A coaching exercise

I’m delivering a training session on coaching today. One of the exercises I like to use to illustrate how challenging coaching can be is to get the group to build a paper aeroplane.

I normally do this when we’ve had some discussion about what coaching is, we’ve discussed people’s experience of it, and how it can be used at work.

The first part is to ask the group to simply build a paper aeroplane. Once they’ve done it, we all stand at one end of the room and see how they all fly.

The people’s ‘planes who flew the furthest then become the coaches for the next part.

The coaches team up with 1-2 others and their goal is to help the others build a paper aeroplane. The only consideration is that they can’t tell them what to do.

Once completed, we do a download of the exercise and talk about whatever learnings came through.

There are many exercises that help achieve the same, this is my preferred one. Also, for me, it acts as a useful way to link discussions around attitude, skills, knowledge and performance management.