This peer coaching model is based on the classical setting with one individual working on a problem in each coaching-session.
- This can be completely personal, a problem only the person who is the client concerns.
- Or it can be similar to problems of others, but transfer needs to be done in personal by the other group members and can be reflected in the feedback phase.
Group size and roles
To perform peer coaching there is the need of the group members to take in different roles. In this peer coaching model there are three roles: client, peer coaching facilitator and advisors. In each coaching process there is only one client and one peer coaching facilitator but many advisors (the rest of the intervision group members). There should be at least three advisors in order to have a helpful process. This means a minimum group size of 5 people. More advisors are even better, since they all give different and important impulses for the process. In the beginning a more experienced person from another peer coaching group can observe and give feedback to the group.
For these steps different roles need to be assigned:
The client is the one giving the problem that is needed to be solved. He is the one answering questions of the peer coaching facilitator and getting advised by the advisors. The client is the expert on his/her problem.
Role: peer coaching facilitator
The peer coaching facilitator takes the role that a professional coach would take in a group coaching. He asks questions, keeps the time and the process going. The peer coaching facilitator may not give advice. This role could be supported by an e-peer coaching tool to facilitate unexperienced peer coaching facilitators and the whole peer coaching group.
The advisors can support the client and the peer coaching facilitator by giving feedback and advice.
The idea behind peer coaching is that in every coaching-session in the peer coaching process the roles change. Everyone in the peer coaching group can take in the every role. This will be supported by training on peer coaching. For better organization of the group and to introduce possible new members on a later state it can be helpful to have a person in the group who acts as group contact member. This group contact moderates the peer coaching process in the non-coaching-session parts of the initial and the final phase (start and feedback). In general the whole group is responsible for good working processes. The group also should decide together on any changes or new participants.
Rules for peer coaching
1. The members in the group commit themselves to keep the confidential information in the group.
2. The members of the group commit themselves to take part actively.
3. The members of the group commit themselves to have a respectful attitude towards the other members and themselves.
The group can also set up their own (additional) rules.
Structure of peer coaching
In the following chapter the structure of the coaching-session in the peer coaching process will be described in detail.
Start of peer coaching
The contact person of the group welcomes everybody, problems of group members (including head of the group) are collected, a selection of problems for what is urgent and a plan of time is done. Afterwards roles for the peer coaching session(s) need to be assigned (client, peer coaching facilitator, advisors). This should take no more than 5 minutes.
Problem & situation
Now the peer coaching facilitator takes over the process: The peer coaching facilitator asks the client about the problem. The advisors listen and can make notes (if necessary). They observe mimic, gestures, posture and how the client behaves. They also think of what they feel themselves about the problem and what connotations and mental pictures come to their mind by listening to the client.
This should not take more than 5 minutes. And in the end there needs to be a clear definition of the problem in one sentence and with “I” in the beginning.
Example for a possible problem could be:
- “I am not able to switch off at home.”
Possible Questions of peer coaching facilitator:
- “What is your problem about?
- What makes it a problem?
- Who else is part of the problem?
- What did you already try to solve the problem?
- Please, could you put your problem in one short and clear sentence?”
The peer coaching facilitator asks of the last time the client was enthusiastic about something and helps the client to visualize the feelings, thoughts, strengths and resources of that moment.
Example for possible questions concerning the above named problem:
“Imagine the last time you were completely fulfilled by your spare time after work. When was that? How did it feel? What were you thinking? Where did you feel it? Can you express your feelings when you were completely into your spare time through a certain posture, mimic, gestic? What were your strengths then? What strengths do you have and what do you need?”
The strengths can be written down and/or illustrated by the client or the peer coaching facilitator for a better vizualisation. A helpful tool to support this process could be the resource wheel, mind-map, tree (see below).
More topic open questions could be:
“Imagine the problem is already solved. Everything is fine and you archived your goals. Can you imagine a scenario where you have been successful? How does it feel? Where do you feel it (in your body)? Describe your feelings, thoughts, behavior? Could you show me how you look, when you archived your goal?”
This step may take up to 10 minutes.
After this step the advisors come into play again. They again listened and are now allowed to help collecting more resources in the next step.
In this step the advisors add their ideas on which strengths and resources that are still needed or which strengths they feel the client has hidden beyond. They can also ask, if there are e.g. supporting systems like family, friends, other persons, rituals, places with a certain atmosphere, etc.. The client can comment on that later on and pick strengths and resources that might be helpful for solving the problems. The peer coaching facilitator only keeps time in this setting, writes down the resources and strengths named by the advisors and moderates the discussion (if necessary).
This may take up to 10 minutes.
In this phase the peer coaching facilitator asks the client what the client wants to achieve now. The client formulates a specific goal and an order to the group, to find possible solutions for achieving the goal.
Example for possible questions concerning the above named problems:
- “Now we have looked at your strengths and resources. What is your goal you want to achieve? Think of a goal that is precise and tell us, then give your advisers an order on what you want them to brainstorm on.”
- Possible goal could be: “I want something to remind me that I am now at home and can enjoy my spare time. I want the advisors to find something that reminds me.” OR “I want to be less emotional involved with my work. I want my advisors to find solutions for getting more space between me and my work.”
This may take up to 10 minutes.
Solution & next steps
The possible solutions given by the advisors are being collected by the peer coaching facilitator on a flipchart or else (in e-intervision tool on a whiteboard). Important is to note everything, even if it sounds unrealistic at first. The peer coaching facilitator asks afterwards which solutions are fitting for the client. The client can mark the most helpful ones and take at least one step in the next 36 hours. The peer coaching facilitator asks the client how he will take responsibility on going the first step(s). This may take up to 10 minutes.
Everybody of the group starting with client and peer coaching facilitator explain what they learned for themselves in the process. Afterwards the session is closed and another session can be started. This may take up to 5 minutes.
Wolf, Carmen (2014). EmployID: resource intervision model I & II. Draft (2014, August 15)