coach for ideas and help
  • Design Your Life exercise
  • Will be followed with more detailed modules on structure, confidence, etc.

Group selection and coaching for adaptability

For background:

There is a scientific theory in evolutionary biology called Multilevel Selection Theory, or Group Selection Theory.  The short version is that Darwin wrote about only one part of evolution – the evolutionary success of adaptive, fit individuals.  However, some groups survive even if the individuals in them are not the fittest in the total population.  This is what is known as Group Selection.  

What’s the bottom line that makes a group fit?  THe group has to compete.  For individuals to be collectively competitive, it all comes down to efficient communication, giving and accepting timely help, and trustworthiness.  Groups that have all these things can compete where individuals in the group may not survive.

So, for a logical segue, what does that mean for a coaching client?  Here’s what I’ve been noodling:

If individuals can become more competitively successful by being part of a fit group,

And if being part of a competitive group requires certain behaviours like communication, helping and trust,

And it is reasonable to assume that fit, competitive groups will select members based on their ability to display those behaviours,

Then it is reasonable for an individual to seek help to become great at those behaviours, to become desirable to the most successful groups.

What would those behaviours be?  Well, noticing what’s important to individuals and the group, asking for help from group members, helping when asked, contributing to the development of the group vision, taking action cooperatively to achieve the group’s vision when possible, learning what works and what doesn’t, committing to only those things that work and leaving the group if it no longer serves the individual – because it is certain that the individual will no longer serve the group.

These are very different from the behaviours we have come to associate with the successful individual – not needing help, getting it done alone, being wary, being competitive with other individuals, being “the best”.

So if the behaviours of individuals in fit groups are potentially more successful than the behaviours our culture has told us are the ones to pursue, it gets a bit confusing.  What should I do?  Should I be an individual achiever and go it alone?  Should I give up my competitive skills?

Like everything, there’s no black and white.  In some circumstances it is absolutely necessary to be able to go it alone.  However, it is probably smart to balance the “hero” our culture tells us to be with some other behaviours that give us a chance to join successful groups.

We need to be adaptable!

Millennial Leaders: Will they survive?

Margaret Wheatley ( has said

“I strongly believe that the old leadership paradigm has failed us and that our current systems will continue to unravel.  This has changed what I do and whom I choose to support.  I no longer spend any time trying to fix or repair the old or to improve old leadership methods.  I spend all of my time now supporting those giving birth to the new, those pioneering with new approaches to organizing and leading.

“New leaders must invent the future while dealing with the past…They must invent new processes and organizing forms, and simultaneously also solve the complex problems of this time.” Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time, Wheatley, Margaret. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2005. pps. 166-7

I love the tag line for her Berkana Institute ( “The leaders we need are already here”.  But, will they survive to revolutionize the organizations of today?

I recently read a story from CBS news that had a very different view of new leaders.  

The reporter described Millennials as having “been raised with a mouse in one hand and an iPod in the other – and the talent for driving a lot of people crazy.”  (

Apparently, managers everywhere are frustrated by this generation’s lack of interest in meetings and long documents, and are frustrated by their expectation that if they are finished work, they should be able to choose to stay or leave.  

It seems to me that with an economic crunch, managers should be thrilled to have employees who get results without putting in time, don’t waste time in meetings or writing long reports that become shelf-ware, and don’t spend downtime in the office bending the ear of other busy employees.

“Accounting giant Ernst & Young says by 2010, 60 percent of its employees will be Generation Y. So it’s holding ‘generational dynamics workshops’ as well as scheduling a face-to-face meeting with each new hire to introduce concepts like … meeting face-to-face. 

“‘That is our workforce, that is what we are going to build our firm on – they’re the leaders of tomorrow,’ said Ernst & Young’s Billie Williamson. 

“It’s all about flexibility and teamwork. In other words, Generation Y-ers could lose the stereo headphones once in a while, and the rest of us could lose the stereotypes.” 

Will this be enough?  Will companies like Ernst and Young also seek out the new approaches of young leaders as well as requiring old behaviours in order to comfort older employees?  Will new leaders be able to survive the onslaught of ridicule from old media like CBS long enough to help the world make the changes only they have the energy and skills for?  Will we all get past the tools and gadgets long enough to see the ideas and potential underneath and tap into that for our collective future?

Reflections on Train the Trainer Week 2 – Competencies

Target class: Getting Started

Planned Delivery Date: Saturday, Nov 29 4 pm EST


See ICF Professional Core Competencies:
A2 Setting the Foundation: Establishing the Coaching Agreement
Ability to understand what is required in the specific coaching interaction and to come to agreement with the prospective and new client about the coaching process and relationship
a. Understands and effectively discusses with the client the guidelines and specific parameters of the coaching relationship (e.g. logistics, fees, scheduling, inclusion of others if appropriate)
  • Can articulate personal coaching goals and business objectives
  • Can describe ideal business structure, fees, coaching schedule, and outline desired coaching relationship
b. Reaches agreement about what is appropriate in the relationship and what is not, what is and is not being offered, and about the client’s and coach’s responsibilities
  • Can describe a typical fee negotiation and value to the client
  • Can describe inclusions and exclusions  of the coaching relationship (is spiritual coaching included or is it only business coaching?  Is chat included or only phone and email contact?)
  • Can articulate coach’s and client’s responsibilities (e.g. client will document session outcomes; coach will provide an online form in which that can be done)
  • Can recognize “doubt loop” and how doubt and confidence influence coming to an appropriate agreement with a client
c. Determines whether there is an effective match between his or her coaching method and the needs of the prospective client
  • Can articulate how to discern a good fit between coach and client and one that may not be a good fit

How coaching can fill the gap left by retiring Boomer managers

Though the economy is stalling many retirement plans, there are still a whole lot of empty management holes being left behind retiring boomers.  

