Create Change Co-Coaching (draft publicity material for comments)

Create Change Co-Coaching
(a project of the The Pumping Station)
Participate with 6-8 others in a Studio for a year to become certified as a Co-Coach.

The journeys we undertake in our careers and lives involve risk, open up questions, create more experiences than can be integrated at first sight, and invite personal and professional change. Coaching supports people to address the inevitable anxieties and tensions that arise. Co-coaching brings a spirit of mutuality to our ongoing journeying: while gurus may inspire people to pursue change and facilitators manage behaviors of group members, the processes and activities of co-coaching make room for everyone—coaches included—to be stretched into new learning.

The rationale for training and certification is that an explicit and sustained focus on building your own co-coaching toolbox and plan for practice allows you to take yourself seriously—to develop clarity and confidence to make deep changes in your own work as you become prepared to guide diverse people—yourself included—in ways that often depart markedly from your previous personal and professional development.

The Studio year consists of Collaborative Explorations (CEs) every other month with one-on-one consultations in co-coaching pairs between CEs. CEs are an extension of project-based learning in which participants address a case or scenario, shaping your own directions of inquiry through one hour/week online meetings and investigations and reflection between meetings. The first CE, hosted by the Studio organizer, concerns formulating a prospect (i.e., where you would like to be going) for personal and professional development, building on a structured reflection process undertaken before the Studio starts. Subsequent CE themes are created by participants, who take turns hosting the CEs and assisting the host.

Throughout the year, you refine your prospect. During the final month, you draft your own toolbox of processes and plans for practicing them in the following areas:
• Fostering curiosity
• Cultivating collaborators
• Constituency building
• Alternating (between focusing in and opening out, between self-direction and constituency building, between supporting others and supporting oneself, between action and taking stock, between attention to local and multi-layered contexts)
• Co-coaching to further all of the above in relation to your own prospect, including a plan for the first year-long Studio that you would organize once certified.
All of these toolboxes and plans are revised into final versions in light of self-assessment and feedback from others Studio participants until you feel ready to call yourself certified.

Testimonials:
One participant reflected at the end of her first Collaborative Exploration:

“I’ve changed. I’ve changed on all levels. On a political level. Work level. Personal level. Professional level. And it has been a positive change… I have an infrastructure in my brain, so I know what I am doing now when I am with people, when I work in groups.”

An appreciation for the initial Studio organizer, Peter Taylor, by a participant of a number of workshops and discussion series in the co-coaching spirit:

“Have you ever made a list of all the people for whom your workshops, your writing, your strategies, your editing, your mentoring and teaching have directly and profoundly impacted that what must be hundreds of folks you got unstuck, inspired, guided and other wise enabled to do the thing they wanted to do?  Damn, dude.  So many.”

—-
The starting date for the CCCC studio is some months away. The provisional prospect for the organizer of the first CCCC Studio, Peter Taylor, would include establishing the CCCC project, with logistics that are sustainable.

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About Peter J. Taylor
Peter Taylor teaches and directs programs on critical thinking, reflective practice, and science-in-society at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He studies the complexity of environmental and health sciences in their social context as well as innovation in teaching, group process, and interdisciplinary collaboration (see bit.ly/pjtaylor). He is especially interested in conversations with others who are, in diverse ways, "troubled by heterogeneity" (bit.ly/tbhblog)

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