Guided Design: A Powerful Tool for Training Professional Coaches

William Bergquist June 11, 2012 0
Guided Design: A Powerful Tool for Training Professional Coaches

As educators and trainers we are all aware that it is often quite valuable to intersperse case studies in a program that is preparing people to enter the field of professional coaching. Most case studies, however, do not have a component built into the study that facilitates the direct integration of course content with the specific challenges being faced within the case study. A powerful tool called Guided Design does this integration for you.

Phase One-A

Originally used in the education of future engineers at West Virginia University (and subsequently modified by myself), Guided Design begins by offering the first written section of a brief case study. Members of one or more case study groups (each group consisting of no more than 5-7 participants) are invited to read, review and respond to this brief vignette. What would they do at this point? How would members of the study group respond to the initial challenge(s) being offered in this case study? In this particular use of Guided Design, the case study group would be asked to indicate how they would respond at this early stage to the coaching client.

Phase One-B

After each study group has offered their own response, the group is offered a second printed document which we call the Collateral Response.  [By the way, I would suggest that you separate the several documents that are distributed during the Guided Design, so that participants aren’t looking ahead to the next phase of the exercise.] This document might contain several different options—representing alternative responses to the first vignette (each of these responses representing one of the perspectives being offered about coaching in this educational or training program).  In some instances, there might be only single Collateral Response if one specific strategy or perspective is being presented in this program. The key to Guided Design is not that the case study groups simply accept the Collateral Response. Rather members of the case study group are first to identify the strengths and advantages offered by the Collateral Response and the value inherent in each of the alternative perspectives (or this one alternative perspective) that underlie the Collateral Response. Second, the case study group is to indicate how their own response might be as good as or in some regards superior to the perspective(s) offered in the Collateral Response. In other words, the case study group is to provide a rationale for their own decision, as well as appreciate the value(s) inherent in the Collateral Response.

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