Organizational Leadership Coaching(R), LLC

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The OLC Primer Coaching Course

Welcome to the Organizational Leadership Coaching® Institute. The Primer: is the introduction to the world of coaching and is intended to provide the basic skills toward coaching competency. Often when one comes to the world of coaching it is with the mind-set of a sports coach who helps one to learn/improve a skill in the sport being played. In that mind-set the coach is expected to impart the knowledge of the sport and shape the behavior of the student to perform the movements necessary to improve ability. The bottom line is - the coach imparts a skill along with a knowledge of the game being played.

Coaching is not about imparting a skill-set but rather facilitating (mining) the movement in a direction that accomplishes the objectives and goals of the client (coachee). It cannot be over stated, in the world of pure coaching the direction and objective of movement in the coaching session is solely the choice of the coachee. “Coachee” (or client) throughout this manual will be used to identify the one being coached and he/she will lead the dance, so to speak, all the way. 

This Institute is about training coaches to walk along side “leaders (Coachees) in motion” to clear the way for continued movement without the interjection of personal preference and bias. A warning is stated up front in this training, that is “imparting information or pushing a preference of the coach will be highly discouraged.” We apologize up front for cutting you off while coaching and pointing out what we call cutting horse maneuvers or filling in the blanks with your helpful information. The reason we make this proclamation is our experience informs us that the closer you are to the imparting information or pushing a preference (a coaching infraction) the better you can see it and make corrections. Over time in the course you will appreciate the difficulty of staying out of the way of the encounter and allowing the unencumbered movement to flow in its organic direction. “What is said right now may not be understood but you will understand it hereafter!”

Course Major Content

The Primer, which serves as the text for the OLC Coaching Clinic, covers the four basic skills of Maximizing Effective Listening, Posing Shift Causing Questions, The Art of Targeting Language and Giving Motivating Acknowledgement as well as introducing the OLC Dialogue Model for initial coaching 

Course Objectives

  • Learn the OLC Coaching Dialogue Model for coaching 
  • Identify and practice coaching skills
  • Explain the personal shifts needed to adopt 
        a coach approach as a Legacy Leader
  • Describe your own personal coaching style(s) 
  • Create a personal action plan to Implement your

    personal coaching practice…

  • Describe your Leadership Imperatives using 
        a coach approach

The OLC Primer Coaching Course 


Session One 

  • Introductions
  • Overview 
  • Course Objectives

Session Two

  • Coaching Definitions and Characteristics

Session Three

  • Coaching History, Background and The International Coach Federation Certification

Session Four

  • Coaching Culture and The Dialogue Coaching Model

Session Five

  • Maximum Effective Listening

Session Six

  • Posing Shift Causing Questions

Session Seven

  • Personality Preference Considerations

Session Eight

  • The Art of Targeting Language
  • Giving Motivating Acknowledgements

Session Nine

  • Coaching Practice Laboratory  

Session Ten

  • Managing a Coaching Practice

Session Eleven

  • ICF Competencies Integration
  • OLC Best Practices, Code of Ethics & Boundaries

Session Twelve

  • Course Closing
  • Course Objective Review/Evaluation

Six (6) Post Course Coaching Sessions – 90 Minute Calls (9 Hours)

The Primer Course 

Session Overviews

Section One – Coaching Introduction, History-Background & Dialogue Model (9 ½) 

The Primer Coach Course Introduction (1 ½) Synchronous

The first hour and a half of the OLC Primer Coaching Course begins with the outlining of the course objectives, class norms, and the Institute expectations. Then coaching is introduced as a formal discipline that currently functions within the realms of personal and institutional coaching modalities both nationally and internationally. Students are allowed to introduce themselves to one another, consider the expectations they have for the coaching experience, and state their objectives for the course. In this introduction the Organizational Leadership Coaching® Organization is introduced along with its divisions of learning that are available for future participation. The three OLC Institute levels of coach training are reviewed which include The Primer Coaching CourseThe Competent Coaching Course and The Professional Coaching Course. The full Institute overview is presented so that students can see the development of the full spectrum of the coaching learning cycles of the OLC Coach Institute Training Process. Students are ask to generate 5 real issues to be coached around during The Primer Course.

Coaching Definition and Characteristics (1) Synchronous

The Coaching Definition and Characteristics one hour session introduces coaching as a discipline and starts the unlearning of previous associated thoughts. The session covers the OLC Coaching Definition and expands to include other definitions from thought makers and pioneers in the field. Other subjects include “What Coaching Is” and “Is Not” and the Benefits and Characteristics of Coaching both personally and organizationally. 