As experienced managers retire, companies face the challenge not just of replacing them, but of bringing their replacements up to speed efficiently and effectively.  In many cases, Boomer’s replacements, often Millennials (people born after 1980) are a little like Prince Charles – busy with their own day to day work while the real boss hangs on to control.  So what happens when the manager, or the Queen, leaves the throne empty?  How do we prepare the new ruler to fill those well-worn, sensible shoes?

Prince Charles has it easy compared to the Millennial workers in companies today.  Here’s what I see::

  • Boomers hold intellectual property of the company in their heads and often take or are given little time to pass it on before they leave.  Most companies have neither the human resources nor time to document and transfer that knowledge to the next generation.
  • The knowledge boomers have can be learned but not easily “taught”.  There are very few affordable training courses in “how to do your boss’s job”.  In addition, much of it was learned “on the job”, an opportunity Millennials typically don’t get until after the retirement party is over and everyone has gone home.
  • Many of the things the boomers do as managers were things they learned in the pre-computer or pre-Web 2.0 world of corporate communication and teamwork.  Some of those things could be done better or more efficiently with a little imagination and time to experiment.  Given the chance to experiment in a safe environment with support, the new managers may float the next killer management approach.

Here’s an interesting clip from an article in

“Many managers are promoted into managerial roles because they exhibited strong performance as technicians. The shift from technical to strategic is often tough, and it’s no wonder that a 2001 Harvard Business School study found that nearly 40 percent of new managers fail within their first 18 months. Unfortunately, many organizations provide no formal development for new managers and no refresher training for existing managers or high-potential employees.”

SOURCE: JJ Thakkar, Capital H Group, the Woodlands, Texas, March 8, 2006.

This situation isn’t inevitable.  There is a great opportunity to bring in a business coach or coaches to help with targeted, goal-oriented, individualized development.  A coach can work directly with a new manager, focusing on exactly what he or she needs in order to be successful, providing a structure and focus to keep development on track, and the kind of encouragement and support that many companies simply don’t have time to provide.  

Additionally, an external business coach can bring objectivity to the new manager’s role.  A good coach can ask questions that help the new manager identify hidden opportunities that the company or the new manager may not see because they are too close to them.  Finally, a coach can create a structure for accountability and help the new manager track goals to achievement.  

The advantages of three months of weekly reviews with a coach on individualized management development topics, over a one or two-day generalized training course that typically has no follow-up, are clear: prepared

managers ready to take the throne when the time comes.

Coaching may be the next “killer app” for companies dealing with generational knowledge transfer.

Top 10 tips for managers working with Millennials

Here’s the top 10 tips for managers working with Millennials:

10. Put yourself in their shoes.  Remember what it was like being 26.  Did you understand why your parents and their friends did what they did?

9. Rewind 20 to 30 years.  You’ve had years and years to learn.  They haven’t.  Start there.

8. Delegate using the Tell, Show, Watch, Give model.  If all you do is tell them and then give them the task, you’ll be back again and again.  Instead, tell them, show them how you’d do it, watch them do it, then give them the task.  High initial energy, but low long term energy.

7. Use their communication methods.  You learned to write long professional, dry status reports every week.  They just don’t understand that.  They work in frequent sound bites of 140 characters or fewer (the limit on sms, text messaging and Twitter). 

6. Imagine how their ways of doing things could actually make business better.  Wouldn’t it be great if all communication was 140 characters or fewer?  And if you could get realtime updates?  How long would it take you to do email in the mornings!?

5. Learn to love social networking.  It works if you give it a try.  And in the end, if you don’t learn to love it, you’ll be left behind.

4. Understand that the environment in which they grew up taught them to believe in themselves without having to get results.  “You’re all special” in grade 5 translates into “you’re all special” in line management.  Remember kids getting promoted to next grade even after failing?  

3. Check your perceptions.  Are they really a challenge or is it you?  How did you feel about your first manager?  Were you a challenge?  Did he think you were?

2. Take the time to coach them.  You had lots of time and training.  These days, most companies provide technical training to Millennials, but not teamwork, communication, time management, etc.  You can fill the gap and build trust by coaching them yourself.  That relationship you build will be worth much more than the time you spend.

1. Be the change you want to see.  Have integrity about what you’re asking for.  If you want more communication, more accountability and more maturity, model those traits every day not just with your boss but with your employees! 

Attributes that make vendors valuable to CIOs

In, Eric Lundquist in CIOInsight lists the attributes CIOs believe make employees valuable who are headed for mid-level manager positions (Society for Information Managers (SIMS)).  

Turns out they are the same attributes that make vendors valuable, too.  In my opinion, they are the attributes that make ANYONE valuable!

All of those attributes are coachable.

All of those attributes are made better through adaptability: to the boss, the customer, the team, the environment, the economy…

See the list below:




1. Ethics and Morals. 



2. Collaboration and teams. 



3. Critical thinking and problem solving.



4. Communication oral and written. 



5. Project leadership.



6. Managing expectations and user relationship management.



7. Decision making.



8. Business analysis. 



9. Creativity and innovation.



10. Budgets, leadership and project integration.