4 bite-sized insights into making our coaching materials more accessible

Have you ever thought about how accessible your slides and other coaching materials are?

I have to admit I’ve been as guilty as anyone else of being blithely unaware of how inaccessible most resources are for those living with a variety of conditions. From low vision to being hard of hearing, from having motor or physical disabilities to living with dyslexia or being on the autistic spectrum – there are a whole host of people out there whose needs are not normally considered when learning and other resources are being designed. Most coaches live and breathe to help other people find ways of overcoming challenges they face or dig deep to become even better than they already are. Yet, we may not spend even a few moments considering how easy it can be to make our materials accessible to all.

Cartoon man and blank slide showI’ve had the good fortune to benefit from a CPD session on this subject delivered by two specialists in accessible design. Emma Pearson is Learning Developer (Inclusive Practice) at The University of Manchester in the UK, and she teamed up with her colleague Carlene Barton (e-Learning Technologist) to produce an eye-opening set of insights which revolutionised the way I view the whole issue of accessibility. You’ll be glad to know that they were kind enough to make a recording to accompany the slides of their session after the event for the benefit of anyone who wasn’t there on the day. You can take a look at it here. Remember to click on the CC icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen to see the subtitles!

What follows is my top  4  takeaways from the session, which I’m sharing with you so you can start to make your resources more accessible too.

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4 bite-sized insights into Career Coaching

Have you ever wondered what career coaching is all about? Many coaches without a careers advisory background shy away from tackling career issues head on in coaching sessions. I was pleased to participate in an excellent CPD workshop on this topic recently, and I’d like to share with you some insights I took away from it, just in case you’re wondering what career coaching is all about too…

career compass‘Approaches and Tools for Career Coaching’ was facilitated by Paul Walsh – a coach, facilitator and trainer who’s currently a Learning & Development Specialist at Manchester Metropolitan University here in the UK (you can see his LinkedIn profile here). Packed with fascinating insights and practical tools to help us move forward, it encouraged everyone present to have that bit more confidence in tackling career-related matters.

I can’t reflect all the goodies from the session in one blog post. So here are  4  bite-sized insights that made the biggest impression on me. I hope they’ll leave you feeling encouraged too.

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5 bite-sized insights into Team Coaching

What is Team Coaching? That’s a bigger question than you might think. Team Coaching is becoming increasingly important in this complex, fast-changing world of ours. Whatever kind of coaching we may be involved in, we need to understand what Team Coaching is, as well as what makes it different to what we already do.

Recently I’ve benefited from participating in CPD sessions on the topic, led by three seasoned successful Team Coaches. Whilst this post won’t be the last word on all things Team Coaching, what it will do is bring together five bite-sized insights from what I’ve learnt. Thanks Sandra Booth, Sheila Udall and Prof Peter Hawkins (as well as all the other participants) for sharing your wisdom.

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Effective listening and ‘The 3 P’s of Coaching Agility’

I recently took part in a webinar called High Velocity Listening: Coaching Agility for the C-Suite.* Why? Well, anything that might deepen my insight into the art of listening grabs me, so you won’t be surprised I waited all agog to hear what  Andreas Bernhardt and Jeff Hull  had to say for themselves. I came away with lots to think about. And I’d like to share some of those thoughts with you…

A blog post can’t do full justice to everything that was covered, but here’s an introduction to Andreas and Jeff’s concept of  ‘The 3 P’s of Coaching Agility’, which are:

  • listening presence
  • listening perspectives
  • listening personas

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Davina Whitnall and her great big ‘Confidence Roadshow’

Confidence is one of those slippery concepts, isn’t it? Everyone’s looking for it, but no-one can put their finger on what it is…

Coloured spirals on head outlineThe number of times coachees present with an issue they relate to ‘confidence’ is phenomenal, especially given that it can be well-nigh impossible to pin down exactly what ‘confidence’ really means to them. It’s like a wet bar of soap – smelling lovely when it’s firmly held in our hands, but unsettlingly prone to slithering right out of our grasp…

The other day I had the good fortune to participate in Davina Whitnall’s ’60 Minute Confidence Roadshow’ along with what seemed like dozens of university-based Professional Support Staff (PSS). What an exhilarating experience! Having specialised in researcher development in Higher Education, Davina now runs her own consultancy and is a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy. She’s more than well placed to offer insights into tools that can help anyone (not just researchers) define aims regarding the kinds of confidence they need to acquire, and put practical plans in place which can take them towards generating the confidence they seek.

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