Podcast – Tea and The Law of Raspberry Jam

 Esther Derby and I host a podcast in which we talk about coaching, systems, management, and whatever else catches our attention.

Catch the latest episodes of our podcast below or subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or Podbean.

17 – Generalists and specialists, and learning

The argument over whether specialists or generalists are more valuable to an organization has been going on FOREVER. And the answer is –of course– it depends on what you’re trying to do.

In this episode we continue our conversation and exploration of learning in organizations and we look at generalists and specialists partially from a learning point of view. We also talk about the implications of the trend with the decreasing number of generalists in tech.

16 – Explicit and implicit knowledge

We’ve seen many organizations invest huge amounts of money and energy in training as part of agile transformations and all sorts of other changes. These investments often have disappointing results. Sometimes the new way looks a lot like the old way, but with new names.

Lot’s of factors contribute to this. However, there is a common thread. There’s almost always an overemphasis on what to do and how to do it. Why something works, when to do it, and when to make adjustments get little if any attention.

This is the difference between explicit and implicit knowledge–and that’s what we talk about in this episode.

15 – Provoking Learning in Organizations.

People and teams have the opportunity to learn all the time, not just in training. And, in order for knowledge to be generated, we need to provoke learning. But what is provoking learning, how do you do it, and how do I recognize when learning is not happening? That’s what we talk about in this episode.

The download that we talk about in the episode is available here.

14 – Exiting Systems.

In an earlier episode, we talked about how to enter a system. Now we’ll talk about how to leave. Parting may cause sadness–we’re ok with people missing us on an interpersonal level. But we work hard to make sure they can carry on just fine without us.

In this episode, we share our thoughts around how to leave, why it matters, and we share some practical tips.

13 – Help the System see the System with Reflective Observations.

In episode 11, we talked about Observing systems and in this episode, we explore using Reflective Observation as a way to help a system see the system.

By using interviews and observations, we help people see patterns and gaps clearly. Thus, they can choose their own actions to improve which in our experience leads to greater buy-in compared to prescriptions from an outside “expert”.

However, how do you engage in reflective observations? How do you make sense of what you see and hear? How do you present it to the system? Those are just a few of the things we cover in this episode.

12 – Accumulating Sorrow and Network Trauma

We, humans, are greatly influenced by the people around us. Our social networks affect our behavior and emotions. They can be a source of support buoying us up. But what happens when most of your network is in the same distress? When sorrows pile on, the whole network can spiral into trauma. In this mini-episode, we’ll talk about what you can do if you are in an organization that is experiencing a cumulative accumulation of sorrow and network trauma.

11 – Observing Systems

At any given time a lot goes on in systems. But how we observe systems makes a huge difference in the way we interact with them and ultimately in the value we can provide for clients.

When we’re not conscious about how we observe systems, we run around dizzy hoping to make important observations. Even if we are aware of what needs to be observed, it’s challenging.

So just exactly how does one observe systems? And what does it even mean to observe a system? That’s what we talk about in this episode.

We also have some bonus content for you this time! We created a downloadable mindmap that contains the things you can pay attention to that were mentioned in the episode.

10 – Coaching Past Resistance

People often ask us, “How do you coach a team that doesn’t want coaching?”  The obvious–and not very satisfying answer–is “You don’t.” But there are actions you can take that may lead to an invitation to coach.  There are also things you can do that aren’t “coaching” that can affect a team’s ability to work more effectively.

In this episode, we’ll share our experiences of “inflicted help” and offer ideas on shifting the dynamic to a better outcome.

9 – Coaching Teams That Do Not Want To Be Coached

Another question we are asked a lot is “How do you get past resistance to change?” The answer might surprise you. The first thing to change is your own response and mindset. (What? You mean change might mean I have to change, not just other people?!)

What gets labeled “resistance” is really a response to that ever is being proposed. In our latest episode, we talk about the downside of labeling responses as resistance we share our experiences of resistance and offer ideas that can help you shift from division and resistance to partnerships that move forward.

8 – Entering Systems

As consultants we both enter new systems on a regular basis. But even if you are working in a company, any time you interact with a new group, you are entering that system, and you will have an impact on that group. The thing is, because you are new, you don’t know what has happened before you got there, what the struggles have been, what the norms are.  So it is useful to enter with clarity about your own intentions, and a clear commitment to understand who the group was before you. As a newcomer, you are looking at the group with fresh eyes. Your insights are more likely to be accepted, if you stand in curiosity, rather than judgement.

In this episode we’re shifting focus a bit–but still, we come back to questions. The questions that we ask ourselves, and some that you might ask for self-reflection.

Download our episode notes here.

7 – Asking Better Questions – Assumptions

Our third and final episode (for now) about asking better questions is finally out! In it we talk about the assumptions embedded in questions. We all make assumptions, based on our view of the world, our background, and other factors. Becoming aware of our own assumptions can help us ask better questions. Becoming aware of others’ assumptions can help us understand how others see the world. When we can identify assumptions, we can examine them, test them, and arrive at a shared understanding.

Click here to download the Questions and Assumptions, and Homework mentioned in this episode.

6 – Asking Better Questions – How Different Structures Of Questions Work

For the most part, we’ve learned how to ask questions from the way people have asked us questions, but also through observing and imitating our parents, teachers, and other people in authoritative positions. Very often the question we are asked in school have a right answer, they are closed or multiple choice which is a variation of a closed question. As a result, our questions are often not nearly as effective as they can be and in this episode, we explore the structure of questions and how the structure impacts their usefulness or effectiveness. We also discuss the scope of a question and how that can either empower or disempower the team or people we ask the questions too.

We’ve created a short download with example questions. Download it here.

5 – Asking Better Questions – Intentions

The questions we ask determine the answers we get–obviously. Being aware of sort of answers your questions are likely to illicit (which we call intentions) increases your ability to choose questions that will help groups think clearly and solve problems.

In this episode, the first in a series of episodes about asking better questions, we go through 9 different intentions that we’ve found helpful when working with groups.

We’ve also created a Questions Intentions Worksheet in which we list and describe intentions and give several examples of them. Download it here.

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