Lego Serious Play

What’s in your coaching tool kit?

What’s in your coaching tool kit?

Once you get past the metaphorical answers; depending on the type of coach you ask you will get a common set of answers. A sports coach generally has a whistle, stopwatch, athletic tape, and a few sport specific items. A life coach may have some assessment forms. Most Agile coaches immediately reach for their stickies & markers (does anyone still call them Post-Its?).

I often hear the answer, The quintessential list of 500 Powerful Questions, but none could pull this out of their briefcase when asked. Although I have assembled a list shy of 100 questions, I don’t cary mine with me either.

Having the right tool for the job is essential. Improvisation and necessity may get the job done, but … 

If you don’t have a personal coaching tool kit I strongly encourage you to start assembling one. Start with one or two simple familiar tools. Build your collection over time. 

What do I cary in my tool kit?

My tool kit fits into a sandwich size ziplock and is as versatile as a Swiss Army knife.

  • First, money talks, so I cary $1,000,000 in assorted (play) currency. Can you put a $ value on…? 
  • I have several card decks:
    • A deck of 12 story cards from the Human Side of Tech This is my mini version of powerful questions.
    • A couple decks of Moving Motivators, Delegation Poker, and a deck of Improv cards from Management 3.0  Each of these have multiple uses with individuals and/or teams.
  • My go to manipulative, as a Lego Serious Play facilitator, is an LSP window kit (ask, build, tell, reflect). This is the best tool I have found for getting traction with complex problems. What is your superpower?

I cary all of this in a Quart size ziplock in my briefcase.

Here is the important catch. If you are going to cary a tool, be sure you know how and when to use it. I cary these physical tools with me. BUT, just because I have them does not mean I always use them. In any coaching situation I first and foremost rely on my skills, and years of training and experience. I don’t let my tool kit become a crutch or a premature shortcut. I reach for these tools only when they are the right tools to help my client move forward.

What’s in your tool kit (and how do you use it)?