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Team Coaching: Applying Individual Coaching Techniques to Team Coaching

May 26, 2020

“The idea that you would stop a meeting and have [the team] observe themselves … is pretty shocking at first. It drives a sense of curiosity through self-observation that has the client want to experiment with what’s possible. What could we do? Then realize that they actually have their own solutions.”

~Alexander Caillet


What is team coaching and how does it compare with other areas of team development? Alison Whitmire of Learning in Action delves into the heart of the team coaching framework with her guest, Alexander Caillet, CEO of Corentus and faculty member of Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership.

Caillet is “a true pioneer in this field of team coaching. He’s worked with more than 120 teams in over 30 countries for over the last 22 years,” observing and finding ways to create a framework to continue refining and improving the process.

Where Coaching Fits Into Team Development

Coaches and consultants work with teams in a variety of modalities. Caillet differentiates four of them by the professional’s involvement and the context of the interactions.

  • Team Consulting: A consultant gives advice, shares best practices, research and actually tells the team what they should or could do.
  • Team Facilitation: A facilitator guides the work session. They create the space, structure good methodologies and can take their client through a process to get an output.
  • Team Training: A trainer teaches a team a set of skills — or leads them through knowledge-building sessions, curricula, simulations, or role-plays.
  • Team Coaching: Alternatively, a coach observes a team as they do real work. As the team works, the coach quietly observes, gathers data and then feeds that data back to the team. The team hears the data and acts without the coach needing to fix, drive or manage the change for them.


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Posted in: Coaching|Heal The Divide|Podinars

Awakenings: What does that mean that “I need help?”

May 22, 2020

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” 

Brené Brown

Many of the narratives that have emerged from amid the COVID-19 pandemic revolve around needing help and what that means.

In a recent conversation with a business owner and colleague who, like many, is struggling, he said, “I’m not used to needing help. I’m used to helping. What does that mean that I need help? I thought I was beyond that.”

Let’s think about the implied judgment around those who need help or those who give help. Does it feel out of balance, like there’s perhaps a higher or lower relationship in each role? Or can there be an equality to it, of sharing the same experience?

Perhaps the universe wants us to wake up to our connectedness. To wake us up to how we’re all similar. To wake us up to what we have in common. To wake us up to our humanity.

What meaning are you making of this? Is it challenging to ask for help? If so, what makes it challenging? What have you learned from helping others or asking for help during this time? Watch today’s Awakenings video and share your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.

P.S. If you’d like to take a step back with us, reflect and make meaning to begin to transform your experience, sign up to receive the Awakenings series along with a free guided journal page to your email every week. Sign up here.

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Posted in: Awakenings|Heal The Divide|Mindfulness & Meditation

Awakenings Amid a Quarantine: Reconnecting with Our True Selves

May 20, 2020

As the world changes — for many of us daily life pared to the essentials — with less travel and shuttling back and forth to the office, gym, kids’ practices and social engagements, we find ourselves adapting as well.

Have you noticed that conversations with friends, family, clients and colleagues have become more real? More truthful and authentic? That they are saying things you’ve never heard them say before?

We at Learning in Action have tuned into this wisdom and truth in the everyday language of people everywhere in the past few weeks of quarantine, and it inspired us to launch this new Heal the Divide video miniseries, “Awakenings.” We invite and encourage you to explore this awakening with us. This is how it will work:

First, come as you are. Connect from a place of comfort and sanctuary twice a week for short, 3-6 minute videos, on Sundays and Wednesdays. Wear whatever is comfortable and be ready to take in what the world is trying to communicate and what meaning can be found in what’s happening right now. Each week, we include a downloadable guided journal page where you can write your reflections. And we encourage you to share your reflections or awakening with us! 

This series invites and encourages a way for us all to find meaning from this time of uncertainty, together. The series is simple, focusing on this one very important question:

What is this time wanting us to awaken to, in ourselves, each other, the world?

Join us as we take a step back, interpret, make meaning, try to understand the universal why of these times and begin to transform our experience. Sign up to receive Awakenings by email


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Posted in: Awakenings|Heal The Divide|Mindfulness & Meditation

Moving Through Fear in an Age of Uncertainty

April 24, 2020

“The best way out is always through.” — Robert Frost

We at Learning in Action are here for our community, and we’re listening deeply to what’s needed in the world right now. And what we’re hearing is that there’s a need for resources and insights for working with fear.

We developed the new video course, “Moving Through Fear,” to help you name, tame and move through the fear of what you may be experiencing and would be so natural to be experiencing during this really challenging time.

Much has been written about how to handle fear of things we can control, like fear of flying, fear of public speaking or even fear of failure. But less is available about how to handle the fear that comes with situations like we’re experiencing now —those over which we have little to no control.

Whether they’re top of mind or running in the background, our questions and doubts can generate fear. Will life ever return to normal? Will I or someone I love get sick? Will I lose my job? What about my financial future? 

And so that’s what this article — and the video course — is about. How do we work with fear in the face of great uncertainty?


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Posted in: Emotion: Fear|Mindfulness & Meditation

5 Sojourners of a Meditation Journey

April 9, 2020

For years, I dallied with meditation, starting and stopping many times, struggling to build a habit.  At one point, I even tried my first attempt with a Meditation Teacher Training to kick-start my practice.  But, for a variety of reasons, that was a bust too. 

It wasn’t until I set a goal to develop a consistent meditation practice, with more determination than before, and with a little help from a device called Muse. Muse is a brain-sensing headband, designed to provide biofeedback to the meditator about their brain activity.  When the brain is calm, the meditator is rewarded with the chirp of a bird, letting the meditator know, whatever they are doing (or not doing) is working and the brain is getting calmer.  When the brain is active, background sounds selected in advance get louder and louder, letting the meditator know that they are headed off track. (I like the beach background and the rainforest backgrounds best).

The feedback provided by Muse made me curious about what was occurring within me during meditation and how that was affecting my brain.  I started journaling after each meditative session, indulging my curiosity, hypothesizing about what aspects of my internal experience were arising to impact my brain activity.   That’s when I began to discern distinct parts of me.

Over time, I noticed that five unique aspects of myself were showing up consistently on my meditation journey and they each had a different impact on my brain activity.  I began to refer to them as the Five Sojourners.


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Posted in: Coaching|Mindfulness & Meditation