CorrectTech Community Corrections Blog

We Need More Coaches and Less Referees

Posted by Lisa Sayler on 6/13/19 10:01 PM

What a powerful statement made by Dr. Ed Latessa while speaking about what works and doesn’t work in reducing recidivism at the OCCA conference in May of 2018. Of course, you need referees in a game and metaphorically when running a community corrections program. We must play by and enforce the rules, but coaches win games and make their players successful. Community corrections does need staff that blow the whistle when clients go out of bounds, give appropriate consequences and redirection, but that alone only keeps people in bounds during the game, it doesn’t teach them how to improve their skills and improve long term. In my experience, Dr. Latessa is dead on.  Staff naturally gravitate towards being the rule enforcer rather than the encourager. Getting staff to take on coach as their primary role is something that can’t just be trained, it must be immersed in the daily culture of the program. 

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Topics: Community Corrections, Positive Reinforcement, reaching clients emotions, client needs and values

Coaching with the AWE Question

Posted by Evan C. Crist, Psy.D. on 7/18/18 12:28 PM

“And what else?” is perhaps the most important question in the The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More and Change the Way You Lead Forever. While technically the second question presented, it should be the most oft repeated question by far. According to the author, Michael Bungay Stanier, the AWE question works like magic, and he declares it to be the “The Best Coaching Question in the World.” He explains, “With seemingly no effort, it creates more – more wisdom, more insights, more self-awareness, more possibilities – out of thin air.”

It is a challenge to develop the habit of asking this question because your Advice Monster will discover the problem and the solution to the problem very quickly. The human brain does not like ambiguity and pushes us to find clarity, the quicker the better. Like most unhelpful habits, awareness that you have an Advice Monster is a critical first step. The recovery process is simple but not easy. Whenever you feel the urge to offer advice, insert “And what else?” in its place. (I purchased an ugly cartoon monster for all of my staff and we all have it on our desk as a reminder that the Advice Monster is alive, well and eager to take over as soon as you let your guard down.)

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Topics: Listening Skills, The Coaching Habit, coaching community corrections clients, reaching clients emotions

Kickstarting a Coaching Session

Posted by Evan C. Crist, Psy.D. on 7/6/18 11:08 PM

The first question in The Coaching Habit:  Say Less, Ask More and Change the Way You Lead is known as The Kickstart Question: “What’s on your mind?” I think it is a near perfect way to start a therapeutic session with any client. Most managers now know that coaching is valuable and proven, but many do not attempt coaching because they do not know how to start. Opening statements such as, “How’s it going?”, “I just wanted to check with you on how the new position is going.”, or, my personal favorite, “Is there anything I can do for you?” are a bit like passing someone in the hallway and greeting them with, “How are you?” Each of the above openings begs for a brief response that “all is well.” The answer is reflective and social norms generally suggest that answering the question with real life concerns is inappropriate. People will quickly learn to stop asking that question if you really answer. Hopefully, therapy and/or case management is different but old habits die hard.

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Topics: Community Corrections Professional, Listening Skills, The Coaching Habit, Community Corrections Client Services, Developing a practice model, Evan C. Crist, Switch by the Heath Brothers, what's on your heart, coaching community corrections clients, reaching clients emotions

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