Coaching History and Background (1) Synchronous

This one hour block of instruction attempts to give the student a 30,000 feet view of coaching and its development out of the multiple disciplines in which it emerges. It highlights the key players in the development of Coaching, the historical disciplines that form its foundational roots, recommended books and media, areas of concentrations, certifying organizations and an overview of the status of coaching globally. A beautiful chart entitled The Roots & Fruits of Coaching is unveiled that pictures the disciplines, people and theory’s that have merged to form current coaching practice. Also during this period we introduce the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and the Code of Ethics with Core Competences. 

OLC Coaching Principles and Environment/Culture (2) Synchronous

This two hour block dives into the world of coaching by introducing the concept of a coaching culture and the collaborative nature of the coaching relationship. It approaches coaching both from the personal modality and expands to the organizational approach as well. The block starts with what a “Positive Culture Is,” moves on to encourage movement from a “Telling” mode of interaction to one of “Asking,” then ponders the concept of “Shifts” for forward movement in the coaching encounter. The session closes with the OLC Ten Coaching Culture Covenants that lays the foundation for boundaries in the coaching session. 

Communication and the OLC Coaching Dialogue Model (2) Synchronous

For two hours this session introduces the OLC Coaching Dialogue Model© along with the nature of communication in general. Before focusing on the Coaching Dialogue Model© the session looks at the Johari Window in order to conceive of the roles of coach and coachee in the coaching encounter. Joseph Lift and Harry Ingram postulated that communication efforts unfold with people using four windows of communication. What is suggested is that the coachee is encouraged to operate in the “Open Window” mode while the coach is to operate in the “Interviewer Mode.” After observing the communication postures of coach and coachee the OLC Coaching Dialogue Model is unfolded on how to move through the five phases of the coaching dialogue. At the end of this session students are to coach for the first time (#1 - 10 minutes) with a focus on obtaining the “focus” for the session. 

Section One - Homework Assignment after Section One (2) Asynchronous 

At the end of Section (in most cases the end of a Section is the same as end of a day – depending on the course format) students are asked to find someone to coach that evening for at least 20 minutes. In addition to the coaching assignment they are asked to read a paper in title “What is Coaching?” and be prepared to discuss it in the morning review. Also students are asked to fill out the PCSI for review in the afternoon session of the second section. The final homework assignment is for each student is to write their personal definition of coaching that capitalizes on everything they've learned in the sessions during Section One. The students are given two hours asynchronous credit for the homework assignments.

Section Two - Coaching Skills and Personality Preferences (10 ½)

Section Two – Introduction (2) Synchronous

The Section Two session opens with students providing a collaborative and creative review of the elements presented in Section One. In addition to the review each student is asked to present their definition of coaching as they understand it per Section One. Students are also asked to provide feedback concerning their experience with coaching someone outside of the classroom/session. This session is primarily for the purpose of embedding the learnings from Section One and allow students to integrate coaching knowledge into practical application. During this session the class jointly listens to a master coaching session by an MCC level coach and discusses the techniques, style and strategy used. 

Maximizing Effective Listening (2) Synchronous

Maximizing Effective Listening is the first skill taught in the OLC coaching learning system in becoming a competent coach. This session unfolds in two major topics; the first is “Effective Listening” and the second is “Contextual Listening.” Definitions for both are provided along with stressing the concept of distilling “Essence.” Included in this session are “The Complexity of Effective Listening,” “The Five Imperatives of Listening,” “Listening -vs- Hearing,” and again finding the focus. At the end of this two hour period another coaching session (#2) is conducted with a focus on listening contextually and effectively while tending to Deciding the Direction for the focus. 

Posing Shift Causing Questions (2) Synchronous

The second skill taught in the OLC Coaching System is Shift Causing Questions. During this two hour block the “Elements of a Great Question” are explored along with “The Power/Effects of a Great Coaching Question.” In the session a review the types of questions is presented along with negative questions that are not as effective in effective coaching. At the end of the session a coaching exercise is conducted that focuses on posing great questions that are succinct and lazered. In a Triade one student is to tell a story for five minutes and two coaches are to take turns asking three Shift Causing Questions each in response to the story. At the end of the session students are to practice coaching in a session (#3) for 10 minutes were the emphasis is on asking Shift Causing Questions and Designing the Strategy in the session. 

Personality Preference Consideration (2 ½) Synchronous 

In the coaching encounter leaders (coachees) show up in the personality styles of their preferences. This two and a half hour block explores the various personality styles as measured by the Personal Coaching Styles Inventory (PCSI). Each style is unpacked and examined to show its dynamic in the coaching encounter. In dyads students are ask to list the potential problems in the communication efforts between the various styles. Suggested are ways the coach can minimize the negative effects of personality differences and turn barriers into opportunities for growth and progress. In addition to the PCSI other personality inventories are exposed and the focuses of each. Before this session is concluded another coaching session (#4 – 15 minutes) is offered that encourages the coaches to note the dynamics of personality differences and Destroying Obstacles in the coaching session. 

Section Two - Homework Assignment after Section Two (2) Asynchronous

Students are ask to read the poem by Robert Frost - “The Road Not Taken” and ponder its potential impact in the coaching encounter. A selected group is to put together a presentation that captures the learnings in section one and present a 15 minute presentation to the class in the introduction to Section Three. Each student is also to coach someone for 20+ minutes and be prepared to discuss learnings and observations with the class. 

Section Three – Coaching Skills, Practice, Certifications and Closing (14)

Section Three – Introduction (1) Synchronous

This session starts by asking students to share reflections concerning the Poem by Robert Frost and how it may impact thoughts about coaching and the journey’s of coachees. Those who were to prepare the skit to embed the previous sections learning are ask to present the skit after which the entire class can add additional thoughts/comments. At the conclusion of this session coaches are ask to share observations on the coaching sessions they conducted outside the class and what some of their take away’s are. 

The Art of Targeting Language (2) Synchronous

This two hour session capitalizes on the use of Targeted Language and how it is imperative that the coach uses intentional language that is clear, focused and targeted. The session looks at “Principles of Coaching Language,” “The Intensity of Words,” and language that has “Motivation and Supportive Language” in it. At this point in the training OLC shifts to higher expectations in the coaching practice sessions and assumes that the student has the Dialogue Model down well enough to begin to focus on coaching technique and efficiency. What is emphasized now is moving to “Essence” in an efficient and rapid way. The coaching session after this session is 20 minutes (#5) in length and is to be ended with the wrap up to Describe the Actions. Also this coaching is to be conducted back to back (in the room) to demonstrate the effectiveness of coaching over the phone and in a virtual environment. 

Coaching Certification Process, Coaching Practice, Forms and Processes (1 ½) Synchronous

This one hour and a half session introduces students to the formal certification world of coaching and the requirements of the International Coach Federation. Included here are the levels of ICF Certifications, ICF Coaching Code of Ethics, requirements for coaching hour qualification and recording, ICF Mentor Coaching requirements and process, information on the Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA) and joining the ICF. Also are the OLC Coach Support Network Introduction, the OLC 10 Boundaries of Coaching and OLC Guiding Principles. Students are made aware of the coach support material/forms at the back of the syllabus with a focus on the Coaching Introduction Letters, the Coaching Intake Forms, Information Sheet and Coaching Preparation Forms. The session ends with the students practicing a mock interview session with a new client and explaining “What Coaching Is” and what they can expect in the coaching relationship and culture. The coach is expected to use his own definition of coaching from the homework assignment of the previous day. 

Giving Motivating Acknowledgements (1) Synchronous

The final skill in The OLC Primer Course is Giving Motivating Acknowledgements. Over this one hour session students are reminded afresh of the power of acknowledgement and it’s “Motivating Factors.”  Also in this period the “Characteristics of a Great Acknowledgement” are explored along with how to provide the “Motivating Factors of Acknowledgement” in an intentional coach technique. Not only do we emphasize the techniques and characteristics of intentional acknowledgements, but also suggest the propelling power it can have/make in coaching momentum and “shifts.” Students are ask to share with each other a situation in their workplace where they saw an action/activity/quester that they thought could be acknowledged and to frame an acknowledgement they could give in response. 

Closing of the OLC Primer Coaching Course (1 1/2) Synchronous

The closing of the OL C Primer Coaching Course includes a review of the objectives listed at the beginning of the course, course evaluation and a final in the room coaching practice session of 20 minutes (#6). Each student is then asked to provide the graduation certificate to their learning partner who has been with them through the course using the skill of acknowledgement as learned in the previous section. At the end of the course the final scene of Mr. Holland's - Opus is shown to connect the potential impact of coaching and the reality that each coaching encounter can change the life of the one being coached.

The OLC Primer Coaching Integration Calls (6) Synchronous

After the formal twenty five hours of the The Primer Coaching Course, six hours of telephonic coach training is offered to students who complete the course. During each call two students are allowed to coach for 20 minutes each with feedback both verbally and written. During the coaching sessions coaches are evaluated by the standards of the Core Competencies of the International Coach Federation. In addition to the coaching sessions additional coaching technique and knowledge are provided to continue the learning of the coaches for professional development. The OLC Primer Coaching Course ends with these six sessions and the competency level of students at the Primer level.